February 24, 2010 | Barb Carr

Root Cause Analysis Tip: “Training”… the most misunderstand and misapplied Root Cause of them all!

What would your answers be for the Homework Questions below?

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What is the answer when a TapRooT® instructor asks the class, “what are the three most frequent types of Corrective Actions?” Training shows up on every list! We then encourage students to look outside the box and even give industry accepted best practices in our Corrective Action Helper®.

STOP! Does this mean Training should not be a Corrective Action or a Root Cause? NO! It just means that you should understand the problem and behavior before you select Training as a “catch-all” or a “magic bullet”.

Understanding Training?

First off understand that Training has one initial goal: IMPROVE or SUSTAIN PERFORMANCE on a particular BEHAVIOR.

Second, Training is directed to the person doing a particular task. Regardless of the higher level regulatory requirements and internal company policy of how the training program should look or run… Training must be effective for the user.

Third, Training is not an independent function that can stand up on its own…..

A. Employee Hiring must be tied to core skills and task required of the employee.
B. Finance, Engineering, Quality Departments, and Safety must be tied to the Training and Hiring Group to ensure new processes and needs are incorporated and tie in the business case.

Here is a recent article where we discussed “common sense’s” role in Training: Root Cause Analysis Tip: Part 2: Behind Closed Doors with A Common Sense Discussion

Finally, understand that there are four other Basic Cause Categories that will have an impact on what and who is trained:

A. Human Engineering (Level of Usability and Complexity of equipment and task)
B. Work Direction (Level of Qualifications and Supervision for and during the task)
C. Procedures (Quantity of steps performed during a task and risk of missing a step or performing the step incorrectly)
D. Communication (Focusing on person’s ability to understand AND apply the terminology)

Lastly, I asked about Training Effectiveness as it relates to metrics in the Homework Questions above. What might the Chart below depict as it relates to Training?
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Often, I have seen this chart track two types of measures: Training Expenditures and Defect or Incident Expenditures…. usually there is a strong correlation between both charts once mapped out after the fact. What do your metrics show?

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