Root Cause Analysis Tip: Why do supervisors perform BAD root cause analysis?
I often hear the complaint. “Our supervisors produce poor quality root cause analysis and incident investigations. Why can’t they do better?” Read on for several potential reasons and solutions…
Probably the most serious problem that prevents supervisors from performing good investigations is the blame game. Everyone has seen it. Management insists that someone must be punished for an error. Why does this cause problems? Because supervisors know that their people or even the supervisor is the most likely discipline target. They learn to blame the equipment to avoid useless discipline. And they know better than to blame management. That would surely result in retribution. Therefore, their investigations are light on facts and blame the equipment.
Obviously, to solve this problem, the whole management approach to human error and performance improvement must change. Good luck!
Supervisors are seldom given the proper training or time to do a good investigation. Training may be a four-hour course in five whys. What a joke! Then, they perform the investigations in their spare time.
What do they need? The same training in advanced root cause analysis that anyone else needs to solve serious problems. A minimum of a 2-Day TapRooT® Course. But a 3-Day TapRooT®/Equifactor® Course would be better for Maintenance Supervisors. Better yet, a 5-Day TapRooT® Course to teach them TapRooT® and additional skills about analyzing human performance and collecting information.
As for time to perform the investigation, it’s best to bring in a relief supervisor to give them time to focus on the investigation.
The last step is to motivate supervisors. They need to be rewarded for producing a good investigation with the unvarnished truth. If you don’t reward good investigations, you shouldn’t expect good investigations.
Learn more about TapRooT® Training at: http://www.taproot.com/courses