December 29, 2010 | Dave Janney

Root Cause Analysis Tips – Planning your Improvements

Happy Wednesday, and welcome to this week’s root cause analysis tips column.

It is the end of the year, so I thought I would talk about goals again, just like I did last year (and the year before!)  How are you going to improve performance in 2011 and what are your goals?

Many of the goals set in organizational environments are easy to predict (albeit important).  For example, in the safety world, a common metric for goal development would be recordable or lost time rates.  Environmental, spills and exceedences.  Quality, product defects.  Reliability, downtime.  You get the picture.  These are all good metrics and you should have goals for them.  However, they are downstream and reactive.  You should have upstream and proactive goals as well.

What kind of projects do you have planned for 2011?  Are they included in your goals?  We teach in our courses about using the root causes on the tree and the dictionary as best practices that should be in place.  If you have the processes in place, you can audit them.  But…you say, this sounds like a lot of work and we don’t have time!  Let me float an idea by you:

For 2011, why not make one of your goals to review one basic cause category per month, make sure you have the best practices in place, and add them to your audits.  By breaking it up into manageable chunks, you will be able to improve your business while managing your resources.  And with 7 basic cause categories, you will be done by July!  How many other yearly goals can be met by July?!  Of course, the auditing would be ongoing but you are already doing that anyway.  Right?

Another goal could be number of employees trained in TapRooT®.   I know, this sounds self-serving but I really am trying to help you improve your business!  If you are going to train people, why not establish a goal and take credit for the work you are doing?  Plan now for who needs to be trained and make a schedule.  If you are a licensed company with certified instructors, have your process owners and instructors develop a plan.  If you are not licensed and/or do not have certified trainers, consider PUBLIC COURSES, or contact us for an onsite course quote.

Congratulations on all your 2010 improvements and best wishes for 2011.  Let us know how we can help.

Happy New Year!

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