May 4, 2011 | Barb Carr

Root Cause Tip: Develop an Improvement Team Leader

Accidents, incidents and potentially unsafe practices continue to plague facilities worldwide on a daily basis. Knowing where to focus improvement efforts can be a challenge, as well as how to fully engage employees and staff.

Companies continue to be reactionary, taking action only when something bad happens.  Mark Paradies wrote in the TapRooT® Book (2008):

Crisis management isn’t management at all … You need a vision that keeps problems from happening.  You need to develop an organization that understands the best practices needed to achieve outstanding performance.

Many times, accidents occur as a result of a failure to apply best practices that we have already learned. That is why it is important to develop an Improvement Team Leader (ITL) at your facility. Improvement requires a focused and consistent effort and someone dedicated to leading it.

An ITL is dedicated to resolving issues that will result in harm to employees, costly downtimes, or unwanted media or regulatory attention if left unchecked.

In facilities that do not have an improvement program, an ITL leads the team in developing one, and presents potential programs to management.  If a program is in place, an ITL leads the team in improving the existing program.  The ITL is an expert in improvement tools, ensures the plan is followed, and communicates lessons learned across the facility.

How can you identify a potential Improvement Team Leader?  They share these qualities:

A questioning attitude

Excellent presentation skills

Ability to challenge the status quo while still being able to work cooperatively with senior management

Good relationships with people

Understanding of the business being improved

Training in the improvement techniques being used

Don’t wait for the next crisis to happen.  Empower an Improvement Team Leader that shares management’s vision and puts it into action.

TapRooT® advanced root cause analysis techniques help develop an ITL.  Whether you need an ITL to develop a program from scratch, or improve an existing program, the 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training will help your team leader better manage your program and develop important career and leadership skills.  Learn more on our 5-day training webpage.

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