April 8, 2009 | Dave Janney

TapRooT® Summit – Building your Business Case

Operational Excellence Track

The Summit is fast approaching, and you want to attend (of course)! Nevertheless, we understand that for you to spend your valuable time away from work and fund attendance to an event like the Summit, you have to be able to show your organization the benefits.

I’d like to discuss the Operational Excellence Track.   First of all, what does this mean?  To me, it means two things; first, having a leg up on the competition (being the best in the industry); and next, continually improving.  If you could truly achieve best in class and then improve each year, how much would that be worth?  Put another way, would it be worth $995?  Let’s talk…… 

You’ll meet in the morning and afternoon with attendees from all tracks to hear the keynote speakers:

•   Dr. Joel Fish, Brian Tink, and Jim Thompson will talk about how just one root cause analysis changed an industry practice.

•   E.D. Hill from Fox News will talk about “Lessons Learned from Success.”  

•   Mike Kelley will deliver an empowering talk called “Establishing a Culture that Promotes Super-Performance” where he will discuss his view that personal and professional growth are tied together and how they ultimately add to the success of the organization.

•  Mark Paradies, our President, and Dave Prewitt will present thoughts on systematic ways to manage performance. 

•   Best selling author John Miller will open the day on Friday with a powerful talk on personal accountability. 

These keynote talks provide a good balance of usable techniques, personal improvement, and motivation, and alone are easily worth the $995!

Beyond the keynote talks, the Operational Excellence Track provides even more value.  Let’s look at the other sessions in the track in more detail:

•  Kevin McManus will present “8 Reasons Why People Don’t Report Problems & 8 Solutions to Improve Employee Involvement” to give you ideas of how to unleash the power of employee involvement and good morale.

•  Kevin will also present “Finding Time for Process Excellence – No Fuel, No Progress.” This presentation will include an interactive exercise designed to help you eliminate non-value added time and better utilize your process improvement time investments.  If you could eliminate wasted effort from your day, how long would it take to recoup $995?

•  “Improving Improvement.”  In this session, Barry Baumgardner and Kay Gallogly will discuss “How to Get Management Interested in Investigations, Corrective Actions, & Improvement Quality,” and Chris Vallee will show you “How to Target Audits for Better Performance Improvement” and correct some of the less obvious and less visible issues that could cause your next big incident.

•   “Improvement Effectiveness Measurement” will be presented by Dr. Joel Haight and Brian Tink.  Learn how upstream measures are used to improve performance; more importantly, see how to show the link between these measures and the outcome of your safety activities so you know what is working and what is not.

•  In the “TapRooT® User Best Practice Sharing Forum,” Linda Unger and Michelle Lindsay will facilitate a user discussion so everyone can learn from each other.  Two heads are better than one, so bring your best practices to share with the group.  

•  “Communication That Prevents Human Error” will be presented by Beverly Inman-Ebel and will provide information around four targeted areas that can prevent miscommunications.  If you could improve communication in your workplace, how much would this one session be worth?

•  “Leadership for Doing Things Right,” presented by Brian Locker.  Brian will discuss effective and consistent employee communications and how organizational performance is greatly influenced by this communication. Morale also affects productivity, so what if you had just a small improvement in productivity? 

•  “How TapRooT® Fits into Proactive Improvement” discusses how the work you do to prevent problems can be leveraged with some of the most widely known tools by incorporating TapRooT®.  Richard Mesker will discuss Behavior Based Safety, Lean & Six Sigma will be discussed by Chris Vallee, and Hazard and Risk Analysis will be presented by Jim Whiting.

That is a lot of value for $995!  And that does not count the benchmarking with old and new friends from your and other industries. 

And by the way, there is one more thing – the last session you attend will be “Planning Your Improvements” where TapRooT® Instructors will facilitate attendees in developing action plans for when you return.  The difference in success and failure can come down to one simple process; setting goals and following through to achieve them.

I am convinced that the summit is the best value you can find.  I want to introduce you to what us quality geeks call failure costs and prevention costs:

•   According to the State of Texas Department of Insurance (Worker’s Comp Division, www.tdi.state.tx.us/pubs/videoresource/wpmaterial.pdf), the average cost of an injury claim is $15,000 (back injuries are more).

•   Medical costs, lost time, overtime, lost production, fines, damaged equipment, and so forth are considered failure costs.

•   Training, auditing, ergonomic engineering improvements, etc. are considered prevention costs.  These costs are always less than failure costs, and require less effort, because you can plan and work them into your routine and your budget.  

Be proactive!  Tell your management that you want to incur a small prevention cost – $995 to attend the Operational Excellence Track at the 2009 Summit. 

Write down the value to you of each of these sessions, and put some thought around your existing failure costs.  What if you could reduce these costs just a small %?  And how much is the summit worth to you?  I think you’ll agree, much more than the cost.

Don’t forget our guarantee:  Attend the Summit and go back to work and use what you’ve learned.  If you don’t get at least 10 times the return on your investment, simply return the Summit materials and we’ll refund the entire fee.

P.S. – I would be remiss if I did not mention that it is also a great idea to come two days early and attend a two-day course at a cost of $1895 for a course and the summit (a $200 discount).  See the list of two-day pre-summit courses here:


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