September 5, 2023 | Mark Paradies

What Makes a Good Procedure? [Evaluating Procedures]


A Good Procedure Makes a Difference

I remember it like it was yesterday. I purchased two pedal cars for my sons. The larger one was for my older son. The smaller one was for my younger son. So far, so good.

I hid the cars in the boxes where they wouldn’t be found and waited for the night before Christmas to start the assembly (after the kids had gone to bed).

The first car was made in Germany. It was considerably more expensive. It had German engineering. It had detailed instructions (in English) with excellent graphics. It went together just like it should (the procedure was great).

The second car was made in … well, I don’t want to insult anyone but you can take a guess. You may or may not get the country of origin correct but the car was cheap. The parts were not as well made. The directions? Let’s just say that someone without a good handle on the English language had written them. Things didn’t go together as the procedure said. The graphics were terrible. They didn’t look like they were for the car in front of me. And there were missing parts (and no parts list).

After many hours of work and finding spare parts in my parts bins (where I saved things that might come in handy someday), I finally forced it together and made it work.

On Christmas morning, they both liked their new cars. But the well-made car always worked better than the cheap car.

What did I learn?

  1. You get what you pay for.
  2. Never start building complex toys on Christmas Eve.
  3. A good procedure is really helpful. A bad procedure makes the work twice as hard.

How Can You Evaluate Your Procedures?

You don’t want to wait for an accident to find out that your procedures are bad. You want to evaluate your procedures proactively and improve them if they need it.


One way to evaluate a procedure is to use the Procedure section of Root Cause Tree® (above) and Dictionary (pictured below).

Root Cause Tree® Dictionary

How Do You Correct the Problems That You Find?

The Answer? The Corrective Action Helper® Guide (below) has the answers.

Learn More About Evaluating Procedures…

Do you need to learn more about using these tools and others to proactively evaluate and improve your procedures? Then you should attend the:

2-Day Stopping Human Error Training.

Procedure improvement is just one of the many topics we cover. CLICK HERE to see the course outline.

When and where can you attend a public 2-Day Stopping Human Error Course? Visit this link for dates and locations…!83

We hope to see you there!

Mark Paradies Teaching
Courses & Training, Human Performance
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