November 9, 2012 | Mark Paradies

The Big Risk of Waiting, Part I

Improving Root Cause Cause Analysis

Bad root cause systems include:

1. No system.

2. A homegrown system that doesn’t work.

3. A system that was sold as root cause analysis but is really nothing more than guess-a-cause.

4. A system that was sold as root cause analysis but is really nothing more than putting what you already know in a fault tree format or on a fishbone diagram.

People using these systems know they need to improve their root cause analysis but they are waiting because:

1.  They can’t decide how to get started improving root cause analysis.

2. They haven’t convinced their management that an investment is needed.

3. They need to get the budget dollars approved.

4. They are looking for a system that is technically excellent, requires very little effort, and costs nothing.

Many people waiting to improve root cause analysis haven’t considered the risk that waiting entails.  What kind of risk?  Read on …

Great Risk of Waiting

Using an inadequate root cause analysis system could mean:

1. Missing root causes during investigations.  These problems don’t get solved and they may recur.  If the problem recurs, the consequences may be worse.  If this results in a fatality, serious injury, or substantial monetary loss, management and people involved in the first investigation can lose their jobs or face criminal prosecution.  Even if the problems result in small losses in productivity or quality issues, these problems can add up and give competitors a cost and quality advantage.  This can put your company out of business.

2. Developing corrective actions that don’t fix the real problems.  Again, this can allow a problem to recur.  But even worse, you can implement inadequate corrective actions that don’t fix the problem but require significant resources to implement.  And you get zero benefits.  This leaves you with risk and zero return on investment:  a rotten investment.  So what risks are you facing by waiting to improve your root cause analysis system?


Your job?

Significant waste of resources?

All the jobs at your company?

That’s why waiting is such a bad idea.

If you are ready to take action, plan to attend 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit week.  Pre-Summit Courses are scheduled for March 18-19, 2013, and the Summit is scheduled for March 20-22, 2013 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center located in the scenic Smoky Mountains of Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  Summit registration is $995 and a Pre-Summit course is $1,095.  Attend both and save $200 ($1,890).

Learn more about the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit.

Look for “The Big Risk of Waiting, Part 2” next week for specific ways to improve using TapRooT®.

Root Cause Analysis
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