Discipline and Diligence Are Key for Root Cause Analysis

Mark Steward

OK, so now you have put up these fancy (or so you think fancy) check sheets and charts for standard work, expecting the improvements to happen. Things go well for the first couple of days or weeks – if you are lucky. Everyone is abuzz with this focus of action, but then it begins to degrade. What is happening?

Diligence and discipline of execution are important underlying details of root cause analysis. The new methods are oftentimes person dependent rather than process dependent. So, we find that the owner maintaining this new system goes on vacation, and the team finds itself quickly back where they started – frustrated and not knowing where to head next. These new methods fall to the side and are sometimes even removed in shame.

The important aspect of this improvement process is applying consistent performance through discipline. The team members must be able to apply the techniques in order to achieve the performance levels and results expected.

How many of you have ever heard the team mention that we start these new things, expect their input for solving the issues and then there is no follow-through? I am sure I am not alone, or at least hope I am not. If so, then we have not done our due diligence in really creating the importance of our improvement activities and have not committed to training our folks on the discipline of what is expected and holding the team to it.

We all have a responsibility to uphold our commitment of training our personnel on what is expected (when we are there or away). It is this key element that will secure the buy-in needed to really drive our improvement process.

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