Why Our Process Improvement Fixes Fail

By Kevin McManus, Chief Excellence Officer, Great Systems

Welcome to this episode of the ‘Real Life Work’ podcast, hosted by Kevin McManus. In this podcast episode, we explore common system gaps that help explain why our process improvement fixes fail. More importantly, we look at common best practices to fix that problem.

If you would like to read the text for this podcast, please follow this link!

Why Do Our Process Improvement Fixes Fail?

There is a psychological pattern that causes many of our process improvement fixes to fail. Over the past forty-plus years, I have seen tens of thousands of corrective and preventive actions. After a while, a pattern began to emerge. I saw the same pattern with attempts to address ‘unsafe act’ and ‘unsafe condition’ audit findings.

It wasn’t just the ‘weak fix’ pattern many people see in their organizations. You know what I mean by weak fixes. Think of your favorite retraining, procedure expanding, and punishment focused changes. Instead, it was a pattern of a less visible nature.

In a nutshell, here is what I saw:

Our fixes tend to be weak, and in turn fail, when we blame people and equipment for our problems.

The root causes we select set the stage for weak versus strong corrective actions. Those root causes are a result of the root cause questions we ask, how we collect and analyze evidence, and the design of the root cause analysis process itself.

As Henry Ford said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.”

How often do your fixes fail? Is it possible that a root cause analysis process shift, along with a psychological shift, could lead you towards a more error free workplace?

Learn More About the TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Process

If you want to learn more about the TapRooT® root causes analysis process, you can always visit the TapRooT® website. Some favorite quick access links of mine include:

3-day VIRTUAL TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Workshop
I still teach 10-15 virtual 3-day courses a year for System Improvements as a contract instructor. If you would like me to teach this course in your company, one option is to contact me directly. Then, I will help you get a quote from System Improvements.

Also, you can request to have me as your instructor when you book a virtual course through the System Improvements website.

2023 TapRooT® Summit
I will be at this annual event once again in 2023. In 2023, I will present my new ‘Measurement, Trending, and Predictive Analytics – How the Best use Data to Improve’ workshop as a 2-day pre-Summit learning event. It synergizes the content of Mark Paradise’s ‘Advanced Trending Techniques’ course from past Summits, my own Vital Signs, Scorecards, and Goals book, and my daily best practices research.

Connect with Kevin to Share Your Comments and Questions

If you found value in this article, you might also like my ‘Real Life Work’ weekly podcast. Plus, you might like my ‘Error Proof’ book, 2-day ‘Mistake Proofing and Corrective Action Writing’ workshop, and/or the workbook for that workshop.

FOLLOW these links to buy these books NOW on Amazon.com.

Error Proof – How to Stop Daily Goofs for Good’ book
I hope to have the audio version edition of this book ready to drop early next year. Plus, I will use that opportunity to fix a few of the small typos in that first edition (SMH!)

Mistake Proofing and Corrective Action Writing Best Practices’ workbook
In the past, you could only get this workbook by attending one of my 2-day Mistake Proofing workshops. As I become more virtual to help minimize my carbon footprint, I continue to add online content.

Keep improving!

Kevin McManus, Chief Excellence Officer, Great Systems

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