How, Not Who!
Human Error - Somebody Got It Wrong!
Far too often we find that when a company is looking for the cause of a failing, they are very quick to start pointing fingers. What happens is that a person, a staff member or a client gets the blame for a problem, without ever really getting to the bottom of how and why the issue occured. This is not Root Cause Analysis.
The problem doesn't stop with not finding the real root cause. This sort of attitude can actually lead to people covering up their mistakes, to avoid being subject to disciplinary actions...
Too be clear, we're not saying that people don't make mistakes but, how the impacts of an issue are managed and root cause corrected are the important things to address.
As an example, let's say its 16:45 on a sunny Friday afternoon. Everyone is rushing around to get that big important order out of the door, then one of the team makes a mistake. The wrong address on the package for instance. Their fault right? Well... Not really!
We have to take a step back and ask ourselves "Why were we rushing around for an important job? " Did you not plan for enough time? Are you a little short staffed? Did we give an unrealistic expectation to the client?
We should also ask "Why was there not a process to check those details?" Perhaps a cross check before sending would help to avoid such incidents...
The point is, all the time we are blaming a person, we are not coming to a resolution. Now, there will be human factors. Untrained Staff, Lack of Resources etc. but, these are issues that can be resolved through training & recruitment for example.
When THC teach our clients to assess for Root Cause we suggest the following areas to consider:
Training Failure - The worker had not been shown how to do it
Communication - The wrong instructions had been passed
Resource Failure - Understaffed, underequipped etc.
Process Failure - The process doesn't allow for that eventaulity
Supplier Failure - We did it right but, We were let down
The point here is that just blaming a person, a staff member, doesn't give you a direction to work in. If you can take that next step, to find the reason for the failure happening, then you have something you can work on fixing.
At THC we want to help you business understand what is really happening, so you can improve. If you would like to find out more about how we can help please contact one of our consultants at firstname.lastname@example.org