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HOW TO COMBAT

MEDIOCRITY IN
YOUR RCAs
ARMS Reliability

We are all
problem solvers.
Each and every
one of us actively
deals with
problems on a
regular, if not a
daily basis.
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However, the
crucial question
is Is everyone
actually good
at problem
solving?

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Mediocrity occurs for a number of reasons. 


Well focus on four aspects of your RCA program
which, if not set up correctly, could be catalysts
behind a consistent flow of mediocre root cause
analysis investigations within your organization.
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1.

A STRUCTURE TO
SUPPORT TRAINING
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So, youve trained


your employees in
root cause analysis
and youre expecting
to see some fantastic
RCA results coming
through.

Right?
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...Not so fast.
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If there is little structure to support the training in terms of:

a requirement to use the process,


mentoring and feedback provided to trainees,
or quality audits on their efforts,
Then you can expect to see a whole range in terms of the
quality of investigations being submitted. If the majority of
the investigations are average then the value of the training
comes into question.
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Its Not meeting expectations


people are not using it
people dont like it
Its Not working

its not getting


the results

Sound Familiar?
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If ANY training is
unsupported, the
same outcome could
occur. So is this a
problem with the
training or a problem
with the structure
that supports the
training?
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Two days of training or a week of training


doesnt make anyone an expert in anything.
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Each trainee sits somewhere along the learning curve at


the start of the training and hopefully, if they have been
paying attention, they move along the curve to a better
place after the training.

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The purpose of the training is to skew the curve to move


the curve to the right so you have more investigations
being completed to a higher standard.

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The challenge for all companies is to work out how to move


trainees from where each individual sits on that learning
curve after the training, to application of excellence within
the discipline at which the training was directed.

Isnt this what was originally intended?

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We train our people


and then, figuratively
speaking, throw
them to the wolves
expecting them to be
the evangelists for the
learning and the cure to
all of our problems.

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Average outcome
=
No value in training more staff
=
Acceptance of mediocre problem solving
ARMS Reliability

It is essential
that there is a
feedback loop,
whereby mediocre
investigation
reports are not
accepted, or
signed off.
ARMS Reliability

Underpin your investigation program with


managerial overview. Managers should be
trained in the RCA method so they can:

Challenge the outcome


Provide positive recognition
Insist on rework
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If managers are not


trained in the RCA
method, then they
are in the hands
of the people who
have been trained,
and the danger is
that mediocrity
becomes the norm.
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2.

AMOUNT OF TIME
DEDICATED TO
INVESTIGATIONS
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How long does an


investigation take?

ONE HOUR?
Four Hours?
One Day?
One Week?
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There is no right answer.

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If an investigation is warranted then it should be resourced to


a point where an excellent result is possible. If that means you
have 5 people in a room all day then so be it. The significance
of the problem must warrant that level of support.
ARMS Reliability

Conducting a root cause


analysis requires a
dedication of time and
resources to achieve a
desirable outcome. How
much do your problems
cost you after all? If you
want your investigations
to be effective, then you
will need to support them
to the level needed.
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Its essential to understand your organizations threshold


limits that determine the level of response. This allows you
to allocate appropriate resources and time to the investigation.
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When you find yourself


in a rush, ask yourself if you
are simply satisfying the need
to report, completing obligatory
requirements, just meeting
deadlines or is there a genuine
opportunity to improve the
business and make a difference.
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3.

INVOLVING THE
RIGHT PEOPLE
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If you dont have the right people in the room


those with intimate knowledge or experience with
the problem, then how good will the investigation be?
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i
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Support and
approval from
management
are necessary
for people to be
given the time
to attend the
investigation.
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4.

HAVING THE
RIGHT FACILITATOR
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Do you have the right person facilitating?


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Good communication
skills are important,
both verbal and nonverbal. A willingness
to be the facilitator
should also be
considered...
someone who has the
desire to do this job.
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Good

Great

A good facilitator
should be impartial,
unbiased, willing
to ask the dumb
question, and arguably
should not be the
subject matter expert.

A great facilitator
recognises that the
credit for a good
investigation outcome
belongs to the team,
and he works
deliberately to
facilitate that outcome.

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IN SUMMARY...

ARMS Reliability

The cost of significant incidents has a direct impact


on the bottom line. Incidents can cost a company
hundreds-of-thousands or even multi-million dollars.
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Every incident or
accident that occurs
is an opportunity
to learn. If we can
learn effectively by
doing a high quality
RCA, then the goal
of trying to prevent
their reoccurrence is
far more likely to be
achieved.
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The best results occur from investigations that are well


supported, have the right facilitator, and have the right people
involved who have been given sufficient time to understand
the event so they can present the best report possible.

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Getting these elements right will go a long way towards


moving the quality of your RCA investigations away from
mediocrity and towards excellence.

ARMS Reliability

Excellent RCA investigations come


from excellent RCA programs.
Key factors in establishing your framework:
Standardize on a methodology and problem
solving technique
Define a common application standard
Make sure you have easy to use reporting
and charting tools
Empower your people to use the method
and tools effectively
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ARMS Reliability helps companies structure


their RCA program to fit within the goals and
objectives of the business.

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RCA Program
Development
Jumpstart
Workshop
provides you with
a custom plan for
implementing and
sustaining your
RCA program.
LEARN MORE
ARMS Reliability

ARMS Reliability has trained over 20,000 people in the Apollo Root Cause
Analysismethodology in multiple languages across worldwide locations
and a wide variety of industries.

Our training languages include:


English Spanish Portuguese French Dutch German
Chinese Bahasa Indonesia Romanian Russian Italian
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The Apollo Root Cause Analysismethod


has been used for over 20 years to support
effective problem solving.
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RealityCharting software
complements the method
by providing a userfriendly way to document
all the cause and effect
relationships.
It provides standardization,
quality checks, and insoftware help.
DOWNLOAD FREE TRIAL

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To learn more about setting up your RCA program


for success visit www.apollorootcause.com or
email info@apollorootcause.com

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