Managing Expectations & Managing Improvement

Have you often done some significant work to discover how to unlock the performance of your organization only to find that you have, after much work, uncovered many things which your peers already believed to be the source of the inefficiencies?  After so much work, you expected some blinding flashes of insight, but you got instead root causes like:

– document and follow appropriate best practices

– define roles and responsibilities and clarify decision making guidelines

– provide incentives to key managers that oversee the cross functional process

– upgrade systems to support the process

Well I might have just saved you 12 weeks of offsites, steering group meetings, and interviews and jumped to the root causes that drive more than half of operational issues.  But I didn’t.  And even if these recommendations were spot on, it does not make any difference, because knowing is different from believing.

The real value of using best practices around Total Quality Management is that the group goes through the discovery process together.

Using a root cause analysis process has the following benefits:

1. It is convergent & deterministic

2. It can be repeated

3. Builds cross functional consensus

4. Clearly defines the problem so solutions are much more focused and likely to succeed

5. Root causes are based on facts and data