Avoid Causes That Are Dripping With Solution

Avoid Causes That Are Dripping With Solution 

Science is committed to finding the cause of a problem before finding the solution. The same is true for operations. Too often a well-intended leader will disguise his understanding of the cause of a problem as really the solution he wants to see implemented.

It sounds like this: “The cause of the problem is no standard work,” or “The cause is a lack of training.”  Real cause is specific and unbiased.

Real cause is specific 

Processes that do not have standard work usually have a lot of variation between people who perform them. Even something as familiar as changing a tire is done differently – some loosen the bolts before raising the car with a jack. Others raise the car and then loosen the bolts. There is one best way and standard work is a possible solution, but the cause of variation is the difference in when people loosen the bolts.

Cause is unbiased

Cause is a fact – as indisputable as possible from the evidence. The purpose of the proposed solution is to test the hypothesis of the cause. Cause is not an opinion.

The cause of the flat tire may be a nail in the wall of the tire picked up in the garage in which it was parked. That is a fact and the direct cause of the flat.

Saying the flat tire was caused by a messy garage is an opinion, it is biased, and it is dripping with little solution (clean up the garage).

Help your organization find the true, unbiased cause of the problem and avoid those dripping with solution.

Learn more in Patrick’s book, “Facilitating Effective Change,” available online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Patrick Putorti

Patrick Putorti

Patrick Putorti

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