Organizational Performance Part 34: Avoid Complexity When Working Down the 5-Why Analysis | Operational Excellence Quick Hits
Quick Hits share weekly tips and techniques on topics related to Operational Excellence. This week’s theme relates to avoiding complexity when using 5 Why for problem solving . We hope you enjoy the information presented!
Speaker 1: (00:05)
In today’s session, we’re going to finish the Five WHY analysis, getting to the fifth WHY, which should be our root cause and then more importantly, identifying the countermeasures that we need to put in place to solve the problem.
Speaker 1: (00:22)
So I want to continue with the WHYs. So when we left off, we had, employees don’t have sufficient protective capacity, and are not properly trained on investigation techniques, so of course we want to ask the question why, and the answer I came up with is that management views employee idle time as negative, as not being productive, and because of the lack of training, management was unaware that the lack of training is resulting in initiatives being implemented that are not improving business performance. So of course, all my experience working with companies, I see this all the time where there’s a bunch of stuff happening and it’s not translating into improved business performance. It might be optimizing that subsystem or function, but it’s not improving business performance.
Speaker 1: (01:11)
So of course we want to ask why again. So why does management view employee idle time as negative, and is unaware of the lack of trainings resulting in initiatives not being implemented, and not improving business performance? So the reason I came up with here is that key performance indicators and process related metrics are not aligned with improving overall business performance, and are primarily based on local optima, the silo mentality, in that global optima. And again, from my experience, I see a lot of KPIs, I see a lot of lower-level metrics that aren’t aligned and of course, they’re not focused on business improvement initiatives. They’re focused on local optima or improving that function, and a lot of times they’re based on cost reduction strategies and not flow-based thinking. So there’s a lot of issues.
Speaker 1: (02:05)
Of course, we want to check the logic reading down because, so employees do not have sufficient protective capacity and are not properly trained on investigation techniques because management views employee idle time as negative and management is unaware that the lack of training is resulting in initiatives being implemented that are not improving business performance. To me, that makes logical sense and then if I read down again, management views employee idle time as negative, not being productive, and management is unaware that the lack of training is resulting in initiatives being implemented that are not improving business performance because key performance indicators and process metrics are not aligned with improving overall business performance or objectives, and are primarily based on local optima, not global optima. So if that is our root cause, then of course we want to put in countermeasures to counteract that. So what would be a countermeasure that we need to emplace to counteract number five?
Speaker 1: (03:02)
So I came up with implementing KPIs and process related metrics that are aligned with business objectives and overall company performance improvement. So that countermeasure should solve that fifth WHY.
Speaker 1: (03:16)
Then we work up the WHYs and say, “Okay, does that solve number four, that management views employee idle time as negative and is unaware that the lack of training is resulting in initiatives implemented that are not improving business performance?” So not necessarily, so I want to put a second countermeasure in place here. So the second countermeasure I came up with is a need to develop a mechanism to provide immediate feedback on process abnormalities to management, so we need to reduce that management window. So not only do we need the correct KPIs in place that are aligned with business objectives, if a process is operating abnormal, we need immediate management attention. So we need that mechanism to give us feedback on that so we can take immediate action to correct this. So that’s the management window that we’ve talked about in previous sessions.
Speaker 1: (04:08)
So by doing these two things, does that solve the problem of, employees don’t have sufficient capacity and are not properly trained? Hopefully, because we’re tying the metrics to the business performance and we’re getting that immediate feedback. And within that feedback, we’re making sure that people are working on the right stuff and not on the wrong stuff. So remember our focus, our focus definition is doing what should be done and more importantly, not doing what shouldn’t be done, so this should give us the proper focus.
Speaker 1: (04:44)
So hopefully these two countermeasures can be put in place and it should solve the problem of organizations struggling with effective problem solving. So I would love people’s feedback on this to see if they believe this is the root cause or if I’m off track here, and that feedback, if you can leave that feedback in the post, that would be great. And next session, we’ll talk about how to change the mindset within the organization.