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Root Cause Analysis Blog

Build your RCA skills and engage in dialogue and best practice by reading our blog. In this blog our senior managers, trainers and external contributors will share details about Sologic, RCA in general and explore industry issues and events.

From Bias to Blame. From Blame to Failure.

By: Ed Wells, on 10/05/2018

Ask yourself, how biased are you?  If you’re anything like 660 of the 661 people interviewed as part of Dr Irene Scopelliti’s 2015 Management Science Report, then you’re pretty certain you’re far less biased than the average person. 

Defined as the Bias Blindspot, the findings suggest that ‘we’re much less likely to recognise bias in ourselves than we are in others’.  In other words, we consider ourselves largely immune to the pitfalls of bias but acknowledge that it’s something that effects everybody else. 

Bespoke Root Cause Analysis Training?

By: Suzanne Crouch, on 24/04/2018

Quite often we receive an enquiry for bespoke Root Cause Analysis (RCA) training. Namely, “Do you do RCA for aviation, or do you do RCA for finance?” This is an interesting question as there is, I believe, an unspoken question hidden within the enquiry, which is “Will your RCA method suit our discipline, sector or situation?”

This is an understandable concern, as each discipline and/or sector feels that their experiences and problems are unique. So here is the good news. The problems and experiences each organisation experiences may be unique but the process and method for understanding and solving them is universal.

Which Boss Are You? Premier League or NFL?

By: Ed Wells, on 13/03/2018

Back in 2013/14 the English Premier League reached an all-time low. Incredibly, the average managerial tenure at a club sunk to just 1.84 seasons per active manager.  And if you had removed Arsene Wenger’s 18 seasons at Arsenal that figure would have plummeted to just 1.05 seasons per head.  Just try to imagine any other multi-billion industry where the COO’s of the 20 leading firms had an average of just 1 year in charge.  Consider the impact on corporate memory, continuity, strategy, institutional learning, recruitment, or just about any other metric you’d want to consider.

“Mummy, can we come back again tomorrow?”

By: Suzanne Crouch, on 19/02/2018

As an industrial engineer Doug Dietz had spent two years designing an MRI scanner, working on the enclosures, controls and display, patient transfer.

He was more than proud of his achievement and chose to go see it in situ in the hospital…as he viewed his finished product, a technician tells him that a patient is coming in to be scanned. She asked Doug whether he wanted to see his product in operation – what an opportunity!

Doug steps outside the scanning rooom to see a young girl of about seven coming down with the corridor…slowly, head bent, weeping. Her parents are supporting her and as he watched her father bent down to his daughter saying “you know we talked about this, you can be brave’…

At this point Doug bends down and looked at the room from the angle of a child

What a Tangled Web We Weave

By: Suzanne Crouch, on 05/02/2018

Root Cause Analysis is skill and a process – but it is also mindset. There are defined actions (the skills and process) that take place but in order for these to be effective there are distinctive patterns of thought that govern the implementation of the RCA process.

Malcolm Sparrow in his book The Character of Harms illuminates this with a discussion of the cognitive habits which frame an effective approach to problem solving. These habits can be visualised through the relatively mundane task of undoing knots. This will be a familiar analogy to any of us that who have tried to untangle that drawer full of wires and connectors or clear out the sewing basket!

Working with the Hof

By: Ed Wells, on 01/02/2018

The Hof, better known to managers everywhere as Hofstadter’s Law tells us that ‘Things are going to take longer than we expect, even when we take into account Hofstadter’s law.’ Introduced by cognitive scientist Douglas Hofstadter in 1979, the law reminds us that the time lines applied to projects will be substantially short of the actual time that said task will eventually require – even when we try to compensate for this by applying, yes, you guessed it: Hofstadter’s Law! The more complex the task, the more aggressively the law applies.

Tuning out the Noise – the New, New Normal?

By: Chris Eckert, on 25/01/2018

Given that your day is usually toast before you sit down at your desk, there is simply no time for dealing with yet another problem, but they still keep coming. You know that your problem-solving skills should be applied to the latest supplier problem, yet you have 4 more supplier exception reports to complete by the end of the week. What on earth to do?

Brass in Pocket – It’s not what you didn’t train, it’s what you did train.

By: Ed Wells, on 08/01/2018

A few years ago we were asked by an established financial institution to run a Root Cause Analysis to help them uncover why some of their senior team had “gone rogue” and behaved in a manner that was in direct contradiction to the values of the company and the extensive guidance and support they’d been given.  The firm were keen to uncover the gaps in their training which allowed such damaging behaviour to occur.  On completion of the investigation the conclusions of the RCA shocked them.  The problem wasn’t what their staff hadn’t been trained to do, it was what they had been trained to do.

Delivering Management Buy-In

By: David Tooth, on 02/01/2018

One ‘phenomena’ that I have experienced a few times over the years is a lack of Senior Management commitment – not necessarily to the RCA process itself but to the outcome! How can this be? The Senior guys signed off the initial Terms of Reference but, apparently, do not like the outcome.

Now, if the RCA process has been implemented well, it will have been evidenced-based and thus robust, so we would like to believe that the outcomes are equally sound. Perhaps the team has uncovered ‘causes’ that were not anticipated? Naturally, these will require appropriate solutions.

FCA Focus – Resolving Complaints & Meeting Guidelines through RCA

By: Ed Wells, on 14/12/2017

Whatever the financial sector, we are all operating in a business environment of remarkable complexity and growing uncertainty. This, together with increased scrutiny and intervention from clients, media or regulators, has encouraged senior professionals and strategic thinkers in financial services to seek out effective problem solving methods to handle complaints and resolve disputes.

Sologic’s Root Cause Analysis is the most comprehensive and versatile structured problem solving technique available. Methodical, logical and evidence-based, Sologic’s method can be shared across disciplines and sectors, enabling it to become a company-wide process.

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