Since I started teaching root cause analysis more than a decade ago, I’ve taught more than 500 courses on several continents, totaling thousands of students, and have worked side-by-side with many of those students as I facilitated investigations on their behalf.
Although I often heard from students who were familiar with multiple RCA methods that our team did teach the most effective method available at the time, I still observed that there were concepts students struggled to grasp, they often pined over building cause and effect charts, and they didn’t always feel confident going out to facilitate RCAs on their own. In fact, they’d often say things like, “you make this look so simple, but I don’t think I can do it myself. Can you just come do it for us?” After years of reassuring them that they COULD do it themselves, that this was not rocket science, and then working harder to help them grasp the concepts, my colleagues and I realized there was more we could do to help them feel and be successful.
We drew on our experiences teaching students from many industries and disciplines, spanning many years as we watched them try to put their RCA training into practice. We also carefully listened to the feedback from those students and their organizations.
I’ve now had the opportunity to speak with many of our clients about Sologic’s improved root cause analysis method, products and services, and to teach this curriculum to students from multiple companies during recent public seminars. Feedback from RCA program champions and students over the last few weeks has been really rewarding – validating that we accomplished what we set out to do.
Talking with long-time clients, I’ve heard comments like:
- “It makes more sense.”
- “It’s easier to find causes.”
- “Charts will be more complete.”
I’ve also heard feedback like this from new students:
- The manual is very professional -- obviously the culmination of years of first-hand experience and research.
- The process and language is universal and intuitive -- it makes sense.
- The concepts are understandable and applicable.
- I feel comfortable putting the new skills into practice on the job.
And here is what I observed by watching and listening to the students:
- Aspects of cause and effect that students struggled with before make more sense to them now. Students are picking up and are applying the basic concepts more quickly. Our effort to focus on what’s really important to them in their jobs, and avoid unnecessary theory, was effective.
- The curriculum follows the same progression that students will follow when they actually perform an analysis, so it’s easy to learn and will be natural to put into practice.
- The content we’ve included related to gathering data and facilitating groups of people through the RCA process is extremely practical and applicable to students. In the past, these concepts were not addressed as directly. Now, with more complete coverage in the course, they’ve been received very well and students place high value on them. This is another aspect that helps take away any hesitance to put RCA skills into practice.
- Students were able to build charts more accurately and quickly than I’d seen before during my vast experience teaching.
Our intention from the beginning has been to provide our clients with an RCA method and curriculum that would give students more confidence and determination to effectively solve and prevent costly problems. Based on client conversations and feedback over the last several weeks, I think we are on the right path, and I look forward to seeing what we’ll accomplish together!