Abstraction Levels

December 13, 2018

When an adverse event occurs that we’d like to keep from happening again, we conduct an investigation.  In a Sologic RCA, we create a logic diagram with the “problem” on the left and preceding causes flowing out to the right.  This diagram is not the problem, but an abstracted approximation (model) of the problem based upon conditional “if-then” logic.  

When Lessons Learnt are Lessons Lost

December 07, 2018

Over 400 years ago, Captain James Lancaster, an English sailor, performed a benchmark experiment in his pursuit of a prevention for a disease called scurvy.  Scurvy was one of the biggest problems at sea at that time, killing or debilitating many individual sailors as well as rendering the operational capability of a crew so diminished that the remaining sailors struggled to man their ships safely. 

The 'Big Seven' pitfalls when problem solving (and how to avoid them)

December 03, 2018

All organisations have problems and some of those problems are worth solving. Clearly
some teams and some people are better at solving problems than others, so what pitfalls
can you avoid in order to improve your problem solving skills and outcomes?

Risk vs. Return

November 13, 2018

I pick up sharp things when I see them.  I’m talking about nails, screws and wire – not glass.  Whether I’m on my bike riding around town or walking down the street, I always take the time to stop and pluck any sort of sharp thing up off the ground.  Having had my share of flat tires, I know how disruptive they can be.  So I gladly do my small part in trying to prevent them before they happen.

Which Boss Are You? Premier League or NFL?

October 01, 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.

Cars stacked up in a wreck

Causal Patterns and Five Examples

August 21, 2018

Those of us that do root cause analysis for a living also identify patterns that make our jobs easier, albeit with marginally less screaming and crying.  Although we teach cause and effect analysis as being a process of deconstructing effects into their individual causes, that’s not always how we do it professionally.  We often find that we’ve been down a certain path before.