Root cause analysis

There is an urgent need for transparent root cause analysis today. Problem cannot be fundamentally solved if they are not acknowledged openly and transparently. Errors occur when an associate does what he/she is not supposed to do or does not do what he/she is supposed to do. Both aspects are equally important. Customers give you the benefit of the doubt when something is not done, but tend to be more critical of errors that are explicitly part of ‘not to do’ list and still occur, since this list is smaller and hence critical when ignored.

Enterprises with a strong quality focus:

People do not document mistakes through which they could have avoided making similar mistakes in future and it could also have served as a learning process.

Very often, corporate companies do not even document their learning from success. A lot depends on the culture of the company. If the culture is one of taking things for granted, there will be no learning from success. Similarly, if the culture is one of blame when failure occurs, there will be no learning from failure. Overall, in most cultures, the tendency is to own success and disown failures. It gets compounded by a false sense of pride where only success is rewarded and performance management systems that only recognize successes.

However, this would not be true in an organization that is open to experimentation and promotes it as a culture, since inherent to experimentation is failure and learning from it to make the next one better. In an environment that is demanding on both process and results, there is likely to be a healthy degree of tolerance for mistakes as long as people learn from it to produce even better results next time. In an environment that operates on fire when the first thing goes wrong, experimentation is likely to be weak and so will the willingness to learn and tolerate errors.

However, there are some brave hearts that not only acknowledge, but also record mistakes. For instance, at Integreon, high-lighting mistakes is encouraged so that level it is not repeated again and used as a learning tool. They are used to find robust solutions through fundamental root cause analysis. The processes become system dependent then people-dependent. It also becomes a useful tool for reducing the learning curve for new joiners.

All processes at Integreon operate within the frame work of the Integrated Business Management System. Practice for sharing it across individuals within the team and across the processes. This results in fewer mistakes and the overall performance increase because of the quality output delivery. Day-to-day errors and mistakes are captured in the Service Recovery Report and reported to the management and widely circulated in the relevant service lines through rank and file.

Elixir Web Solutions follows a similar system. As a company, it believes that knowledge management systems are built to capitalize on the knowledge accumulated by various people through the years. Therefore, it has a strong focus on quality and delivery excellence.

The learning is often shared in learning sessions. It is also propagated forth through word of mouth. However, it is still person-lead. Thus while the culture is enabling, the practice of formal documenting is yet to be strengthened.

Triumph India Software Pvt Ltd on its part has set up a Quality Management System (QMS) wherein it captures the best practices and lessons learnt at the end of every project. This knowledge repository helps ensure better quality in our future projects.