Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hilarious Root Cause Analyses

A wonderful Sunday to everyone!

This week's Lazy Sunday post isn't technically humor-related; although I found this to be hilarious. I think, probably, because it mirrors my reality. If you work in IT, the situation (although the details are probably different) may ring true with you, too.

I found this on www.systems-thinking.org in an article on Root Cause Analysis.

The entirety of the article is good reading and quite interesting. The example (from the site; pasted below) of how over-analyzing a problem can sometimes lead to undesirable conclusions, is a joy to read :)

Cheers,



Scenario # 1




The Plant Manager walked into the plant and found oil on the
floor. He called the Foreman over and told him to have maintenance
clean up the oil. The next day while the Plant Manager was in
the same area of the plant he found oil on the floor again and
he subsequently raked the Foreman over the coals for not following
his directions from the day before. His parting words were to
either get the oil cleaned up or he'd find someone that would.



Scenario # 2




The Plant Manager walked into the plant and found oil on the
floor. He called the Foreman over and asked him why there was
oil on the floor. The Foreman indicated that it was due to a
leaky gasket in the pipe joint above. The Plant Manager then
asked when the gasket had been replaced and the Foreman responded
that Maintenance had installed 4 gaskets over the past few weeks
and they each one seemed to leak. The Foreman also indicated
that Maintenance had been talking to Purchasing about the gaskets
because it seemed they were all bad. The Plant Manager then went
to talk with Purchasing about the situation with the gaskets.
The Purchasing Manager indicated that they had in fact received
a bad batch of gaskets from the supplier. The Purchasing Manager
also indicated that they had been trying for the past 2 months
to try to get the supplier to make good on the last order of
5,000 gaskets that all seemed to be bad. The Plant Manager then
asked the Purchasing Manager why they had purchased from this
supplier if they were so disreputable and the Purchasing Manager
said because they were the lowest bidder when quotes were received
from various suppliers. The Plant Manager then asked the Purchasing
Manager why they went with the lowest bidder and he indicated
that was the direction he had received from the VP of Finance.
The Plant Manager then went to talk to the VP of Finance about
the situation. When the Plant Manager asked the VP of Finance
why Purchasing had been directed to always take the lowest bidder
the VP of Finance said, "Because you indicated that we had
to be as cost conscious as possible!" and purchasing from
the lowest bidder saves us lots of money. The Plant Manger was
horrified when he realized that he was the reason there was oil
on the plant floor. Bingo!





, Mike




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