Production Machining

MAY 2018

Production Machining - Your access to the precision machining industrial buyer.

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Page 18 of 63 :: 17 Helping Precision Machine Shops Be More ProducƟve and Proftable In my experience, when things go bad, the first questions asked are usually, "Who did this? Who is responsible?" These are the wrong questions to ask and will actually create obstacles to conducting the root cause analysis needed to make a permanent corrective action. Before we look at the questions to be asked, let's take a look at the Human Perfor - mance System to see where the performer fits in. The Human Perfor mance System The Human Performance System had its origins in the be- havioral psychology work of Thomas Gilbert, Geary Rummler and Kar en Brethower. Mr. Gilbert's original model noted that performance is a result of the interaction between a person's behavior and their environment. As the model gained an acceptance, it was further amplified to r eflect behavioral psychology, looking at stimulus, response and consequences. Just as a single tool alone is not the sole contributor to a machining failure, the performer alone is only one aspect of the company's system of parts production. The failure of the company's production system should look at the entire sys - tem, and not only the performer. Why it Pr obably isn't the Performer at Fault The human performer has the physical, mental and emo- tional capacity to do the work. They do until they fail. Why would we think they suddenly did not have what it takes to succeed? The human performer has the knowledge and skill through the training, education and practice or experience they have brought to the job. Why would their knowledge or training suddenly fail them? The last place to look for a system failur e, in my experience, is the "Who," or the human performer. We need to look at the system. Three Questions to Ask There have been many times when as a shift supervisor, plant manager or division director bad news developed and needed to be reported to me. The questions I asked were not led by "who." They were led with, "Was anyone hurt and is the area safe?" After assuring that no one was hurt, I asked these three questions in this order. Is There a Process? Not a practice, a process. A defined, written and detailed description of the scope of responsibilities, authorities, tools and steps to complete the work to the defined standard. If there is not a process, there is no reason to blame the per - former. They did their best to achieve a result despite the absence of a pr ocess. It's not the performer. Was it Followed? If there is a well-defined, written process, the next logical question becomes, "Was it followed?" If the process was not followed, then we need to ask not "who," but "why?" Was it not followed because of an exception or workaround dictated by conditions or circumstances? Was it not fol - lowed because the process was over-ridden by a supervisor's new instructions? Did materials, tools or methods change beyond the normal scope of the process instructions? Is the performer being pushed to exceed capabilities of the tools on hand? It is difficult to hold the performer to ac- When Things Go Bad, Don't Ask Who, Ask ... By Miles Free – Director of Industry Research and Technology Continues on page 20 FB O I P erformer Outputs • Behavior • Tangible outputs Knowledge/Skill • Training • Practice Feedback • Timely • Accurate • Specific Consequences Capacity • Physical • Mental • Emotional Input s • Job specifications • W ork instructions • Time • T ools • Other r esources C The performer is only one aspect of our system of providing products to our customers." "

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