Learn/Perform Mixtape

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Summary

Root Cause Analysis asks: Why does the performance gap exist? (AOE 1. Performance Improvement; Sub section 1.4. Root Cause Analysis)

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Show Notes

AOE 1. Performance Improvement; Sub section 1.4. Root Cause Analysis

This learning objectives for Root Cause Analysis for this episode:
  • Explain the importance of identifying & addressing the root cause of performance issues
  • List and define the categories of root causes
  • Describe three tools for determining the root causes of performance issues and how they are used
  • Explain the importance of gathering hard data and the importance of reinforcement provided by people through storytelling
To do this Root Cause Analysis you need both objective (a target or purpose that leads to a goal) and subjective (personal opinions, points of view, emotions, judgements, etc.)data to get a full picture of what is going on. Learning & performance professionals might use a process improvement tool, like a cause-and-effect (fishbone or Ishikawa) diagram to help identify all the likely causes of an issue or problem. Another technique you might try is the Pareto Analysis to prioritize problem solving work based on the 80/20 rule, where 80% of the problem may be the results in as few as 20% of the causes. And of course, you will be collecting data to identify the root cause of a performance gap, just as we discussed in the previous episode no. 6 about Business, Performance, and Gap Analysis (AOE 1.3.).

For performance improvement, we often consider asking the following issues:
  • How well do employees see the results of what they do?
  • How well are employees rewarded or offered incentives for desired performance?
  • How well are people given the data, information, or feedback they need to perform just when they need it?
  • Do employees have the ability and time to perform their job function and expectations?
BONUS VIDEO: Introduction to Root Cause Analysis via MindToolsVideos offers a nice guide to the steps for conducting this type of analysis:
  1. Define the problem: What is happening? What are the symptoms of it?
  2. Collect data about the situation: How long has the problem existed? What is its impact of this problem? What can you learn about it? Gather and analyze this information before moving onto the next step
  3. Identify possible cause(s): What events led to this problem? What conditions allow this problem to occur? What other problems or actions seem to be related to the issue/problem? Use the 5 whys or cause-and-effect diagrams to identify all causal factors
  4. Identify the root cause(s): What or who is responsible for the problems you identified in the previous step? Why do these causal factors exist? What is the real reason the problem or issue occurred? Find more information about each cause.
  5. Recommend and Implement Solutions “Fix the problem”: implement a learning/performance solution to address the issue or problem; What can you do to prevent this problem from happening again? How will this “fix” be implemented? Who will be responsible for the solution implementation? What are the potential risks for this fix? Identify any changes needed to resolve the issues/problems
Examples of Root Causes found in performance gaps include (but are not limited to):
  • A lack of knowledge or skills on the part of the employee
  • A lack of appropriate resources to perform on the job
  • A need for more information for their role, about the organization, etc.
  • A problem or issue in the structure and/or process of the workflow
  • A lack of or a change in leadership/management
  • Issues with motivations or expectations
  • Poor incentives, rewards, and/or feedback
  • A hiring, selection, or promotion of talent problem
Root Cause Analysis Tools:
Importance of Gathering Data
To make an objective and informed recommendation for a learning/performance solution, you need to ensure the data is measurable and the items identified in analysis have the largest impact on performance in the organization. To ensure the root cause analysis is complete, be sure the following questions have been answered:
  • How do employees see the results of what they do?
  • How well are employees rewarded, recognized, or offered incentives for their work?
  • What are the penalties for not obtaining the outcomes of performance?
  • Are employees given the data, information, or feedback they need in a timely manner? And how?
  • Do employees have the support tools and resources they need to do their job?
Books mentioned in this episode:
Facilitating with Ease!, 4th Edition by Ingrid Bens

What is Learn/Perform Mixtape?

The Learn/Perform Mixtape is a podcast of my study notes as I prepare for the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP). More at: https://techknowtools.com/learnperform-mixtape/