Operations is the hub around which all other support activities function, it is the reason why the organization exists.

Every problem within an organization, be it Maintenance, Safety, Purchasing, Reliability, Transportation or Housekeeping, eventually and inevitably impacts Operations. No more basic fact defines the need for an accurate, unified operations problem solving system.

Most of us are familiar with the old truism that to a carpenter every problem is a nail and every solution a hammer. It says as much about all of the solutions that go overlooked by the carpenter as it does about the carpenter’s perception of problems. The saying is just as true of the maintenance man, the safety engineer or the quality professional. Without a unified process that itself guides and validates, we all look at situations through the eyes of our experience, skill and education.

Operations problem solving is even a more daunting challenge when an organization encompasses different cultures, social mores, languages and geographies. This was the problem that faced Quebecor World as it acquired numerous printing facilities around the world and sought to unify control of operations. REASON was adopted as a means of identifying systemic root causes of problems and establishing unified worldwide policies and procedures to control the quality of operations.

Those of us who deal with problems within organizations know that a web of interactions and effects comes into play to produce operations problems. For example, a lack of control over one aspect of a Maintenance issue interacts with an inadequate Purchasing policy and a breakdown in a Receiving inspection policy to result in the wrong part eventually being installed on a production machine, which in turn later interrupts production and shuts down Operations. Compounding the “nail – hammer” problem is the fact that subjective problem solving approaches rely upon the personal opinions of the user to establish a root cause, to determine its importance and to develop an action plan to prevent recurrence. Subjective approaches to problem solving rarely produce consistent results. REASON provides a step-by-step repeatable process with criteria for accuracy and completeness that results in a method for solving problems that establishes a language in common for identifying and communicating problems, solutions and corrective action activities, and that accurately pinpoints all of the systemic root causes of the problem.

With REASON, different functions within an organization team together with a unified root cause analysis method to pinpoint internal systems that threaten the success of Operations. The same capabilities become possible to align with your clients and vendors to form a unified team to address your mutual operations problems.