By Wayne Stottler, Kepner-Tregoe

Imagine creating a workforce of detectives, all working collaboratively toward solving your most pressing business issues? This is a reality in some organizations, especially for startups where it’s all hands-on-deck problem solving.  What makes organizations successful at solving technical problems, regardless of size, is their focus on root cause analysis to solve their toughest challenges.

It all starts with data, which shouldn’t be much of a challenge to get these days. After all, data gleaned from the multitude of business intelligence tools can provide all the information we need to identify business challenges, from declining sales revenue to an increase in service call volume. But, unless an organization digs deeper to understand the why behind the data, they cannot effectively find root cause, or determine the path to a solution. And very often, there’s so much data, you just don’t know where to start.

This is why having a workforce of detectives who are trained in root cause analysis can give any organization a competitive edge.  

Employing Data Detectives

Sorting through the sheer volume of available data definitely requires some detective work. And, while advanced technology can sometimes point you in the general direction, it takes a trained and experienced sleuth to know how to gather, sort and organize information in a way that promotes understanding which clues are relevant, what leads to follow, and which are just distractions. Experienced detectives who are trained to find cause, understand what data they have and what they still need, which data is erroneous, and where to go find the best, most useful information. This way of thinking enables employees to offer rapid responses to critical problems, and help identify the best solutions to both their internal teams and to their clients.

Creating a Culture of Problem Solvers

So, how can a company create a culture of problem solving detectives? Start by training employees in root cause analysis.  When employees become better problem solvers, companies improve operational performance through increased efficiency, higher levels of productivity as well as improved client satisfaction. Employees, when equipped with the right problem solving tools to do so, can be empowered to solve challenges before they come major organizational headaches.

Sometimes machines break, systems go down, and clients start complaining. But, companies can turn failure into success when their workforce of detectives have the tools to find the root cause of their problems with speed and certainty. So, grab a detective cap and magnifying glass, and together, let's take problem solving to a whole new level.

Creating an organizational culture that’s focused on problem solving sounds like a pretty good idea to us, too.  Ask us how you can offer root cause analysis training to your workforce.

About Kepner-Tregoe

For more than six decades, Kepner-Tregoe has empowered organizations through a proven, structured approach to problem solving. As the leader in problem-solving, KT has helped thousands of organizations solve millions of problems through more effective root cause analysis and decision-making skills. Through our unique blend of training and consulting, our clients demonstrate improved efficiency, higher quality and greater customer satisfaction while reducing their costs.

Kepner-Tregoe has been the industry leader in problem solving training, tools and consulting for over 60 years – helping companies respond to incidents that have already occurred and proactively identifying and addressing situations that can be avoided.

Let’s have a conversation about what KT can do for your organization. Complete our interest form or call 800-537-6378.

Return to the KT Clear Thinking Blog