Thursday, December 12, 2013

Corrective Action Plan – The Nut To Crack Is In The Cards

A Corrective Action Plan (CAP) in a Safety Management System (SMS) is to change a process which is not effective in producing an acceptable outcome or desired result. A CAP is a proposed layout of a new and improved process to ensure desired result is achieved.

It is not a simple process to find the correct process. A process should be based on Enterprise Policy, Objective, Goals and Parameters. Let’s take a moment and apply a proven process to a card game.
An Organization decided that applying a recreational activity during working hours could increase the production level.

The Organization has established recreational activities for all staff.
The objective of recreational activities is to achieve organizational continuous satisfaction in job performance.
The goal of continuous satisfaction is to be able complete assigned task right the first time.
The parameters established are for staff to chose recreational activity based on their own interest. 

Based on the general policy an operational system, or game rules, are established for the game itself. These game rules are Policy, Objective, Goal and Parameter.
The Policy of the card game: Apply a regular 52 card deck to play game.
The Objective: Find out what card another person is thinking of.
The Goal: To pick out the correct card each time.
Parameter: Deal 52 cards randomly in 4 rows.

There are Standard Operating Procedures to this process, but since they are simple, they are unwritten and learned during training. 

                        By following a proven process it is possible to do the job right the first time; over and over again.

In this example the cards are dealt as in image 1. The process requires that one person is asked to think of a card and then identify the row where the card is. This row-identification could be verbally with pre-set identified row numbers or pointing at the row without pointing over the cards, or touching any of the cards. The cards are then placed with the identified row as the 2nd row in the deck and cards are dealt into 4 rows and question to identify the row is asked again. The process is repeated one more time, including asking to identify the row. 

The card the person was thinking of is number 5 in that row and is 3 of diamonds.

By following a simple process, it is possible to pick out what card another person is thinking of, time after time.
However, there are factors which could affect the desired outcome. These factors are Human, Organizational and Environmental factors.
Human factor could be that the person thinking of a card becomes distracted and during the process forgot what card it was. Organizational factor could be how clear the process is written and how simple it is to understand and follow. If the process is ambiguous it is possible to apply personal interpretations and a change in the process occurs. The process in example above may not be clear for someone who has not been trained. Training is an Organizational factor. Environmental factor could be that this recreational activity is required to be performed outside where strong winds could disturb the process.

Applying these simple principles of a road-map with Policy, Objective, Goal and Parameter to SMS processes are fundamental to know what result and outcome to plan for.