Sunday, February 21, 2016

When Number 91 Comes Home

It is known that a process works when the process produces the same outcome each time. A process is a recipe for desired reaction from inputs. When a tire shop puts air in a tire, they expect the tire to be inflated. When a baker puts flour in the mixer, it is expected that the outcome is bread. When a vehicle heads out on the highway, it is expected to reach a planned destination. Outcome do not happen by luck of the draw, but by planning, preparation and process management. As long as there are no changes to process inputs, the results are identical. In process application human factors is one significant variable that would change the outcome. When the tire shop puts air in the tire the tire may or may not be inflated to standard psi. The baker may or may not mix exactly the proper weight of flour, or the driver may or may not take the scenic tour which is a day longer.  The outcome met the expectation for an inflated tire, a bred, or arriving at destination. However, the human factors variables are deviations that would change cost, quality, or plan.

Process result is not magic, it’s planning and action.
In the process for private number 91 to come home, the travel takes a few days and through mountainous terrain. Every year the travel takes place in the winter and there are obstacles and closed roads that affects scheduled travel plans. However, by luck there is someone there to help out when help is most needed and travel through back roads and on unconventional equipment, the magic of the seasons takes private 91 home just in time to join the family reunion.

There are leaders who expect process magic to happen in a real-process time and that private 91 makes it home no matter what. When organizational leaders see human factors as a frustration and the barrier to effectiveness, they may attempt to make improvements by withdrawing from reality and enter into a virtual world of magic. If leaders only see the frustration of personal known human factors and focus on that, they continue to became unbearable and extremely frustrating. Management may decide to improve human factors by hiring new personnel with unknown organizational performance. If human factors only is to be improved by introducing new personnel, how many new are required before human factors are no longer variables?

  Harnessed human factors produces exceptional results.
Human factors variables are variables to the degree of competency in job performance. Highly skilled personnel are well trained and induce less variables than less trained personnel. Some personnel have at times been involved in fatal incidents and major hardship onto other people. Immediate reaction from management team to these types of failures are to fire personnel.  This method is simple in concept, it is practical, it is an immediate cost saving, it shows that management are exercising powers, but the question then becomes how many have to be fired before all personnel are failure-free in their job performance?

When human factors are harnessed, variables of human factors are transformed into acceptable levels of job performance. This is not only applicable to lower level personnel, but also to top management personnel. Human factors are harnessed by accountability and training. When applying organizational training and accountability in a just culture, the variables of human factors becomes strategy process solutions, oppose to process failures.