We all are continually learning. Learning from our own mistakes as well as from the experiences of others makes us better prepared to deal with future events. Organizations are no different — successful ones use insights gained from mistakes, incidents, accidents and other undesirable occurrences to improve.
Identifying those lessons you really must learn, regardless of their source, and putting into action a process to take advantage of the learning is the very definition of continuous improvement that can make your organization safer, smarter and more sustainable. The opportunities those lessons afford can play a key role in remaining competitive, effective, efficient and profitable.
Every site in your organization spots local opportunities. However, some ideas, e.g., ones related to operational improvement or process safety, that could have broader applicability often don’t get entered into a corporate knowledge- or incident-management system because site staff don’t appreciate their wider value to the organization.
Only a small percentage of opportunities identified at a facility will be important to its larger business unit. Even fewer will have enterprise-wide relevance (Figure 1). However, those that do must be managed in an efficient and effective way.
A More Effective Approach
HUAA stands for Heard, Understood, Acknowledged and Actioned. It consists of the following core steps:
1. Identifying opportunities (Heard);
2. Entering them into an electronic system;
3. Having experts review them (Understood),
4. Accepting or rejecting them (Acknowledged); and
5. Assigning each to leadership to resolve and track to closure (Actioned).
By Mike Bearrow, Rolls-Royce Controls and Data Services, and Kim Turner, consultant