During my career so far, I've been asked to do different performance improvement projects and they do have one thing in common: most of the time, the companies wanted to ask me to focus on a single asset, process, sub-function without much discussion beyond (either they got that advice before, or thought they had found the root cause already).
However, in most cases, I found that the real root cause of the perceived underperformance was hidden somewhere else, unless it came from competency gaps from the employees or faulty design of the process / equipment.
So for me the real questions are the followings (beyond the starting key question on the left here):
- Is the performance gap due to lack of alignment to business need or due to the actual issue with the process itself?
- Is there an alignment issue to other parts of the business or other processes?
- Are we sure that the adjacent processes / assets / departments aren't contributing to the underperformance?
- Are all employees involved in the process execution have a full understanding of what they need to do?
After these, we can start digging into the processes, competencies, asset performance of the identified root causes to complete the issue resolution.