On Blameless Problem Solving

Practice Blameless Problem Solving

Part of our job is to encounter and solve problems. Those might be internal or external. Some of those problems are caused by other team members or volunteers who did not execute or choose wisely. When we are called in to fix something that isn’t functioning properly, we sometimes have a temptation to investigate the cause first so that we can assign blame. Our fundamental demonstrates a better way.

  • Fast – When there is a problem, we need to respond quickly to minimize damage and restore normal operations. Sometimes this can be challenging if the situation was caused by a volunteer leader who continues to defend the action. Our mission requires us to provide exceptional service to our clients; we need to take immediate steps, diplomatic ones if necessary, to correct what’s broken.
  • Facts – Once things are getting back to normal we need to ask lots of questions, sometimes hard ones, to figure out what went wrong. Sometimes people may not want to reveal a mistake because they feel it reflects badly on them. If our aim is to prevent this from happening again, we need to find the true cause and stick to facts (Fundamental 7).
  • Fix – Whatever failed is part of a system. We need to examine that system once we understand where the failure occurred and analyze the processes in the system (Fundamental 8). We may be able to adjust the system in a way that prevents the same type of error from happening again.

Blameless problem solving is an essential behavior for our team. Thanks so much for practicing it with others!