Problem Solving - Root Cause isn't always necessary, is it?

Here is an interesting link. I have no idea how I got to this last night, I guess I stumbled through a few links, tripped into this website and when I looked up I was staring at this!


Section 6 woke me up:

"Take the concept of cause with a grain of salt If ever there was a time-waster in problem solving, it has to be the search for the cause of the problem. Don’t misunderstand—the concept of cause is frequently relevant, but its usefulness depends on the kind of problem being solved. It’s not relevant all the time and, for some problems, it’s never relevant.
"For certain kinds of problems, mostly in contrived physical systems [ ] the concept of cause makes sense. Things are going along just fine, something happens, and matters take a turn for the worse. A component in a piece of equipment burns out. A fuse blows. [ ] In such cases [ ] the search for cause is indeed relevant.

"But not all problems can be said to be caused. And not all causes can be corrected.

"At a more mundane level, consider the employee who doesn’t know how to perform acertain task. Suppose this person was never trained to perform the task. Suppose the task itself was only recently made a part of the person’s job, the result of a reduction in force in response to straitened economic circumstances. What’s the 'cause' in this case? Is it the employee’s lack of knowledge? Is it the fact that she was not trained? Is it the newness of the task? Is it the reduction in force? Or is it the economic conditions that led to the reduction in force?"
This made think: in the case of our worker not being able to do the job, regardless of cause the basics of good training will fix the current problem. There is no point in addressing the past causes, unless the causes can reoccur and break the system again. Still, adhering to a system that reviews and retrains, always seeking out better ways to do the job will not have to face some of the many possible causes that the author ponders in this link.

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