How to learn from errors
The other Group brands also have a few things to teach us
W hen we are trying to understand how mistakes happened, we often keep our eyes open and look for the culprit without actually seeking the root cause of the problem. In these cases, certain assumptions prevail, and there is usually a desire to solve the problem as quickly as possible. This way of solving errors can be prevented by a root cause analysis (RCA). Unlike risk management, this method does not consider future development but examines what has happened and how and why it happened, in order to keep such errors from happening again. “At the same time, the international context allows us to learn from mistakes at other VW Group brands. This will primarily involve sharing conclusions from individual cases, which we will then incorporate into the automotive organisation standards”, says Helena Frostová from GO – Governance, Risk & Compliance. The analysis itself is based on the Method of Five Whys, which means you ask yourself five questions in a row to get to the root cause of the problem (see Method of Five Whys).
The requirement to carry out an RCA follows an internal audit finding, a suspected serious breach of regulations, a significant financial deviation from planned values, serious damage to the company's reputation or a complaint from the Group Commission. “The analysis will help us to understand whether the causes are directly related to human error or whether it was merely a one-off”, Frostová continues. As each department has the most comprehensive knowledge of its internal processes, the team where the situation occurred will carry out the RCA. “To avoid potential bias or professional blindness, external support can be used”, adds Frostová. RCA has already become part of our internal standards. You can find the respective data in the appendix to the procedural and organisational documentation KRL.0.33, available at ŠKODA Space > Informace > O firmě > Všeobecné informace > Governance, Risk & Compliance (ŠKODA Space > Information > About the company > General information > Governance, Risk & Compliance). In the future, all documents will also appear on the website of the GO department, whose staff is looking forward to answering any questions you may have. RED
The method of five whys
Imagine that on a winter’s morning, an employee slips on the sidewalk and falls. Ask yourself five questions about why this happened to find the real cause.