Upper Management makes changes to a report - How do I handle this?

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big_tj

#1
Ok; I have a meeting with a senior-Level Director tomorrow and I really need advice. So, here is the issue: We are performing work on behalf of another company - "the client" and we messed up. The client requested that we perform an RCA to determine the root cause of why we messed up and what action we will implement to prevent the re-occurence. As a quality professional, I facilitated the RCA session and practically went where the data led. I completed a 5-Why analysis, and again, let the data led the way. The final report was a bit troubling; it reflected several internal weakness that has to be addressed. Before submitting the final report to "the client," I submitted it to the Senior Director for review. On receiving his feedback, I saw several changes made to the report; changes that were fundamentally different from the discussions/decisions taken in our RCA meetings. I asked for a reason for the changes, and was essentially told that we have to be very careful what we report to "the client." While I understand this, I am do not agree with the adjustments. It's not as if some wordings were changed to "soften" the messages; the entire messages/outcome where changed!

So, I schedule a meeting with the Director tomorrow to discuss my discontent with the changes. Any ideas/suggestions on how should I handle this meeting?? To put things into perspective, even though I am two levels below the individual, I am at a pretty senior level in the orgnaization and have been working here for over 5 years. I am also well-respected by the Director and by other Directors. I just say this to say I do have some political capital that I can "spend" in tomorrow's meeting so I am not entirely "shaking in my boots." However, any suggestions/advice would be hugely appreciated!
 
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Coury Ferguson

Moderator here to help
Trusted Information Resource
#2
Re: HELP! - how do I handle this??

Do you feel that your (and the organization's) integrity is at stake? Is there any ethical issues with what they did?

These are things that you, personally need to decide. I would discuss why you don't agree with what the Director did and it wasn't what the group determined was the RCA. Be sure that you are able to show to the Director the facts and evidence to support your (and your group) decision. After all of the facts and evidence has be presented and debated, and the Director still stays with their decision, then...you do what the Director has decided, unless you feel that you can find another job.

The main things here are the questions I asked above.

Just my opinion.
 

Scott Catron

True Artisan
Super Moderator
#3
Re: HELP! - how do I handle this??

What you report to the client and what you end up doing to fix the problem internally can be two different things.

Is it your function to interact directly with clients? If not - let the director (or whomever) handle it. You worry about your internal fix so the problem doesn't happen again.
 

v9991

Trusted Information Resource
#4
Re: HELP! - how do I handle this??

Do you feel that your (and the organization's) integrity is at stake? Is there any ethical issues with what they did?

These are things that you, personally need to decide. I would discuss why you don't agree with what the Director did and it wasn't what the group determined was the RCA. Be sure that you are able to show to the Director the facts and evidence to support your (and your group) decision. After all of the facts and evidence has be presented and debated, and the Director still stays with their decision, then...you do what the Director has decided, unless you feel that you can find another job.

The main things here are the questions I asked above.

Just my opinion.
one aspect is show/convince director with Data;
But the benefit doubt is for the "Director"level person, who woRCA but don't state/reflect the actual depth of problem!!!):sarcasm:; this is dilemma one would face on first-lots/initial-interactions.

what really matters is to ensure that you are really acting on RCAs + when/if audited the findings would not result into diametrically opposite conclusions/evidences!!!)...again, the point is not to doctor/alter the records, its just point of selective/polarized-assessment being recorded. :eek::nope::notme: anyways, in either case its matter of more of integrity(& ethics of course);
 

Golfman25

Trusted Information Resource
#5
Re: HELP! - how do I handle this??

Without knowing the details of the "changes" it is difficult to advise. Make sure you look at the issue from his point of view. It is easy to discuss our own "warts" privately. But putting them in front of a customer can be a problem. As long as your able to get the problem effectively corrected, I wouldn't be too worried what HE sends to the customer. Good luck.
 
A

ankey

#6
Re: HELP! - how do I handle this??

Your director should be correct. We would keep as much "secret" as possible when facing / talking / reporting to our client....
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#7
I refer you to our thread on ethics ( Ethics - Moral law vs. Criminal law). The issue is whether the report becomes a lie or merely "putting lipstick on a pig."

That is, if the facts are there, but the organization [and its people] look less stupid, and the corrective action is viable, it's only YOUR sensibility that is damaged, but if the "blame" is falsely placed elsewhere, that can destroy the organization if the truth emerges.
 

somashekar

Staff member
Admin
#8
Ok; I have a meeting with a senior-Level Director tomorrow and I really need advice. So, here is the issue: We are performing work on behalf of another company - "the client" and we messed up. The client requested that we perform an RCA to determine the root cause of why we messed up and what action we will implement to prevent the re-occurence. As a quality professional, I facilitated the RCA session and practically went where the data led. I completed a 5-Why analysis, and again, let the data led the way. The final report was a bit troubling; it reflected several internal weakness that has to be addressed. Before submitting the final report to "the client," I submitted it to the Senior Director for review. On receiving his feedback, I saw several changes made to the report; changes that were fundamentally different from the discussions/decisions taken in our RCA meetings. I asked for a reason for the changes, and was essentially told that we have to be very careful what we report to "the client." While I understand this, I am do not agree with the adjustments. It's not as if some wordings were changed to "soften" the messages; the entire messages/outcome where changed!

So, I schedule a meeting with the Director tomorrow to discuss my discontent with the changes. Any ideas/suggestions on how should I handle this meeting?? To put things into perspective, even though I am two levels below the individual, I am at a pretty senior level in the orgnaization and have been working here for over 5 years. I am also well-respected by the Director and by other Directors. I just say this to say I do have some political capital that I can "spend" in tomorrow's meeting so I am not entirely "shaking in my boots." However, any suggestions/advice would be hugely appreciated!
Hi big tj...
By keeping the client and your company on the same page about this RCA report, can you assure your management continued business and growth as well ?
Does your management have confidence in you and you have confidence in yourself ?
Do you think, as a business owner, the mess up has to be shared with your client AS IS ?
Can the client get the cushioned hammer RCA report while you use the sledge hammer RCA report within to bring about the correction ?
 
Last edited:

v9991

Trusted Information Resource
#9
Re: HELP! - how do I handle this??

We would keep as much "secret" as possible when facing / talking / reporting to our client....
Coming to the aspect of maintaining "secrecy", it all depends on your presentation to client. you might not want to be embarrassed revealing all your RCAs, its agreeable to submit CAPA; at the least.!!!

In the long run, does it help the product - process - system and business?;
more often than not, this becomes a habit (bad one indeed...cause things which are ignored/swept-under-carpet are the ones which become the culture of the organizations; and I do not believe that ignoring the issues will lead to progress/improvements.
+
What is the use of having RCA if it cannot be practiced!!!
 
Last edited by a moderator:
B

big_tj

#10
Re: HELP! - how do I handle this??

Guys, thanks for all the great replies; they are truly informative! So, I guess the underlying questions are as follows:

1) Who "owns" the RCA - the quality team or operations? In other words, if the report submitted to the client is radically different than the result of the RCA session, who will take the flak if the client mentioned that the RCA was not robust enough/properly done?

2) If Directors can simply replace the result of a RCA meeting/session their personal "gut feeling" as to the root cause of the problem, why waste time conducting an RCA session?

3) Is it ethical to report something to the client/customer while working on a completely different cause internally?

4)How do you address the fact that the action items reported to the client/customer may differ than the ones that you are working on internally - they would likely differ since you are working to address two different issues (the root cause as reported to the client and the root cause that you actually found).

Thanks!

big_tJ
 
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