About SOFTWARE Software overview GEN-OPS1 Tempo my-CI Consulting Interim CILA Blog Contact

Problem Solving – Technology passing the buck?

April, 05 2022

Mobile technology could just be getting in the way of solving problems.

When I first started my career oh so many, many moons ago there was very little in terms of technology in the workplace.  I can remember being given a desktop computer with the first installation of Microsoft Office and an overwhelming feeling of trepidation and excitement at the time.  However, we were still drafting design drawings for the aircraft by hand, mobile phones were a Hollywood fantasy, and ERP had yet to emerge.

What I do remember about my early career days was the problem solving capability in the workforce; both frontline and leadership having a quiet confidence in the ability to resolve issues quickly without the need to escalate.  I know there are many factors that affect this observation: experience in the role, prior learning through apprenticeships, education and so on but when I draw the comparison with my last ten years in industries, I notice that there has been a shift in problem solving responsibility, confidence and yes, competence.  I believe that the smart phone and email are making it far too easy to pass the problem up the chain:

FRONTLINE: ‘let them make the call on this one’ the default response as the problem is passed to management

MANAGEMENT: ‘pass the details on, I’ll look after it’ the default response as management lose faith in frontline capability

Has the mobile phone hamstrung our ability?  I believe so. Can I prove it? No.  But what I do believe is that technology is enabling managers to operate at a level below their function performing the role of fixer rather than coach.

When we couldn’t pass the problem on at the click of a button we had to pull on our own resources and initiative to deal with it.  We need to coach these basics again.  A simple question to ask is: How have you contained the problem?  Followed by: What is the countermeasure?  If the answer for the 2 is blurred or mixed up, you probably know right there that you need to start coaching rather than asking them to send you the problem in an email for you to action later.

Any problems with the above, send me an email.


Check out our GENEO Software:
GEN-OPS1 - SaaS platform for building and governing brilliant standards. Looking after the full cycle of a standard from cradle to grave and tracking competency.

TEMPO - optimising maintenance and long cycle work

my-CI - a mobile app for leaders to drive Continuous Improvement 

Director and Founder
Reduce maintenance turnaround time by 50%!
  • TEMPO is a system that has been developed to radically reduce the time taken to perform complex maintenance activities on fixed assets or fleet. It is a simple yet intelligent way of organizing your maintenance activities to complete the maintenance turnaround in half the time.
  • By organizing work sequences for trades/technicians and building critical paths and dependencies, TEMPO quickly highlights lost time opportunities in the overall planned turnaround.
  • Applying standard work instructions with step-by-step guides for process confirmation, TEMPO visualizes real-time progress for short interval control, providing instant decision making to maintain compliance to plan.
  • By using TEMPO to plan and execute complex maintenance turnarounds our clients have achieved 50%+ reduction in downtime, giving a 10%+ improvement in fleet availability.
Reduce maintenance backlog by 60%!
  • Unlock valuable maintenance time and use it to reduce chronic backlogs or stubborn deferred defects.
  • Give technicians more time for proactive interventions.
Improve asset reliability by 18%!
  • Enjoy the knock-on benefit of backlog clearance and proactive activities, improving the reliability of your assets.
Increase continuous improvement engagement by 180%!
  • TEMPO’s easy-to-use Concerns and Ideas capture feature engages technicians in driving improvements that help improve turnarounds, reliability, and availability
  • Identify the classic wastes (transport, inventory, motion, waiting, over processing, over production, defect) in relation to your maintenance activities.
  • Expose supply chain, kitting, resourcing, workplace organization, sequencing, tooling, and planning opportunities for review through TEMPO’s powerful reporting feature.
  • Analyze the hour-by-hour compliance to plan with the associated losses incurred throughout the turnaround event.
Back to top
{{BCD.web.gnav.slide + 1}}