Filters with two holes
I am pleased to see that my blog writing is continuing. Today, I want to talk about some principle related to quality management (hushhh!).
I recently got an iPhone which was originally purchased in USA in a contract then after end of contract, it was unlocked and brought to India. I tried to use first Vodafone SIM card, but 3G/4G was not working on it. Then I tried Idea, AirTel also but they were not working. Idea people showed me that the same SIM works on other iPhone devices so SIM doesn’t have issue. Apple showed that how Jio SIM works on it and after all resets/factory reset also could not resolve the problem. Finally, as only Jio SIM works on that iPhone, I moved to Jio. After reading through forums, I found that the 4G band used by that model of iPhone is supported only by Jio in India.
We face many such situations where things won’t work in particular pair. Just to take another example, some audio cassette doesn’t work on a player and it works on all others. At the same time, that player can play other cassettes but this one. Some find that cassette has issue and some people may declare player as a culprit. My view is that both the items in pair have some problem, which will get exposed only in a certain conditions.
Imagine if you have a sand filter with two layers of net. Sand falls from top passes through one net and then second one to get filtered. If one net (upper one) has a small hole in it and second net is good then, you won’t find any difference in quality of filtered sand as second net will act as backup. Now, let’s assume second net also has a hole which is not exactly below the hole (on upper net). Again this time, you won’t find any difference in quality as both holes are not exactly matching. However, if both the holes are exactly in same line, then unwanted stones will start falling through it and quality of filtered sand will get impacted.
During fault finding or root cause analysis we must remember this aspect. If something is working on one system and not working on other then there should be some “hole” in the system that must be found. Apart from system or the things, this analogy can be extended to human relations also. Two coworkers can work brilliantly with others, but they are not productive when they work in pair. In that case, as we can’t change people overnight, as leaders we should avoid pairing such people. Nobody is perfect in this world! Right? J