Preventative actions anticipate problems whilst corrective actions fix them.
Good performance is dependent on a robust process of identifying problems and fixing them. There are also actions which generally improve performance. All of these can be collectively regarded as improvement actions.
Opportunities to improve performance are identified in many ways. Surveillance programmes including:
- formal monitoring
- work area inspections,
- the identification of the root causes of incidents
- individual performance appraisals
- regulatory assessments
These are all mechanisms to identify improvement actions to remedy deficiencies. Suggestions communicated from an aware workforce are equally important because experienced operators are generally aware of ways to do things better.
Once an improvement opportunity is identified it needs to be implemented and for this to happen efficiently a prioritisation process and tracking system is needed. One way of doing this is to capture all actions in a common data-base and then close them out efficiently. The two prime considerations will be the importance of the action and the degree of difficulty or expense in implementing the action. In any case a schedule needs to be developed coupled with a periodic review of outstanding actions to ensure their systematic close-out.
It is important to separate actions that can be completed with immediately available resources from major projects. Major projects requiring significant capital will generally be anticipated and approved in the budget process and then implemented to a planned schedule.