Problems are Good by ProQuest


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									                       | Management|
                                                                                      By Joel Levitt, President, Springfield Resources

                       Problems are Good
                       If you take away valuable lessons
                          The best organizations in the world are not the        a single-engine aircraft blows? Then the conse-             The second piece of dicey engineering was the
                       ones with all the systems and procedures or even          quences are dire.                                        size of the rudder, which was designed for a much
                       the most up-to-date technical solutions. They are            Airplanes have what is said to a defense in depth.    smaller ship. After the iceberg watch called out
                       the ones best at identifying and solving problems.        Many things have to go wrong for a plane to be lost.     the iceberg to the starboard, the ship started to
                          Want more success? Want a better maintenance           The Titanic lacked a defense in depth and suffered       turn but couldn’t do so fast enough to avoid the
                       effort? Then get better at finding and solving problems.   a series of problems that were catastrophic.             collision. The glancing blow was much worse than
                          Problems are good when causes and effects are             On April 14, 1912, the Titanic, the largest ship of   a straight head-on collision, which the ship could
                       determined and measures taken to avoid reoccur-           the day, struck an iceberg and sank within hours.        have survived, the experts say.
                       rences or similar problems. A good illustration of        Of a total of 2,223 people aboard only 706 survived.        Several procedures were causes to the accident.
                       this is an airplane crash and the investigation which        If we look at the causes of the sinking, we can       When the iceberg was sighted, the bridge called for
                       issues directives, changes to procedures, etc.            see engineering and design issues, procedure             reversing the engines. Only two of the three propel-
                          I want to dissect the famous case of the sink-         problems, faults in judgment and lapses in the           lers could be reversed, and that caused turbulence
                       ing of the Titanic and show how problems, even            laws and statutes that govern maritime affairs.          and cavitation, further affecting the small rubber’s
                       horrible tragic ones, can be pointers to areas               At 11:40 pm the ship hit the iceberg with a glanc-    effectiveness. Had the bridge turned toward the
                       where some attention would improve the process,           ing blow to the starboard side, causing buckling in      iceberg at the last minute, it would have brought
                       product or company.                                       the hull plates along the first five compartments.         the back of the ship out and around the iceberg.
                          Accidents are almost always a chain of events -        The seams of the plates popped open an inch or              In addition, the iceberg was spotted too late.
                       sometimes an improbable series - that add up to the       two for almost 300 feet allowing water to rush in.       Despite making way at 22 knots to make its inau-
                       accident. For example: The pedestrian was wearing            Metallurgists say the plates were brittle at the low  gural voyage a quick one, it was thought that any
                       black at night, it was rainy, the tires were bald, the    temperatures of the North Atlantic and a different       icebergs big enough to hurt the ship would be
                       driver was tired and late for a delivery, and in that     alloy would have been able to take the stress of         seen well ahead of time. Two watches were in the
                       moment he changed radio stations the pedestrian           the slicing blow against the iceberg. Other metal-       crow’s nest without binoculars. Other ships of the
                       tripped on a log and fell toward the street. If any       lurgists say the rivets were substandard.                day used iceberg watches on the ship’s bow. The
                       of those circumstances were different, avoided or            Ship experts point to major design flaws result-       Titanic captain didn’t think this was necessary.
                       mitigated, the accident might not have happened.          ing from saving money in the ship’s manufacture.            There were other causes, but let’s stick to these
                          Then there are the consequences of an event.           One was the walls of the water tight compartments        few. If any of these (and other) causes had been
                       If we blow an engine driving on most interstates,         did not extend all the way to the ceiling. They were     eliminated or mitigated, the Titanic would just be
                       we can steer onto the shoulder and stop, usually          well above the water line and no one thought that        another big ship from the turn of the century. It
                       with no loss of life or additional loss of property       would be an issue. It turned out to be pivotal in        would not have become famous.
                       - beyond the engine. But what if the engine on            the speed of the sinking.                                   The tragedy caused a firestorm of publicity and inqui-
                                                                                                                                                       ries were immediately started in both the
                                                                                                                                                       U.S. and England. These inquiries solved

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