W. Edwards Deming, a pioneer in the quality movement that occurred decades ago, succinctly described how a process works: inputs lead to outputs. In other words, companies are no better than how they perform a process, and they are fooling themselves if they believe the firm is doing well simply because of an absence of poor outputs.
Businesses now scrutinize the inputs of a process and adjust accordingly through data-driven decisions to achieve continual improvement. While this has worked wonders for quality, many safety departments have yet to get the memo. A company can only measure how well it’s doing by focusing on leading indicators (inputs that can be observed and adjusted prior to an incident), as opposed to relying on lagging indicators that may not reflect what truly is happening. Read the full article here.