Avoided/Misused Tools

Organizations go to a lot of trouble and expense implementing procedural tools for workers to complete their tasks better and easier. At times, however, these tools are avoided by the very personnel they were meant to benefit. The reasons for the avoidance typically boil down to the perception that the benefit of the tool is not enough to be worth the effort of using it. Although that perception is sometimes accurate, often it is not.

A prime cause of mis-perceptions is the way a tool is introduced and taught to users. Many tools are presented as too automatic and users are trained instead of taught. Training, however, works under a heavy burden that all contingencies can be covered in ways that can be remembered by the user. As an uncovered or forgotten contingency occurs, users are unable to adapt on their own and usually fail to see sufficient benefit to pursue it. As users are taught to understand a tool, its basis of benefits is better perceived and the user is more likely to find ways to keep using it when unforeseen contingencies occur.

MCS can evaluate the effectiveness of given procedures in a client environment and, if warranted, can develop a course structure that teaches users how to understand and adapt the procedures to different contingencies.

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