The most common types of vision correction solutions are eyeglasses and contact lenses. They compensate for the inability to properly focus our eye’s internal tissues comfortably by providing additional focal strength that is measured by inspection and trial-and-error by the optometrist.
However, when we remove our contact lenses and eyeglasses the problem with properly focusing our eyes remains. We have addressed the issue by containing it with outside tools. They serve as a temporary answer to making us see better, but without the tools we remain helpless.
However, new surgical techniques for vision correction have come to the mainstream in the last 15-20 years. LASIK is an example of eradicating the problem so the problem no longer exists.* Instead of relying on outside tools to compensate for the issue, the issue is resolved internally so that no more compensations are required. Containment or duct-tape-like solutions would no longer be needed.
We have many scenarios in our processes where we do a lot more containment of a problem instead of eradicating it.
- An injection molding machine leaks a lot of oil, so we dump a pile of oil dry beneath the leak instead of tracing the leak and repairing it.
- Operators in our concession stand all handle the cash register and customer service in different manners, so one of us provides a quick demonstration of how to do it but doesn’t create work instructions or audit to standardize the process.
- The stadium’s Fun Zone for kids has a bouncy-pit that got an air leak last year. We put duct tape over the hole but in humid weather the duct tape wouldn’t hold so we just shut the bouncy-pit down.
- The concession popcorn machine uses a lot of butter now, more than it did before. We continue to dump the butter-like flavoring into the machine at high rates instead of investigating why the butter consumption has elevated.
- The stadium music computer’s database of music has half of its tracks play smoothly while the other half are poorly recorded or mixed and sound dreadful over the PA system. Instead of identifying the root cause of the poor sounding tracks the announcer just drags/drops those files into a “junk songs” folder.
By containing the effects of problems for the process outputs, we are adding a lot more steps to the processes and the problems will still remain. However, by using root cause analysis and making strides to eradicate the problems, there will be lots of time and effort saved in the future.
But it’s important to make the time to eradicate the problem and think it through strategically.
* – Yes, I’m aware that LASIK, much like any surgical technique, is not foolproof and works 100% of the time, and that even with LASIK vision problems may still remain. New techniques are coming out over time and eventually the defect rate will continue to dwindle.