Whether your staffing partner has sounded the alarm about a looming shortage of software developers or the rising turnover rate in tech support, finding out why the problem is occurring and fixing it is a top priority for MSP program managers.
Performing a root cause analysis (RCA) that includes the “Five Whys” technique is an effective way to solve current problems or even forecasted or anticipated problems before they occur. The “Five Whys” is an analyzation method that is designed to diagnose the root cause of problems that involve human factors or interactions. By asking “why” repeatedly as you probe each symptom, program managers can peel away layers of symptoms and discover the root cause or causes of a staffing issue.
Here’s how staffing partners and program managers can work together to diagnose the underlying reasons behind a vexing contingent staffing problem.
Since each “link” in the supply chain brings valuable insight, data and a unique perspective, gather everyone affected by the issue to discuss the possible root causes of the problem. Plus, you’ll need support from vendors and stakeholders to implement a solution. Building an RCA team from the outset creates focus, streamlines the discovery process, and encourages buy-in from key stakeholders.
A lot of staffing problems seem simple on the surface but they’re actually more complicated when you look under the hood. For instance, you may have noticed that requisitions for developers are going unfilled. But are some requisitions taking longer than others? Upon investigation, you may discover that most contract positions are filled within a few days, but it’s taking two weeks or more to fill requisitions for iOS and Android developers. Avoid detours by refining and defining the problem that your team needs to solve and gaining agreement before you attempt to uncover the contributing factors.
Examine the problem from every possible angle. Review dashboards, performance data and speak with recruiters and affected managers to get their take on the issue. Then, dig into each step in the hiring process to spot possible bottlenecks or delays. Keep asking “why” to find until you feel confident that you have identified the root cause or causes of the problem and can go no further. Most importantly, avoid the temptation to adopt a quick fix. A problem is bound to recur or get worse if you only treat the symptoms.
Next week, I’ll discuss the ways that MSPs and staffing firms can band together to develop, specific, impactful solutions.