In 1957, Charles H. Kepner and Benjamin B. Tregoe were working in social science research for the RAND Corporation. There they observed a number of decisions in government and private corporations that they considered to range from questionable to catastrophic. They became convinced of the need for a new methodology based on rational processes. Since RAND were not interested in persuing that research, they left RAND and founded Kepner-Tregoe and Associates, initially based in a garage. After a period of intense study of the available literature they developed a set of techniques which they have licensed to many trainers and consultants and in which they have trained many internal consultants (including Daddydog) in corporations and government departments.
After much experience and research, Kepner and Tregoe published their classic book The New Rational Manager, in 1981. In that work they describe four basic techniques based on teams of trained people. The first technique is often used as part of Root Cause Analysis, while all four are use in such areas as Total Quality Management in association with the Deming Cycle of process improvement. The four Kepner-Tregoe techniques are as follows.
Problem Analysis (PA) is a rational methodology for identifying, structuring and solving problems.
Decision Analysis (DA) is a method of structuring decisions between alternative courses of action and recommending the course of action that best achieves defined goals. Daddydog has extended this methodology to take account of uncertainty in the subjective estimates used in this methodology and to determine whether two different decisions will lead to outcomes that are statistically significantly different.
Potential Problem Analysis (PPA) is a method for identifying problems that may arise during or after the implementation of a chosen solution to another problem and either preventing them from occurring, or, if that cannot be done, minimizing their impact should they occur.
Situation Appraisal is a methodology for ensuring the most efficient use of the other three techniques. It covers how to identify situations requiring intervention, how to break down complex situations into manageable sub-units, how to set priorities, and how to manage a number of simultaneous activities efficiently. The steps of Situation Appraisal are:
Identify concerns by listing them (deviations from standards, threats, opportunities).
Separate the concerns into manageable sub-units
For each concern, set the priority level by assessing seriousness of impact, urgency to resolve and growth potential.
Decide on which processes to employ (PA, DA, PPA).
Plan for who is involved, what they will be doing, where they will be involved and the extent of involvement.
The New Rational Manager also discusses the formation of problem solving and decision making teams, managing human performance problems, and implementing rational processes in an organisation.