When little report-production problems become a disaster

banana skinI’ve sat in a lot of MI (management information) departments over the years and have noticed a common theme. You can tell when there’s going to be highly visible (and embarrassing) failure in KPI and measure production well before the event.

There’s a well established concept called Heinrich’s Accident Pyramid that asserts that a number near-miss events increase the probability of more serious events occurring. This is often used to assess the likelihood of  serious injuries and fatalities, hopefully heading off the fatalities before the event by addressing the  root causes of the “near misses”.

What I have noticed is that the more “small” issues with databases queries failing and report production interventions required, the more likely you are to see big embarrassing failures (like the Monday morning exec report failing at the last-minute).

This sounds obvious and intuitive, as does the solution – track and address the root cause of your “small” MI production issues. It could be a leading indicator of career fatality.

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