On experiments

As E&C professionals, we routinely notice flaws in our policies, training, controls, audits and investigations.

The solution we identify is sometimes uncertain and often outside of our budget. We need to make a case to our business leaders but all we have to offer is a certain extraordinary expense and an uncertain outcome. We can’t blame them for being reluctant.

There is a slower but more convincing way to go about it. We can conduct a small experiment in a discrete part of the business to test our idea. If we see the promised improvements, we can then extrapolate the savings to the entire business and make a stronger case to our leaders.

It may be discouraging to think that we will need a year or more to accomplish something great. But it’s better than proposing 10 untested ideas that go nowhere.

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