Address both the symptoms and the causes
We want to address current symptoms BUT we also want to remember to explore and address underlying causes.
The Toyota/Lean community describes these activities as “containment” vs “countermeasures”.
I see it as acknowledging the importance of timing when responding to problems.
Contain the symptoms to buy time
Before exploring “how did this happen?”, deal with what’s happening.
Determining “how did this happen?” and identify appropriate responses can require significant time. Containing the symptoms buys you that time.
Address underlying causes with countermeasures
It’s not enough to contain the symptoms. We also want to understand the underlying mechanisms to identify more effective, longer-term countermeasures.