Better to be effective than efficient

The problem of frequent train breakdowns cannot be solved by a targeted approach ("If SMRT lacks resources, Govt should step in"; July 9).

Instead, it should be addressed with a holistic and integrated approach.

The goals of the organisation must be disseminated to all employees so that their goals are aligned with the corporate goals.

The approach needs to be implemented effectively and, preferably, through harnessing the total factor productivity of the organisation.

Should we always follow the traditional method of looking for causes when problems have already occurred?

Resolving the problem fast and efficiently is not enough. We need to do it effectively. Have the employees pre-empted the problems and resolved them before they occur?

It is true that "small, mundane bits of the system can also be its Achilles' heel", as senior transport correspondent Christopher Tan said in his July 9 commentary.

Hence, we need a non-traditional approach to solve the problem. Some aspects of the operation, no matter how minor, must be identified, monitored, examined and rectified to prevent such disastrous incidents from happening.

It is better to do things effectively rather than efficiently. If traditional approaches do not work, then it is time to try new approaches.

Fong Ho Keng