Effectively solve the right problem without creating new one(s)
published by Quality Arete Group
Root cause analysis is a problem solving methodology for finding the root cause of an identified problem or non-conformity. This methodology helps to implement permanent solutions. The following are the steps that can be followed, when doing a root cause analysis:
- Define the problem
- Collect data (Investigate Root Cause)
- Create proposed action plan
- Implement Action Plan
- Verify and Monitor the effectiveness of the solution
Tools of Root Cause Analysis
This tool is used to explore the cause/effect relationships by keeping asking ‘why’ until meaningful conclusions are reached.
Cause & Effect (Fishbone Diagram)
The various causes are grouped into categories and the arrows indicate how the causes flow toward the non-conformity. The categories (causes) are not predefined but, common ones include Material, Machinery, Manpower, and Methods. They provide a good checklist for initial analysis, thus identifying many causes for a single effect or problem. It can be used as a tool to sort ideas into useful categories, problem identification, and narrow down potential solutions.
First, brainstorm the major categories of problems & include them on a branch off the main arrow. Generic categories:
Then, brainstorm causes of the problem in each Category until you have exhausted all possible causes. In this method, while we are trying to understand the causes, we ask: What actually happened? When? Where? Why? How? So What?