Why? Where? How? When? What?
Most problems don’t have obvious solutions.
That’s why they remain problems, and that’s why, it’s necessary to be aware of underlying causes, especially when planning to carry out a root cause analysis.
Root cause analysis is basically a process with a systematic approach for identifying a problem.
It provides companies a way to prevent or avoid leading causes of some accidents or non-conformities.
It also helps to avoid treating symptoms rather than true, underlying problems that contribute to a problem or event.
There are a few steps that we suggest
how to perform RCA
- The problem needs to be brought into a spotlight
- By pointing out it’s meant to answer a few questions which will help to bring out the right information
- To find answers sometimes needs to be dug beneath the surface of a problem
- It’s important to collect all data needed to better understand the given situation
- Information should be used to identify causal factors
- For better analyzation, it’s advised to bring the team together
- The problem needs to be evaluated from all possible angles
- Applying “5 Why’s” should be involved in the process
- Focus on a recommendation for eliminating the reoccurrence of problems or event
- Identify the impact of the failure
- Listing of probable causes and how many times they occur
- Sometimes the solution is insufficient, therefore implementation need to be enforced
- By navigating the solution, effectiveness can be verified
- The team should review the process (if applicable) to assure all counter-measures are being followed
Keep in mind: Root cause does not have to be the main cause.
Most RCA experts believe that the achievement of total prevention by a single intervention is not always possible and see RCA as an ongoing process that strives for continuous improvement.
Establishing root causes is rarely an easy task.