Finding the root cause of an issue could eliminate the problem completely, and in doing so can improve the quality of your product or service. Constantly monitoring your work processes and data is the secret, and luckily there are tools that one can use to make this easier. This is where root cause analysis comes in.
Here are several effective tools to monitor your work process and help locate the root cause of a problem:
Brainstorming and Fishbone Diagrams: These two are separate tools, but even more powerful when used in succession.
- Brainstorming: Here you would bring in your team or those you’ve chosen for this task, inform them of the issue at hand, and designate someone who will write down possible reasons and solutions that are brought up. Everyone involved is given the opportunity and participates.
- Fishbone Diagrams: This is also referred to as a cause and effect diagram, and it is a great way to identify the root causes of an issue and sort them out into categories. After your brainstorming session, you can put the possible solutions in with the appropriate category on the diagram. You will be able to sort out and keep only the strong possibilities.
The 5 Whys: Another simple tool that is powerful in its results. Just keep asking why; don’t worry, the answer will change as you keep progressing. Eventually, you will have the answer in front of you. This uses our own capabilities as a resource. It is genius in its concept and so simple to use.
Process Flow Charts: This is a visual of your entire work process. It lets you visualize the steps of your work process and what it consists of. You can even see what would change the outcome and at what point. The Process Flow Chart allows you to understand how a process works, which helps everyone stay on the same page when discussing a possible restructuring of a work process.
Interested in learning more about Root Cause Analysis? Learn more about our RCA classes!