Root Cause Analysis
Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is a systematic method of identifying and solving the underlying problems that contribute to an undesirable outcome. It's used to reduce or eliminate future problems and prevent recurrence.
Root Cause Analysis involves asking questions like: "Why did this happen?" "What caused it?" "What were the contributing factors?" And "Why would they cause this?"
What is a cause and effect diagram?
A cause-and-effect diagram is a visual representation of the causes and effects that lead to a particular outcome. The diagram can be used to help you figure out what steps are needed to produce a desired result, or it can help you find solutions for problems.
A cause-and-effect diagram will have one column for each cause, with each row representing an effect. The columns are organized from left to right according to whether they are causes or effects, with the first column being for causes. Each cell in this column will contain a brief description of what that particular cause is.
The second column contains descriptions of the effects of each cause. These descriptions should also be brief enough so as not to clutter up the diagram too much.
The third column contains links between each cause and its corresponding effect(s). These links can be arrows pointing from one cell to another or they can be words such as "causes," "results," "results in," etc.
What is a Fishbone Diagram?
A fishbone diagram is a tool used to help you organize and prioritize your thoughts. It's based on the idea that, when you're trying to solve a problem, there are often multiple causes of that problem. The "bones" in the diagram represent different categories of causes, and the lines between them show how those causes relate to one another.
The first step is to write down all possible reasons for your issue. Then, break each reason down into its component parts, like so:
- What could be causing this problem?
- What could be causing that problem?
- And so on!
Once you've written down all your ideas, it's time to organize them. Write each category at the head of a new line and then draw arrows from each category heading down towards all possible causes within that category. This will help you see how each factor relates to every other factor (and how big of an impact each one has).
What is 5 Why’s?
Root cause analysis is a "5 Whys" approach, where you ask why five times, then look at the results of each question to determine the root cause. This can help identify causes that are invisible or hidden, including errors in thinking or communication.