A event which destructs the flow of any process is usually termed as an issue, But when the issues occurs in intervals of time then we call it a problem.Breaking a complex event into smaller one for better understanding is usually termed as analysis. The understanding would be more easier if it started from the root of the problem.

In simplier terms, Root Cause Analysis is a method of problem solving used for identifying the root causes of faults or problems. Root Cause Analysis is a part of more general problem solving process and an integral part of continuous improvement. Because of this, Root Cause Analysis is one of the core building blocks in an organization’s continuous improvement efforts .But its important to note that Root Cause Analysis in itself will not produce any results, it must be made part of a larger problem-solving effort for quality improvement

To perform Root cause analysis, there are a few steps  we should follow –

  • Define the problem
  • Identify the problem
  • Compare with the customer needs
  • Collect data relating to the problem
  • Identify what is causing the problem
  • Prioritize the causes which are important
  • Identify the solutions to the under lying problem and implement the change
  • Monitor the process
  • Communication should be proper

Root Cause Analysis- 5 Why Technique:-

The 5 Why Technique is a simple and effective tool for solving problems.Its primary goal is to find the exact reason that causes a given problem by asking a sequence of  “Why” questions. Each question has a background to the next phase of questions. Each “why” gives an understanding of what caused that single instance. The 5 whys method focuses in finding the exact reason of any problem.The Root Cause Analysis should be performed as soon as a problem is detected. While performing Root cause Analysis it is highly recommended for the Stake holders to be present so that any unreal events can be eliminated.Important point is that framing the right or relevant questions helps in getting the relevant cause of the problem.


The three components of Root Cause Analysis

  • Whats the problem?
  • Why did it happen?
  • What will be done to prevent it from happening?

The Limitations of Root Cause Analysis-

  • The thirst of finding the Root cause of a problem.
  • The quality of Root Cause Analysis investigations are very questionable.
  • Political issues like always.
  • Poorly designed or implemented Risk control measures.
  • Poorly functioning feedback process
  • Analysis done by focusing only one organization and its incident and too much of comparing it to all the problems.
  • Confusion about whom to blame and what to blame.
  • Problem of too many people handling or giving suggestions.

Drawbacks of Root Cause Analysis-

The main problem in Root Cause Analysis is it only assumes and focuses on only one root cause of defect . But in reality, situations can be more complex. There might be more than one root cause of defect.

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