What is Root Cause Analysis (RCA)?
The highest – level cause of a problem is called the root cause.
It is the most important to find out the Root Cause in the organization process. Root Cause is the “Bad affect at the bottom” that move towards the entire cause and effect chain system in the process.
An event which delays or obstruction the smooth flow of the process is termed as an issue and re-occurrence of this same event over a period of time is termed as root cause or problem. For better functional flow in the process, it is necessary to decrease the occurrence of root cause or problem.
Finding and workarounds for solving the issue is an immediate fix and which helps in avoiding the business failed. Getting the roots into the process which helps in removing the main cause of the defects. We need to follow various approaches, tools and techniques to resolve this root cause or problem.
Steps in Root Cause Analysis:
1. Gather data
2. Perform the analysis
3. Implement the solution
1. Gather data:
• Define the problem clearly
• Once we RCA or the problem has been identified, gather sufficient information about it.
• Need to ask what, How and when about the problem and document it.
2. Perform the analysis:
• For performing this analysis, there have a many root cause analysis tools and techniques available
• Needs to follow logically and choose the best possible way to solve the problem with simple, effective and least expensive method. Take care to eliminate the occurrence of causes.
3. Implement the solution:
• Recommend and implement the best solution
• Also need to take care to see that these corrective actions for do not face unforeseen problems. Need to check that problem does not re-occur.
• Use the data from the learning and analysis of the RCA and use it in the continuous improvement projects.
Can we really eliminate the Root Cause?
Sometimes, we cannot be able to remove the root cause completely. But, we may able to prevent or minimize its re-occurrence.
Tabular Method – Technique:
This is the process to prepare a checklist or table of actions that’s related to the current running process in any organization. In case of failure, the master checklist is referred to find deviation. This process is simple and direct actions.
Where it’s useful:
The RCA can be used in any field across any domain where the organization uses safety-based, process based, failure based and software based systems.
Examples where RCA can be used or candidates for RCA:
• Resolution of customer complaints
• Addressing the root cause from an internal or external audit
• Error/Defects existing in a product
The most common tools and techniques used in RCA are:
• Fishbone (Ishikawa) diagram
• Pareto Chart
• Cause and Effects diagram
• 5 why’s
Fishbone (Ishikawa) diagram:
Used during brain storming kind exercises when many possibilities of the resolution exist
Used to classify the problems based on the Pareto principle which says 80% of the problems have 20% of the cause.
Cause and effects diagram:
Used to find the causes and effects of all possible causes of the problem
Used to determine the root cause by repeatedly asking “Why?”