Problem Solving Root Cause Analysis

Problem Solving Root Cause Analysis-53
If it won’t prevent recurrences, there’s likely a causal issue versus a root cause to solve.

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Using the 5 Whys can help you identify the causal factors that contributed to the problem you would like to prevent in the future.

For basic challenges, the 5 Whys themselves can be enough to get to the root cause of the problem.

In the non-technical example provided above, a clear solution to the problem would be to replace the latch so the gate closes without needing a brick to hold it closed.

With more sophisticated problems, the 5 Whys might not be enough to solve the root of the issue. What happens if you factor in that the plant waited to hire new team members until a week before the experienced operators retired?

This provides concrete next steps for anyone conducting the analysis.

Furthermore, it makes it easier to detect unusual root causes.

These solutions vary, and can include process change or other remedies.

Unlike leading indicator based analysis, root cause analysis is a reaction to an existing or historical problem.

Consider applying a different type of root cause analysis if your standard process isn’t well defined enough to provide a good basis for comparison.

Also, depending on how variable your processes are, the number of moving parts might significantly increase the scope of this type of analysis.


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