Root Cause Analysis template: This FREE downloadable ZIP file contains seven Lean Six Sigma Root Cause Analysis tools in a Microsoft Excel format. These tools are used in the Lean Six Sigma Root Cause Analysis toolset.
You will find links below to articles explaining how to use each tool in the Lean Six Sigma Root Cause Analysis and how all four tools work in concert to understand and improve the root cause of a process problem.
- How to Complete a Project Charter
- How to complete the SIPOC(R) Diagram
- 10 Steps to complete the Value Stream Map (Current State and Future State)
- How to complete the Input (or Variables) Map
- How to complete the C&E Matrix
- How to complete the FMEA (Failure Modes and Effects Analysis)
- PM Tool for managing process improvements
What is Root Cause Analysis?
Root cause analysis (RCA) is the process of identifying the root causes of problems and finding the appropriate solutions. RCA assumes that it’s more efficient to prevent and solve underlying problems than treating symptoms or putting out fires. A variety of techniques and principles can be used to determine the root cause of an event or trend. RCA can identify the root causes of an event or trend, and not just cause and effect.
Goals and benefits of Root Cause Analysis
The root cause analysis is the first step to resolving a problem. To fully understand and fix, compensate or learn from the root causes, is the second goal. The third goal from this analysis is to use the information to prevent future problems or repeat successes. The third goal of RCA, which is to improve the quality of analysis, is crucial. RCA can be used to modify systems and core processes in a way that avoids future problems. To reduce future concussions, root cause analysis may be more effective than treating symptoms like a football player’s concussion. It may be productive to treat the individual symptoms. It may seem like you are solving a lot of problems. If we fail to identify the root cause of the problem, we will face the exact same problem over and again. She will not fix every Oxford comma that is omitted by a news editor, but she will train her writers to effectively use commas in all future assignments.
Core principles of Root Cause Analysis
Effective root cause analysis is guided by a few principles, some of which you should already know. These principles will not only improve the quality of the analysis, but they will also help the analyst gain trust from clients or other stakeholders.
- Instead of focusing on symptoms, fix the root cause.
- Do not ignore the importance of treating symptoms for temporary relief.
- Recognize that there may be multiple root causes.
- Instead of focusing on WHO or WHAT caused the event, think about HOW and WHY it happened.
- Use your methodical approach to find cause-effect evidence that supports root cause claims.
- Give enough information to guide corrective action.
- You can prevent or replicate the root cause of an issue in the future.
The above principles show that it is important to use a holistic and comprehensive approach when analyzing deep issues or causes. We should not only identify the root cause but also provide context and information that will lead to an action or decision. Good analysis should be actionable.
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