Are you looking for an effective way to solve your business problem? Then root cause analysis will be helpful for you to analyze, understand and get the best solution after you discover the root of the problem. The biggest mistake that you may do when you face a problem is to jump straight in and take immediate action to deal with the visible symptoms (what you see on the surface without digging deep to reach the root). And here you need to put into your consideration that there is a clear difference between dealing with the symptoms and curing the root condition.
If you only deal with the visible symptoms, you will be suffering for the long term from the same problem, which will be more complicated and difficult by the time to be fixed as a result of the unclear vision of the core problem.
However, if you start to think in a different way and start to use the technique Root Cause Analysis (RCA), your operation will be better and problems will be fixed in an appropriate way to save your time, costs and reduce the risk of losing the skilled human power.
What is Root Cause Analysis?
There is no standard definition of RCA. Root cause analysis is an analysis technique that helps the business leaders to understand clearly why the problem occurred in the first place to identify appropriate solutions. rather than just treating the symptoms of the cause. RCA can be implemented with a collection of techniques, principles, and methodologies that can be used to identify the root causes.
Root cause analysis in steps
RCA helps in defining the root problem and its scope by following a set of steps, as follows:
- Determine the problem
- Start looking for the causes, to determine why the problem happened in the first place
- Discover the root cause
- Find the best solutions to reduce the current side effects and eliminate the problem from its root.
- Take an action, to avoid it returning in the future and need to be fixed over and over.
- Evaluate the chosen solution’s effectiveness.
Who can participate in RCA process?
When a problem occurred and needs to be analyzed, anyone can contribute to the process of Root Cause analysis. Cross-Functional teams can use this analysis tool to solve problems too, but they will need to have the authority to take actions to solve the root cause or they must return back to an authorized person, for example, the supervisor, manager, or decision-maker.
It is important for the team or the decision-maker to succeed on its mission to fully understand the problem dimensions. so, take your time to guarantee that the first step of analysis is completed correctly. The team in this phase need to get many details that can help them in providing answers for the following questions:
- What exactly has happened?
- How has it happened?
- Where has it happened?
- Who was involved in the case?
- It is new or has it happened before?
- What was the impact of the case?
There are some core tips that can help you implement RCA effectively. This will help you also gain your client’s or employees’ trust.
- Focus on finding the cause of the problem.
- Give attention to treating the symptoms as you are looking to cure the cause of an event.
- Put in your consideration that you may find multiple root causes not just one.
- Focus on why and how the cause has happened, instead of who is responsible for it.
- Gather as much as you can of effective evidence to support the root cause claims.
- When you implement a solution, make sure to consider how to prevent the root cause repeated in the future.