Root Cause Analysis – Getting to the Why

There are many ways to approach problem-solving, one of which we often use in business, is called Root Cause Analysis. Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is a systemic approach and a way of linear thinking that gets to the bottom of why a something occurs and figuring out what might be done to prevent these problems in the future. Below is one five-step process used to solve for RCA.Root-Cause-Analysis-Getting-to-the-why

1.  Clearly define the problem:

  • What is happening?
  • What symptoms come along with what is happening?

2.  Collect and analyze the data:

  • How long has this problem existed?
  • What is the impact of this problem?
  • What can we learn about it?

3.  Determine possible causes by asking “Why?” continually until you can go no further:

  • What happened first, second, third that brought us to this setback?
  • What conditions are allowing this to occur?
  • Why?  Why?   Why??

4.  Identify the root cause:

  • What is responsible for the problems identified in #3?

5.  Brainstorm & implement solutions to fix it