Encountering a problem usually requires you to resolve the issue as quickly as possible to avoid the risk of it getting worse. In the business world, most entrepreneurs use Root Cause Analysis (RCA) to determine why a particular problem happens. In this article, we will determine what a root cause analysis is and why you should implement one for your business. We will also discuss the various existing RCA tools that you can use to make good use of this problem-solving method in your business operations.
What is a Root Cause Analysis?
Root Cause Analysis is a problem-solving technique that pinpoints the source of the problem using accurate steps and tools. By doing so, only the necessary steps are taken in the future to avoid the problem from recurring. RCA is done systematically, involving several steps such as:
- Address the existing issue
- Gather relevant data linked with the issue
- Identify potential causes
- Determine the causes that address the problem to prevent it from happening again
- Come up with a solution
- Implement necessary changes
- Observe if these changes make a positive difference towards making sure the problem doesn’t recur.
A Root Cause Analysis tool can analyze a particular system all at once. It is often used in complicated systems when multiple problems exist, as well as interrelated causes.
Why is Root Cause Analysis Important?
As mentioned earlier, RCA is important because it helps entrepreneurs determine the main reason why a problem exists. Then, they can focus on addressing that particular issue instead of wasting time on other potential causes that will not result in any positive changes.
What Are Root Cause Analysis Tools
A root cause analysis uses different tools and methods to help solve a problem and improve quality management. These tools promote continuous improvement to identify and solve problems. While ad hoc is a proven-tested approach, each of these RCA tools will help add intention and structure to your problem-solving efforts.
5 Types of Root Cause Analysis Tools
Some tools are for visualization, which helps you see and pinpoint root causes by presenting information in a newer format. Other methods require you to move beyond conventional factors to the true root cause. All of these RCA tools that we’re going to share will help you dig deeper and see your operations in a new light.
Here are five unique Root Cause Analysis tools that most manufacturing and industrial-level companies use:
Based on the famous Pareto Principle, the Pareto Chart is a graphical tool that helps identify the most common problems in your manufacturing process. Using this, you can quickly see which factors contribute to most of your issues and target those for improvement first.
The Pareto Principle states that “80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.” It consists of a bar chart combined with a line graph to visualize a frequency distribution in relation to relative significance.
The Pareto chart helps manufacturers see the most common forms of error at a glance. In addition, it displays the most common sources of a defect in descending order, helping your team prioritize more on improvements for maximum impact.
The 5 Whys
The Five Whys is a simple yet powerful tool that helps identify the root cause of a problem by asking “why” five times. This iterative process forces you to look beyond the obvious and determine what caused the issue.
The Five Whys is often used with other tools, such as fishbone diagrams and Pareto charts. By starting with a particular problem, you can use the Five Whys tool to work your way back to the root cause by asking “why” five times.
A Fishbone diagram is also known as an Ishikawa diagram or cause and effect diagram. It’s used to explore all potential or real causes of a problem. As the name implies, the diagram is shaped like a fish skeleton. The main cause (or spine) is placed at the center with the potential causes branching out from it.
The Fishbone diagram helps you systematically identify all potential causes of a problem by exploring different areas such as:
Also known as Scatter Plots, Scatter Diagrams are visual representations of a relationship between two variables. By plotting data points on a graph, you can identify any patterns that may exist and determine the strength of the relationship between the two variables.
Scatter diagrams are often used in quality control to study how different factors influence variability. This tool can help you find correlations between causes and effects so you can focus on solving specific problems.
Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA)
Finally, we have the Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA). This tool is used to identify potential failures in a product or process and determine the effects then, it helps you prioritize risks by ranking them according to severity and likelihood.
The Failure Mode and Effect Analysis are often used in conjunction with other tools, such as Scatter diagrams and Fishbone diagrams. By identifying potential failures and their effects, you can work to prevent them from happening in the first place.
Why Use DataMyte for Creating RCA Tools
If you’ve chosen a particular Root Cause Analysis tool to use in solving an issue, it’s equally important to select the right platform that will help bring it to life. DataMyte and its Digital Clipboard is the perfect solution for creating RCA tools.
With the DataMyte Digital Clipboard, you can quickly and easily create digital forms to record data from your manufacturing process. In addition, you can use our Flowchart builder to create custom diagrams to visualize your data. And with our real-time reporting, you can instantly see the results of your analysis and make decisions accordingly.
If you’ve created your RCA tool and have come up with the best solution to solving your problem, you can then create a workflow using our workflow builder to automate the process. Then, this will help ensure that your solution is implemented and followed through with.
The DataMyte Digital Clipboard is the perfect tool for creating RCA tools and workflows because it’s easy to use and helps you visualize your data in a way that makes sense. So if you’re looking for a platform to bring your RCA tools to life, look no further than DataMyte. Visit our website to learn more!
RCA tools will help add intention and structure to your problem-solving efforts. By using these Root Cause Analysis tools, you can delve deep into the problem and come up with the most effective solution.