The root cause (Q-1 definition), is associated with an event or energy where the force, motion, or action was omitted or misappropriated. Root causes are verified when the “ENERGY” can be manipulated or controlled to make the problem come and go at will. Troubleshooting is often mistaken for problem solving, but with very different outcomes.
When looking for training in RCA, it is important to verify that the method for:
- Problem description is detailed and disciplined.
- Uses both Inductive and Deductive methods
- Root Cause is defined and verified through experimentation
- There is a link to Problem Prevention methods such as Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and/or Fault Tree Analysis (FTA)
- The brainstormed Possible Causes, Most Likely Causes and Root Causes are kept for future use.
- Future state problem solving and troubleshooting is improved through knowledge, which is captured through prevention action.
- The Control System improvement looks for:
- The “Escape Point” if the Quality System was capable of detecting the problem but did not.
- The improvement of an “Incapable” Quality system if it was not capable of detecting the root cause and subsequent problem.
The Eight Disciplines approach has all of these and the additional advantage of simplicity. One method and process which can be deployed across the organization and supply chain easily and effectively.