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IMPROVEMENTS > Root Cause Analysis/Corrective & Preventive Actions

Root Cause Analysis/Corrective & Preventive Actions

One of the most important aspects of process improvement is to clearly identify what is not working. Usually people stop with the first reason they get and try to set that right. In this case they are working on the proximity cause, but not the root cause. Unless the root cause is identified and eliminated, the systemic weakness will continue to plague and the issues will keep coming up again and again.

Root cause analysis is done using Fishbone Diagrams, also known as Ishikawa diagrams. A Fishbone diagram helps us think in multiple directions and extract all possible reasons for the failure or issue being analyzed. The six arms of the fishbone diagram focus on man, machinery, method, measurement, material and Mother Nature. This approach helps us in thinking beyond the obvious ad focus on multiple systemic reasons which have led to the current failure. Once the various issues are identified, they are further drilled down to arrive at the root causes.

Another method followed is Why-Why Analysis. This helps us in arriving at the root cause. The first answer we get when we ask why the failure had occurred is the proximity cause. This is like a symptom. If we treat the symptom, it may subside for the time being and surface again after some time, as the tumor, the root cause is still unaddressed. When we ask again and again why the cause exists, we arrive at a point where we can not say why that reason is there. This is usually a management policy or a business reality. This is the root cause, also known as the organizational factor. Till this is changed, we can not stop the failure from recurrence.

Strategiqa conducts a comprehensive workshop on root cause analysis and identifying the corrective actions.

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