Root Cause Analysis Process & Model – Action Management Associates
A model and process for effective root cause analysis.
Any effective problem solving process or method for analyzing problems should incorporate some methodology for engaging in rational, root cause analysis. One of the strengths of Action Management’s problem solving and critical thinking training lies in our recognition that different tools are needed for effective cause analysis depending on the type of performance problem that is being evaluated. One process cannot identify the root cause of every problem.
If the cause for a deviation from a norm is not identified, any attempt to find solutions will be premature, will lack focus, and will be ultimately both inefficient and ineffective. When the cause of a problem is not known, problem solving should start with a cause analysis process where powerful rational tools can be used to isolate the cause or causes. Action Management’s cause analysis methodology utilizes three different rational cause analysis processes that use convergent thinking to identify and isolate the root cause of a problem. Our experience has proven that when solution finding techniques like brainstorming are used before a root cause has been isolated the problem solving process is easily derailed or confused due to the addition of unnecessary information.
The appropriate and effective use of a root cause analysis process that focuses on changes, distinctions, deviations, and differences helps teams avoid the costly implementation of solutions to problems that don’t exist. Instead, problem solving efforts can be directed to identifying and solving the real problem affecting performance and productivity.