Saturday 1 December 2018

Root Cause Analysis (RCA) - Identifying Root Problems in Systems andProcesses

Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is one of the tools of continuous improvement and problem solving method that aims to identify the root of certain problems that arise in the system or process.

Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is a structure approach to identify various factors such as nature, situation and condition, magnitude, location, human, time of the occurrence of problems from past events to identify the cause of the problem that can be fix to prevent similar problems back. RCA is also useful for identifying lessons learn to prevent loss of re-occurring in the process.

Overview to Root Cause Analysis

RCA can be direct to many specific goals. The practitioners of continuous improvement formulate five basic approaches that can be done with RCA. They are:

  • RCA safety-based: is an effort to identify safety related issues. RCA is conduct by accident analysis and its causes, to improve workers' health and safety.

  • Production-based RCA: derive from the concept of quality control for manufacturing, RCA production focuses on the analysis of the causes of defects and problems that occur in the production process including machinery, operators, and equipment.

  • Process-based RCA: basically an extension of the production-based RCA concept, but with a wider scope, including problem-solving analysis that occurs in business processes.

  • RCA failure-based: derived from the practice of failure analysis conduct in the engineering and maintenance process, aims to determine the root of the problem that causes problems in both processes.

  • RCA systems-based: this is a combine approach that embraces other RCA approaches, with concepts adapt from different perspectives, such as change management, risk management and systems analysis.

Although RCA has many variations of approaches, the principle is essentially the same, that is, to examine in depth until found the root of a problem that occur. RCA can be done using various tools, such as 5 Whys analysis, Fishbone (Ishikawa) diagram, cause-effect diagram, Pareto chart, and so on.

RCA can be executed within the following 5 steps:

Step 1 – Define the problem

  • The issue of what is going on at the moment?

  • Specific Symptom Explain, which indicates the existence of the problem!

Step 2 – Gather Data

  • Do you have any evidence to the effect that it is true there is a problem?

  • How long have these problems exist?

  • What impact is felt by the existence of the problem?

In this stage, to do in-depth analysis before you step to look at factors that play a role in the onset of the problem. To create a Root Cause Analysis that you run effective, gather representatives from each department involve (ranging from expert staff to staff the front guard), who understands the situation. People who are familiar with the problems that are able to help you get an understanding of the current situation.

For simplicity, in this step you can use the method of CATWOE. This tool will give you the ability to view a situation from various perspectives: the Customer (customer), Actor (the employee involve), the Transformation Process (a process that is experiencing the problem), World View (the big picture, and areas where the experience the greatest impact), Owner (process owner), and the Environmental Constraints (barriers and limitations that would affect the success of the solution that will run).

Step 3 – Identify possible causes

  • Describe the sequence of events that led to the problem!

  • On the conditions of the issue as to what is going on?

  • Are there any other problems that arise along the main problem occurrence/follow?
In this stage, identify as many as possible cause of the problem that you and the team think. In many cases, people will identify one or two causal factors, then stop. But one or two is not enough to find the real root of the problem. Root Cause Analysis is done not only to eliminate one of the two problems on the surface. RCA will help dig deep and eliminate the root of the whole problem. In addition check out some tips to do the following RCA.

Use some of the following tools to help you find the causal factors of the problem:

Analysis of "5-Whys" – ask "why?" repeatedly until you find an answer to the most basic.

  • Drill Down – Divide into problem small parts more details to understand the magnitude of the picture.

  • Appreciation – Outlines the facts and ask "then why if this happens/does not happen?" to find the most likely consequences of those facts.

  • Cause and effect diagrams – Cause and Effect Diagram (Fishbone Diagram), in the form of a chart outlining all factors which might cause to see where the problem first appear.

Step 4 – identification of the root problems (Root Causes)

  • Why is the causal factor exist?

  • The reason what really became the basis of the emergence of the problem?

  • Use the same tool that you use in step 3 to find the roots of any factor. These tools are design to encourage you and the team dig deep at every level of the cause and the effect.

Step 5 – Add and Implemented Solutions

  • What can be done to prevent the problem reappear?

  • How the solution was formulate can run?

  • Who will be responsible for the implementation of the solution?

  • Is there any risk to be borne when the solution be implement?

Analysis of the process of identification of cause-effect you and found it the need for changes in the system to another. Another thing that is also very important, do the prediction of effects that will occur with the application solution. In this way, you can avoid/remove problems before they come to the surface.

One way to do this is to use a tool FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis). This tool is made to analyse the risks to identify potential points of where mistakes can happen. FMEA is also a good tool to be apply throughout the organization because the more the system beginning with FMEA, the fewer problems that will occur that require RCA in the future.

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