“Most people spend more time, money and energy going round problems than trying to solve them”- Henry Ford.
There is usually a tendency to opt for a solution that provides the most expedient way to quickly deal with a problem when it occurs. However, because this only addresses the symptoms of the problem the problematic situation is most likely to reoccur.
World class manufacturing organizations use RCA as their most critical problem solving technique. RCA is used to identify, understand and resolve the root cause of problems. It’s a relatively new technology that is continuously evolving. It is described as an objective, thorough and disciplined methodology employed to determine the most probable underlying causes of problems and undesired events within an organization, with the aim of formulating and agreeing on corrective actions to at least mitigate if not to eliminate the causes; thereby producing long term performance improvement
The goal of RCA in simple terms is to find out; what happened, why it happened and what can be done so that it doesn’t happen again.
When faced with manufacturing problems, world class organizations implement two types of remedial actions; correction and root cause analysis with corrective action. These actions are separate processes, both important and must not be confused. A correction answers the question of what to do with the product or process that is non-conforming; this is handled immediately while root cause analysis with corrective action answers the question of why the product/process is non-conforming in the first place and how do we avoid having reoccurrence in future.
One method for getting at the root of a problem quickly is the “5 Whys” technique, which helped Toyota transform its production systems in the 1970s. The “5 Whys” technique involves simply asking “why?” (Or related questions – what, where, when, who, how?) at least five times, diving deeper each time from the problem to the root cause.
After the analysis has given, depending on the root cause a corrective action that corresponds to the root cause is implemented, monitored and verified.
RCA Training Session at Mabati Rolling Mills, Mariakani, March, 2016
We will be hosting Root Cause Analysis Training open course from the 28th to the 30th June 2017. Many applicants have already been accepted into this intake and we have limited places, so apply now to secure your place.