If your company plans to use a business analysis strategy, you have reached the right place. As an analytical tool, root cause analysis for your business is an effective technique to understand the reasons behind any failure. It performs as a comprehensive, system wide-review of significant problems as well as the factors leading to them.
In this article, there are a few essential root cause analysis steps for your business. Read on to know.
Get All the Facts
Gather information from everyone who was involved with the issue at hand. That means people on the production floor, quality control team members, and any other group in your company that may have information about the issue.
Once you have a complete set of data from every person involved, please put it in a central location where everyone can access it.
It is an integral step in this analysis. Your team will thank you for collating all the relevant information at once instead of forcing the team members to repeat what they have already told other people on your staff.
Sometimes, getting answers from those who may be involved can expand your knowledge leading to additional questions that need answers. It is when you may start to see some common themes in your questions.
Don’t discount or dismiss any information anyone volunteers. If it seems unimportant, don’t worry about writing it down. Let everyone share their stories and then decide if it needs to be added. To find the root cause, you have to get all the information possible – no matter how big or small.
Analyze the Data
According to reports, operations, finance, and executive management were the top three functions in 2020 that drive business intelligence adoption.
Break them up into smaller groups after your team members have shared everything they know about the issue. Each group should focus on a unique area of the issue. For example, one group might be tasked with quality control issues while another discusses manufacturing problems.
Gathering information from many different perspectives helps find common factors contributing to the failure. Plus, it can give your staff an idea of what to focus on in the following root cause analysis process.
Identify Possible Causes
Now that your team has a better idea of what factors may have contributed to the failure, you can ask them about possible causes. By now, they should be able to develop some theories based on their past knowledge and familiarity with the failed process.
It’s important not to jump right into this step before gathering all the information. If you jump to the “solution” phase before everyone has a chance to share their thoughts, then someone may feel that they have been left out of the process.
It could cause them to withhold crucial information that might help you find the root cause.
After discussing possible causes, your team can work together to develop solutions. The solutions will vary based on their role and position within your company.
For example, if a manufacturing line has been producing items that are not to specification, you may decide that changing the equipment involved is a solution.
In this case, the quality engineer would be responsible for verifying the equipment change – before, during, and after the transition.
If your team agrees on potential solutions to prevent the recurrence of the issue in question, then they should be put into place as soon as possible.
Not only will this keep the company up-to-date with best practices throughout all departments, but it can also save money by preventing further rework.
People often make the mistake of skipping this last step. However, implementing solutions has several benefits that go beyond preventing future defects.
If you implement a solution that ends up providing no benefit (or even making your process worse), then you can still use it as part of an audit or internal review to improve your company’s standards.
Track Unit Performance
Finally, you must track the performance of your new changes. It means that you will need to monitor the process closely at first and perform periodic audits, later on, to make sure that the solution is still working.