Root cause analysis refers to the in-depth study of the problem. It is done to acknowledge the actual and the main reason behind any problem. Root cause analysis is helpful to figure out and alleviate those factors that are causing any problem or are the main reason behind your problem.
Hence, root cause analysis is generally referred as a problem-solving tool to figure out the underlying reasons behind a problem—the root cause!
If you are facing any physical ailment or a medical problem, you might check the symptoms behind it and try to cure it according to the nature of symptoms.
This is actually a proper way to deal with a medical problem. However, what will you do if you have to face any problem in your workplace or in daily life routine? Do you think that approaching the symptoms behind it would be enough to solve your problem? Yes? No!
To solve a problem properly you have to approach the deeper problem prevailing inside your issue which in ACTUAL needs your attention. Because if you will simply end up solving the symptoms of a problem, what you are going to face is, that the problem will going to happen again and again and you’ve got to fix it up twice, thrice and even more than that.
Thus, to avoid a problem occurring again in the future, the best way is to fix it up in a proper way and the proper way to solve any problem is to finish or eliminating its root cause.
herefore, root cause analysis (RCA) does not only focus to figure out the symptoms of any problem, rather they interpret the facts and the reasons behind a problem in a formal way.
Root cause analysis (RCA) is a popular problem solving process and often-used technique. As this tool of the problem solving process helps to identify the origin of a problem, it will help you to find the answer of HOW? WHY?& WHAT?Associated with a problem. It helps:
• -to determine how did the problem occur?
• -to determine why did it happen?
• -to determine what was actually happened that has caused the problem?
In addition, RCA identifies the intensity, magnitude, time and location of a certain problem. Therefore, RCA gives you a way to approach such behaviors, actions and changes that are required to avoid such problems/ bad outcomes or certain harmful circumstances in the future.
Thus, using the root cause analysis problem-solving tool, you can learn those lessons, which are helpful in promoting healthy and better circumstances or consequences.
Root cause analysis is a systematic approach as well. Usually a five-step approach is used to identify the root cause of a problem.
1. It actually starts with defining the problem—what are specific symptoms behind a problem or what do you see in your problem.
2. The second step is to collect the data according to the problem—before reaching the factors behind the problem, you have to analyze the situation around your problem properly. The people around you who are familiar with the problem, might help you to understand your issue more efficiently.
3. The third step is to identify the factors around your problem—what are the reasons, causes and consequences that has lead the problem to occur. Too often people end up finding one or two reasons behind the problem, but it is not enough when you are using the RCA tool. You have to dig deeper to the factors towards your problem.
4. The fourth one is identifying the root cause or causes behind your problem.
5. The fifth step is finally to recommend the solutions and implement them to prevent the further happening of your problem.
Now, the question is what will be your problem solving approach if you identify an abnormal situation around you? Alternatively, in simple words what do you do when you come across a problem?
Probably you will simply solve it up and go on with your day. But root cause analysis approach will allow you to uncover the real reason to know that “WHY” that particular problem has occurred so that you can prevent it from happening again in future.
The reason for asking this question is to link it up with a five-why analysis approach. Five-why analysis approach is used to get to the root cause of the problem.
When you will reach the third why of identifying the reasons behind the problem, the “why(s)” will start paying off to you. Thus, you will reach nearer to the deeper cause of your problem by identifying the symptoms and their causes for your problem.
On reaching the fifth ‘why’, you will probably get to know the actual real reason behind your problem and you can now simply take the steps to eliminate it. It is called the five-why analysis because normally addressing five whys are more than enough to get access to the fact behind the problem. However, this approach is used primarily for low risk problems as it is not used for multiple causes.
Furthermore, there are “appreciation”, “drill-down”, “cause and effect diagrams” and impact analysis is used to approach the root cause of the problem. In this way, root cause analysis is a useful process for analyzing and solving a problem and to prevent its re-occurrence by figuring out the complex systems around the problem.