Is your organization not as efficient as you’d like? Do you end up working overtime often and still don’t quite get all your tasks done? Have quality problems become a norm rather than an exception?
There can be nothing wrong with performing a root cause analysis in situations like this. It is a process of determining the underlying source of your problems and understanding how they came to be.
It’s used in all walks of life, but perhaps most importantly, it has practical applications in engineering and manufacturing. Without the method, you could spend months or even years without ever discovering what needs to change.
What is Root Cause Analysis?
Root cause analysis refers to the process of identifying the root causes that are responsible for causing specific outcomes or issues. It can also be referred to as a “five whys” analysis since its goal is to get to the bottom of a particular issue.
The technique can be applied both to an individual and a group of people. It could involve one person surrounded by too many deadlines or a group of employees who do not work well together.
It’s not just a matter of finding the root cause but also removing it. To have a healthy workplace environment, you must communicate to your employees why they should take specific actions and understand its reasoning.
Steps Involved in Root Cause Analysis
In general, there are three main steps to root cause analysis:
- Define a problem: What is the specific issue you want to address?
- Perform further analysis: Ask “why” many times to clearly understand the root causes of the problem.
- Identify solutions and actions: Of course, every organization is different, so it’s difficult to determine beforehand what solutions will work best.
Why is Root Cause Analysis Important?
The strategy is essential for a variety of reasons. Here are a few of them:
Identifies Root Causes of Problems
According to reports, a company with CEOs that spearhead data-driven decisions is 77% more likely to achieve business goals.
It can be daunting to find the leading cause of a problem. That’s where root cause analysis comes in. By asking “why” several times, you can get to the bottom of an issue and understand why it keeps recurring.
It also helps when you have multiple issues occurring at the same time.
Identifies the Right Solutions
If you can’t get to the root cause, it becomes difficult to implement any solutions. However, when you understand why things are happening and how they came to be, you can identify practical solutions that will solve your issues.
Get Management Buy-In
Once you’ve identified a solution or two that will work, you should present your ideas to management. However, if you can’t explain why specific actions need to be taken, the manager will likely reject the idea.
With this method, you can communicate the reasoning behind your ideas and show management why they should invest time and money into implementing them.
Addresses Employee Concerns
When employees don’t understand why specific changes are being made, they may become frustrated and resentful. If you perform a root cause analysis method and communicate the reasoning behind your actions, it can help everyone out in the long run.
Avoid Root Cause Analysis Blind Spots
One of the most significant issues with the business analytics method is that it’s challenging to perform when not even trying. When you make an effort to understand them, you can discover new issues or factors that might be problematic in the future.
If you look at the strategy as a never-ending process, you’ll always have your finger on the pulse of your team. In addition to identifying solutions, you can regularly ask employees to maintain a positive workspace.
Root cause analysis is a process that can be applied to different scenarios. Whether you have issues with one employee or several, using this technique for gathering information has several benefits.