Root Cause Analysis (RCA)

Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is a problem-solving methodology that focuses on resolving the underlying problem instead of applying quick fixes that only treat immediate symptoms of the problem. A common approach is to ask why five times – each time moving a step closer to discovering the true underlying problem. It helps to ensure that a problem is truly eliminated by applying corrective action to the “root cause” of the problem. It is a useful process to understand and solve a problem. 

The Fishbone Diagram (also: Cause and Effect Analysis) is one cause analysis brainstorming tool used to identify all possible causes that could have led to the problem. There are 6 categories in a traditional Fishbone:

  • People
  • Environment
  • Machine & Equipment
  • Material
  • Method
  • Measurement

5Why Analysis is another method for finding the root cause, and is the process of repeatedly asking why a particular event occurred. The aim is to get to the underlying cause. It is called 5Why Analysis because the question “Why?” should be asked at least 5 times or more if needed.

Download our Root Cause Analysis tool below that includes a Fishbone Diagram and a 5Why Analysis table with an Action Plan.

Root Cause Analysis