Root Cause Analysis: Getting to the Bottom of Problems
This winter we were among the owners of homes and businesses who had water leaks. People who had walls and windows repaired before identifying the original cause of the leaks will likely experience future water damage. Many businesses use Root Cause Analysis (RCA) to explore the starting place or root cause of negative business outcomes. To select the best solution to a problem, you need to know the original or root cause of the problem.
MindTools recommends that you take three steps to uncover the root cause of a problem. To see how RCA works, assume that Dynamo, a healthcare software company, is unsure what to do about an eighteen month decline in revenues:
To apply Root Cause Analysis, Dynamo should look for "patterns of negative effects" to find "specific actions" or "flaws in the system" that could have caused the problem. Typical causes may be:
We have uncovered the root causes of several client problems. In one case, prospective customers weren't buying software that automatically inspected large equipment as "it wouldn't work." We probed and found that staff actually feared they would lose their jobs! In another case, customers had replaced a client's fail proof network switches that worked on one platform. We found that the customers had migrated to a newer platform that our client did not support. We can help you get to the bottom of your problems!
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