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Root Cause Analysis

Use Lumiform's digital root cause analysis forms to get a usable problem analysis that will help you improve your business processes.

Go paperless, conduct inspections easily and solve issues quicker with your teammates.

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Root Cause Analysis Template

Use this Investigation form to determine the root cause of a problem.

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8D Report Template

An 8D report template is used to document an understandable root-cause inspection based on the 8 Disciplines of Problem-Solving.

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FMEA Template

This template intends to recognise and document potential problems in FMEA.

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5 Whys Template

Use this 5 whys template to determine the root cause of a problem so that your business teams can prevent encountering them again.

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DMAIC Template

A DMAIC template helps Six Sigma users apply the DMAIC methodology as a root cause analysis for process improvement.

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What is Root Cause Analysis?


Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is a method for determining the root cause of a problem and eliminating it. A Root Cause Analysis checklist is used by cross-functional teams of subject matter experts to create a good problem analysis, collect relevant data, identify the root cause and implement solutions.


Avoiding recurring problems confirms that actions recommended by Root Cause Analysis can improve business processes or increase productivity.



These topics are covered in this article:


1. Examples of root cause analysis methods


2. 6 steps to systematic root cause analysis


3. Digital checklists for root cause analysis



4 Examples for Root Cause Analysis Methods


Determining the root causes of problematic business models requires a lot of precise work. There are various recognized methods for root cause analysis. Depending on the company, the methods should be checked individually for suitability for the company. The following RCA tools are examples of successful root cause analysis methods:


I. 8 disciplines of problem solving (8D)


This method originates from the automotive industry. 8D is a comprehensive root cause analysis of crucial problems in the production process. The 8D approach is used in many industries, such as healthcare, retail and manufacturing. With the help of an 8D checklist, you can define permanent corrective actions using collected data related to the problem.


II. Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)


The Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is used to anticipate certain problems before they occur so that negative effects can be minimized. For example, an FMEA checklist is used in product design to avoid costly production errors


III. 5 Whys Analysis


The very popular approach of the 5-Why method is used for a wide range of problems, but especially when implementing Kaizen. The method is simple. The question "Why did this problem occur?" is asked and answered five times. A 5-Why checklist documents this process in a clear manner.


IV. DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control)


The DMAIC process deals comprehensively with the analysis phase of problem solving. As part of the Six Sigma methodology it deals with the implementation of long-term solutions. A digital DMAIC checklist helps you set performance targets in a clear and goal-oriented manner.



6 steps to systematic root cause analysis


1. What problems need to be solved?


When systematically solving problems, it is essential to analyse all tools, working materials and methods


  1. Which tools are used and when?
  2. How do work routines work?

The next step is to define the cause of the problem, in order to understand the scope of the problem. Here, facts and data should definitely be collected and documented. This is the only way to determine what actions are necessary to solve the root cause problem. Also, make a priority list of your next steps.


2. problem description


Tackling and solving problems in a sustainable way is an ongoing process. Therefore, it is important that the entire process is documented in a structured way and all information is recorded. This includes problem description, visualisation of problems and comparisons between the individual vulnerabilities.


3. What are the causes of errors?


Now it is a matter of thinking about what causes the errors. To do this, there are two helpful techniques that can assist you in determining the cause of the errors.


Structured techniques


  1. Fault tree analysis
  2. Ichikawa diagram

Creative techniques


  1. Brainstorming
  2. Mindmapping to illustrate root causes
  3. Generating failure images

4. Assessing potential root causes


In this step you can now hypothesise the causes of errors. Make hypotheses and evaluate and compare them with each other. In this way you can draw up a list of priorities


5. action plan


Using the list of priorities, you can draw up a plan of action for remedying the problem.


6. Final documentation


To prevent the recurrence of the errors and problems, it is important to document all steps accurately. Also record final considerations of effectiveness, duration of effectiveness and incoming risks.



Digital checklists for root cause analysis


With a digital checklist for root cause analysis, you can easily carry out systematic problem solving via tablet or smartphone - online or offline. Use the desktop software to create your checklists for the necessary steps and then evaluate the collected data. For example, you can directly see the weak points of specific methods or processes and initiate the necessary measures.


The mobile app and desktop software from Lumiform offer you further advantages. All responsible persons can access the checklists at any time and from any location. If problems occur and corrective measures need to be implemented, they can be informed immediately from the app.


In addition, clean, transparent documentation helps to prevent the recurrence of problems. The use of Lumiform offers many more advantages for root cause analysis:




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