Root Cause Analysis as a problem solving technique

This was a technique developed by Sakichi Toyoda who was the founder of Toyota Motor Company. RCA was first used during the development of Toyota’s manufacturing processes in 1958. The root cause of a problem is not the initial reaction or response. It is not just restating the finding. Initial response turns out to be a symptom and not the root cause of the problem.

Root Cause Analysis 1


There would be no recurrence of the problem once the causal or contributing factors is corrected. The factor that caused problem or defect, should be permanently eliminated from the process for its improvement. The factor that sets in motion is the cause and effect chain that creates a problem. It is the “true” reason that contributed to the creation of a problem, defect or nonconformance. It is the identification of why an issue occurred and not just identifying or reporting the issue itself.  It is an in-depth process or technique for identifying the various factors responsible for a variation in the process used by the organization. The main focus is on systems and processes and not individuals.


During Significant or consequential events, Repetitive human errors are occurring during a specific process. When there is repetitive equipment failures associated with a specific process or when performance is generally below desired standard.


  • Identifying a problem, In the first step the basic problem is identified
  • Containing and analyzing the problem
  • Defining the root cause
  • Defining and implementing the actions required to eliminate the root cause
  • Checking that the remedial action prevented reappearance of problem


  1. Five Whys: Consistently the question why is asked until the root cause of the problem is attained, as a result the main problem is identified, curing which would lead to permanently ending the problem. It is a simple technique to drill down the problem by repeatedly asking the question “Why” (five may be a smart rule of thumb), you’ll be able to peel away the layers of symptoms which might cause the basis reason behind a problem. Fairly often the perceived reason for a problem can lead you to a different question. Though this system is termed “5 Whys,” you shall notice that you just will ought to raise the question fewer or a lot of times than five before you discover the difficulty associated with a problem.Root Cause Analysis 5 Why 1
  2. Cause and Effect Diagram: A cause and result diagram examines the reason why a thing has happened or may happen by organizing potential causes into smaller classes. It may be helpful for showing relationships between contributive factors. A Cause-Effect (also known as “Ishikawa” or “Fishbone”) Diagram could be an information Analysis/Process Management Tool used to:
    1. To investigate a problem, exploring, identifying, and displaying the potential causes.
    2. To establish the connection between the effects in an exceedingly given scenario and all of the potential causes
    3. To realize drawback sources/solutionsRoot-Cause-Analysis-Cause-and-Effect-Diagram
  3.  Pareto Diagram: It is a basic quality tool that used to diagrammatically summarize and show the relative importance of the variations between groups of data. Pareto analysis is a formal technique helpful wherever many there are completely different course of actions competing. the aim of a Pareto diagram is to differentiate the important few from the trivial several. The chart that ranks connected measures in decreasing order of occurrence. The principle was developed by Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economic expert and social scientist who conducted a study in Europe within the early nineteenth century on wealth and impoverishment.The above image is an  example of a Pareto diagram using sample data showing the relative frequency of causes for errors on websites. It enables you to see what 20% of cases are causing 80% of the problems and where efforts should be focused to achieve the greatest improvement.Root Cause Analysis Pareto Diagram 1
  4. Tree diagrams: Tree Diagram show all the potential outcomes of an occurrence. Every branch in a tree represents a potential outcome. Tree diagrams will be used to find the amount of attainable outcomes and calculate the likelihood of potential outcomes. It is similar to the fish bone diagram but is not specific to any department or stream and can be used to break any problem in an efficient manner.Root Cause Analysis Tree Diagram 1