Six Steps of Effective Root Cause Problem Solving

All problem solving has 3 common factors.

Problem Solving Common Factors

Effective Problem Solvers do three things well:

Problem Solving  Has 3 Phases

Effective Problem Solvers follow a logical, disciplined  of a three phase order:

Creative Root Cause Analysis Has 6 Steps

Problem Solving must be “user friendly.” Using a method should not be problematic in itself. Therefore, Creative Root Cause Analysis has identified six simple steps to effective problem solving. These steps guide an individual and team effectively through the three universal phases.

The Alarm

The ﬁrst action step is the “reaction”, the initial indicator that a problem exists. An Alarm is a signal or “red ﬂag” that warns of potential difficulties. The Alarm is an “indicator of a possible problem.” Since problem solving is reactive, it is important to safeguard against “under” reaction and “over” reaction. The alarm is a signal to pay attention. The alarm is information. The sole purpose of the alarm step is to recognize an indicator of a potential problem and to accurately describe the indicator in terms of what has been observed.

The Expectation

The second step of identifying the problem is to ﬁnd a way to measure the alarm in order to determine if it is or is not a problem. An “Expectation” is the assumed/explicit measurement that triggered the alarm. It is used to measure and deﬁne the problem. The existence of a problem implies that there is an “expected result” that is being hindered. The expectation is a description of the acceptable situation, at minimum, or the ideal state, at best.  It is impossible to define a problem accurately without an Expectation which is the standard for measurement.

The Surface Problem

The third action step of identifying the problem is to accurately deﬁne the problem by measuring what has occurred (The Alarm) against what was expected to occur (The Expectation).  The “Surface Problem” is an obstacle that blocks the expectation. It is the difference between the Alarm and the Expectation.  Surface implies that the problem is immediate and observable. However, what is visible is not the entire problem. A surface problem is caused by single or multiple, less visible sources which are Root Causes.

The Root Cause(s)

Once the problem is identified it is time to expose the causes, the root system that feeds and fuels the surface problem. “Root Causes” are the factors that fuel the Surface Problem. They are the source of the problem, condition and the tributary events that bring about the problem. While exposing the root causes is simply stated, the work of exposing causes is challenging. The nature of root causes is that they are hidden and not immediately obvious. Therefore, problem-solvers must “dig” and “search” for all source causes. Creative Root Cause Analysis facilitates the discovery and understanding of root causes.

The Solution(s)

There are two steps in this phase. Each separate activity is treated as an action step. The fifth step “Solutions” is to create a course of action to address the root causes and solve the problem. This is the point where creativity is required. Creative Root Cause Analysis describes a way to generate creativity and guide the problem solvers to a viable solutions.

The Tactical Plan

The sixth step “Tactical Plan, details the implementation of solution(s). To complete the task, problem solvers must develop and implement a tactical plan.

Creative Root Cause Analysis, a highly effective and easy to use problem solving tool.

Read more in Problem Terminators, a Amazon book https://www.amazon.com/Problem-Terminators-Dr-Jack-Oxenrider-ebook/dp/B00K3V2WLG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520867096&sr=8-1&keywords=problem+terminators

#BAPROBLEMTERMINATOR learn from Master Facilitator’s Guide Volume II, Creative Root Cause Analysis https://jackoxenrider.com/products/creative-root-cause-analysis/