Finding Root Causes

26 November 2003

Movable Type’s trackback to an entry on Dan Sheridan’s site tipped him to the tools for root cause analysis that he was searching for.

Were I tasked with the same chore, I’d also point to many of the tools for business improvement (TQM et al). One simplistic, but revealing technique might be done rather quickly. It can be done easily with the individuals on a project team or (less easily) with the team as a group.

You merely ask the ”why” question five times. The probability that you’ll be at or very near root causes after the fifth why is a near certainty. If you do this as a group, it requires some facilitation skills and some ability to synthesize consensus. Done with individuals, it requires some talent in identifying the similarities in the responses from different people.

Either way, it works.

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  1. Dann Sheridan    26 November 2003, 19:07    #