Root Cause Analysis Part 3 – Some Tools To Try…

Ever since the first non-conformance was written, we’ve been looking for ways to find the cause, do a corrective action and bid farewell to the profit sucking problem. It’s been a problem closing out non-conformances since I’ve been associated with ISO – 1992. All the studies of ‘Top non-conformances’ from Registrars showed closeouts as the #2 problem in 1996 (document control was #1 – QMI study). Twenty years later  in a BSI analysis of 250,000 audits over a 3 year period showed that nothing much had changed despite the incredible advances in software and automation. Document control is still #1, non-conformance close-outs are still #2 and issues related to Internal Audits are in the third spot. These studies are what guided the design of our cloud-based platform, by the way.

The two blog posts before this one have some tips about Root Cause Analysis (RCA) as well, but I thought it might be helpful to put the spotlight on some tools that you may want to take a look at to help your RCA. If you can fix a weakness that’s causing non-conformances and costing you $, the time invested will be well worth it. This list is not complete, but I see it as a good starting point for the next Root Cause Journey you might embark on:

  1. Ishikawa Fishbone – tried and true since the mid 1960s. Easy to use and VERY effective.
  2. Affinity Diagram – same methodology as Ishikawa, but you discover the categories from the brainstorming ideas
  3. Pareto charts can point to a weakness
  4. Scatter diagrams can reveal the source of a problem.

To be more proactive, you may want to consider Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA). A well done FMEA will also give you a good starting point if something runs amiss. Some organizations do DFMEA for the design function and PFMEA for process design/redesign. Works great for continual improvement projects, too.

If you’d like to learn more about RCA, why not join us on July 27th, 2020 at 12:00 noon EDT? You can sign up for this FREE WEBINAR with a simple click of your mouse:

Hope you can make it – we’d love to see you there!