Find Root Cause First Time Every Time

By Adriaan du Plessis on Oct 21, 2014 4:19:45 PM

We often do ‘root cause analysis’ and conclude that a specific cause is present, for which cause we promptly proceed to solutions, to only find in due course that the same problem recurs.  While in such cases we may seem to be following proper process, we are in actual fact not doing so, else the problem would not recur.  As people who have a natural tendency to jump to conclusion and to fix urgently since this solves the issue.  For tougher problems, to avoid this pitfall, we can exploit the human inclination of quick conclusion and solution, and add a little patience and use more time.  

Try the following sequence (if you are familiar with a KEPNERandFOURIE CauseWise at all levels, this adjusted approach will be familiar to you):

  1. Do a Proper Problem Statement with Object and Fault.
  2. List 2 or 3 critically unique features of the problem.
  3. Now accommodate your urge and list possible causes.
  4. Test the possible causes using the “Thinking On Your Feet” Approach, and eliminate those possible causes that is clearly not the cause.  This results in a short-list of possible causes.
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Root Cause Analysis = Cost Reduction

By Adriaan du Plessis on Sep 23, 2014 4:07:00 PM

(Even if we often do not believe it!)

You often hear from problem solvers that while they solve sticky organizational issues, their bosses do not actually believe that their work activity contributes to the bottom line.  The foregoing may often result because the relevant decision maker does not make a link between work activity and revenue generating ability in a business.  However, we have to accept that all activity in a business, at some point will find its way to the income statement, either above or below the line, affecting the profit calculated.

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How To Leverage Your Maintenance Department for Significant Cost Savings

By Mat-thys Fourie on Sep 16, 2014 5:06:00 PM

Maintenance departments are normally associated with high costs, long wait times and recurring operational issues. This image could be eradicated within a very short time by understanding the difference between “technical cause” and “root cause.” The emphasis is always on fixing the issue so that we can have production running again. 

Let’s look at the diagram below. Any deviation from standard is something that a maintenance technician is trained to diagnose and fix in a very short space of time. The technician’s focus is about finding the technical cause and not so much about finding the root issue.

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