Root Cause Analysis (Problem Solving)

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All organisations, in both the manufacturing and service sectors, experience problems in their operations. The problems may be technical in nature, or may be people related; the problems may be detected within the manufacturing or service organisatio... Read More

All organisations, in both the manufacturing and service sectors, experience problems in their operations. The problems may be technical in nature, or may be people related; the problems may be detected within the manufacturing or service organisation or, more seriously, be identified and reported by the customer. It is important that a well-structured approach to the solution of problems is established. There are well proven methods available to assist organizations to get to the root cause of problems and to develop effective solutions.


What's covered?

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Day 1
Introduction to Continuous Quality Improvement Techniques

  • Description of the implementation steps of quality improvement including Kaizen, Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA), Six Sigma, Genchi Genbutsu, Zero defects, Right First Time, continuous improvement

Seven Basic Quality Tools
Practical tools and techniques used in gathering, graphing, and interpreting data needed to identify and resolve problems.  Working with and understanding the use of these tools will form the main part of Day 1 of the course.  An important discussion here on the criticality of correctly identifying the type of problem we are dealing with, the tools to be used, and the appropriate approach to be adopted; is the problem of the variables or attributes type?.   Tools covered here, including the Process Flow Charts and Cause and Effect Diagrams, will be used during the team exercises on Day 2.

  • Histograms – capability analysis - understanding variability in processes, and problems associated with failure to meet specification
  • Control Charts  – identifying trends in variables and attributes data
  • Scatter Diagrams – identifying the relationship between two variables
  • Pareto Charts – graphing the frequency and incidence of problems
  • Process flow diagrams and process maps – charting the steps in the process – assisting in the understanding of how the process should work, and identifying sources of problems
  • Cause and Effect Diagrams – documenting the outcome of the brainstorming process in which the team identifies all possible causes of the problem

The importance of working in teams when solving problems – structure of the teams – cooperating to solve problems

Poka-Yoke – Mistake Proofing
Techniques used to mistake proof processes against errors occurring, and assisting operators to avoid mistakes and get it Right First Time;   Team exercises using Poka-Yoke techniques.  Course delegates will be encouraged to use these principles in the practical problem session on Day 2.

Corrective Action

  • The corrective-action process – problem identification, brain storming, 5 Why’s techniques, root cause analysis, correction, recurrence control, and verification of effectiveness – overview of the tools to be used on Day 2.  Discussion on the problems to be tackled by the teams on Day 2 of the course.
  • Analysing effectiveness of their implementation


Day 2
Practical Problem Solving Session with the Tutor acting as Team Facilitator

In-House Training course
The group of participants will be divided into smaller teams of approximately 3/5 people.  Each team will be allocated an example of a problem from the Company’s operations, and that they are to analyse in the practical session.  The examples of the problems that are to be analysed will be discussed between Company Management and the tutor in advance of the training course.

Public Course
The participants will be grouped together in small teams.  The tutor will provide a practical case study and detailed instructions on how teams undertake the analysis of a problem, and produce solutions.  The tutor will act as facilitator during this team session.

Team Work
The tutor will provide the participants with a detailed procedure set out as a series of steps that is to be followed as they progress through the analysis.  The teams will document their work on flip chart sheets or a white board, in the following typical steps:

  • Detailed specification of the problem
  • Documentation of the background information and evidence that is available including the circumstances surrounding the problem
  • Brainstorming of the causes – the participants will document all possible causes under a number of headings including: Equipment, Methods, People, Materials, Environment
  • The team will discuss each listed possible cause in detail so that each team member has sufficient understanding to enable them to decide on the likelihood of a link between the cause and the problem
  • Short listing of the causes using system of voting provided by the tutor
  • Further detailed analysis of the short list using the 5 Why’s technique.
  • Conclusion as to the most likely root cause(s) of the problem
  • Discussion on the preventive actions to be taken for each of the root causes
  • Documentation of the problem , the root causes, and the recommended corrective/preventive actions

On completion of the team exercises, each team will make a presentation of their work and findings, and the day will finish with a general group discussion on the Root Cause Analysis methodology

Who should participate?

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  • Product managers, team leaders, and team members
  • All engineering and technical staff
  • All personnel that participate in problem solving teams

What will I learn?

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Participants achieve the following learning outcomes from the programme;

  • Contribute in teams to the solution of problems that arise in their own work environment
  • Use the problem solving tools to collect and analyse data
  • Lead problem solving teams
  • Demonstrate understanding of the structure of root cause analysis which leads to the satisfactory elimination of problems

Who are the tutors?

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How do we train and support you?

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In-House Courses
For In-House courses the tutor will contact you in advance to discuss the course programme in more detail in order to tailor it specifically for your organisation.

Course Manual
Participants will be provided with a very comprehensive course reference manual, written by the course tutor, which includes worked examples of the use of the quality tools.  The manual includes a detailed description of how a team should undertake an 8D analysis, which could be used as the basis of an In-House procedure, and also includes useful blank forms for use by problem solving teams.

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1 training day
Course Times

9am to 5pm

Public Virtual Training: €395

(includes course documentation)

Delivery Mode
1 day virtual training

News & UpdatesNews & Updates

Process Flow Charts are an essential tool in Root Cause Analysis

There are several tools used in Root Cause Analysis.  One of the most important is the Process Flow Chart. Problems arise when the process fails to performs it...

Read More

Root Cause Analysis (Problem Solving)

Duration: 1 day

Root Cause Analysis (Problem Solving)

Duration: 1 dayVirtual Training Price: €395