Upcoming Cause Mapping Public Workshops

Solutions Root
Cause Analysis

Step 3.   What should be done? - Solutions (Root Cause Analysis)

The solutions step is where specific actions are defined to prevent the issue from occurring. This step begins once the analysis step is complete.  The solutions step breaks into two parts:  what are the possible solutions and from those which ones are the best solutions?  Possible solutions are collected first so that different ways to solve the problem can be identified.  The analysis is objective and based on evidence, while finding the best solutions is subjective and creative.

Each of the causes in the analysis can be challenged with the question.  “Is there a way to control this cause?”  Ideas come from the people that are involved with the problem.  The managers, engineers and supervisors will have ideas.  The designers, manufacturers and vendors also will have ideas. And the people that operate and maintain the system or equipment on a daily basis will have ideas.  Ask for input - especially ask the people closest to the work.  The people that work in the system in question must be part of the problem solving process.  They are the ones that actually execute the process.  There is a significant amount of brainpower within organizations that is underutilized because we don’t regularly ask for their ideas.

The best solutions are selected based on how effective the solution is and the level of effort required for implementation.  The effectiveness of the solution is a function of its reduction on the impact to the overall goals.  The level of effort is a function of the resources, cost and time to implement the solution.  The possible solutions can be ranked based on effectiveness and effort so that the best solutions are revealed.  These best solutions are then part of an action plan with specific owners and due dates.