RCA Software for Root Cause Analysis

Two techniques that are used within quality management to uncover the root cause of a problem are the 5-Why Method and Ishikawa Diagrams. Both these techniques are integrated in CAQ.Net and allow you to identify the complex and often convoluted causes of a problem.

The 5-Why and Ishikawa Cause and Effect Research Methods

The 5-Why Method

The 5-Why Method, developed by Toyota, uses a simple yet effective question asking technique in order to find root causes. Repeatedly asking the question of “Why?” peels away individual causes bit by bit and eventually exposes the root cause of a problem. The 5-Why Method is implemented in the RCA Software CAQ.Net by means of a dedicated assistant.

An example: the production tolerance parameters of a product are not met.

  • Why? (1) The machine is not functioning correctly.
  • Why? (2) A required maintenance job was not done.
  • Why? (3) The maintenance job was not included in the maintenance plan.
  • Why? (4) The maintenance plan is out of date.
  • Why? (5) The maintenance plan is not checked on a regular basis.

Hence, the action that needs to be taken in order to prevent a failure of the machine is to regularly check that the maintenance plan is up-to-date. The 5-Why Method in the software has hereby allowed you to keep questioning the problem until the root cause is uncovered.

The Ishikawa Diagram

The Ishikawa Diagram works in a similar manner. It allows the user to consolidate all possible problem causes and interdependencies in a clearly structured fishbone diagram. The influencing variables are subdivided into primary and secondary causes which all point towards the main problem or potential for improvement. The individual arrows in the software each stand for a contributing factor to a cause or improvement.

For the sake of a better overview, the primary causes are summarized in a selection of categories. These can, for example, consist of 6 Ms (Machine, Method, Material, Man Power, Measurement and Milieu) or 8 Ms (including Management and Maintenance). Any type or number of primary causes can be applied. These are then addressed step by step, thereby allowing valuable information to come to the fore. The analysis of the various influence factors via the Ishikawa Diagram in the software often reveals connections that no one would have thought of initially.

CAQ.Net as RCA Software

In the true sense of an RCA Software, CAQ.Net offers you comprehensive support for tracking down the root causes of problems and uncovering idle potential for improvement. Apart from Ishikawa and 5-Why, CAQ.Net also contains a variety of other powerful cause and effect research methods, which are e.g. available in the Complaint Management System REM.Net and the Risk Management Software Risk.Net.

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