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Performing a root cause analysis

Root cause analysis is a great problem solving method that will be able to give you information on how you can identify several problems or issues within the company known as "events." When you perform a root cause analysis you will be able to prevent bad outcomes from occurring as you are able to pinpoint the issues based on timing of the machinery along with employee intervention that may be causing issues. Behavioral issues can have a big impact on how the outcome occurs along with conditions in the company that may lead to a reoccurrence of these problem events.

Many companies prefer to use root cause analysis as it is one of the best ways to help you identify a problem. Once it is identified the program also assists in helping you correct the problem and then you are able to eliminate it from ever coming back and plaguing the company again. Sometimes companies become too focused on trying to create a temporary solution for a problem and they don't really focus on the long-term outcome of the problems that are at-hand.

When you implement and use a root cause analysis, you need to know that there are multiple methods of it. This is not just a single method. There are some areas that you have to consider implementing to have it work functionally:
- Production based - This is use commonly for quality control issues that may arise in the production line. Many manufacturing plants find that production basedallows for simple steps along the way that prevent issues by having checkpoints and other things to reduce errors.
- Safety based - Safety based uses occupational health and safety tools. Consider behavior based safety programs as they help you to change employee actions that could be leading to several problems within the company.
- Failure based - Performing a failure analysis you will be able to see where the issues are and what you can do to solve them. Why are you having failures? If your staff is the issue, training can be used. If the machinery is the issue, it may require you to have new equipment.
- Process based - This one is similar to production based as you look at checkpoints and things along the way that are leading to issues in the process.
- Systems based - Where are the issues in the system? Do you have risks with the machinery or with the employees in the way that the system has been designed?

All of the processes are different but they all have elements that are vital in helping you to prevent serious issues within your manufacturing plant.

Some examples of the basic elements of root that cause using root causing analysis are:
- Defective raw material
- Lack of raw material
- Lack of knowledge from manpower
- Lack of skill from manpower
- Inadequate capability of manpower
- Stress from manpower
- No motivation from manpower
- Machine or equipment has not had maintenance
- The equipment or tools have been placed incorrectly
- The tool or equipment is defective
- Surfaces in the workspace are poorly maintained
- Forces of nature
- Lack of management involvement
- Stress demands on management
- Lack of communication
- Poor procedures for the work being performed

The list can continue on to several different aspects of why having the root causing analysis in affect is a benefit to your company. Most of the elements listed above are problems or concerns that can be corrected to prevent future issues for the company or the product the company is creating. Which directly outlines the root cause analysis by simply defining the problem, gather data and evidence, begin to ask why or how this caused the problem, if there are more than one root cause begin identifying each root cause to what outcome. Then you can begin to identify the corrective actions that need to be taken, and implement the solutions recommended by going through the root cause corrections. This will ensure effectiveness to prevent the future occurrence.

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