Root Causes and Why

Hope you are having a good week.

Looking back over the week, we’ve talked about affinity charts and cause-and-effect diagrams which are also known as Fish-bone diagrams. And then we met SAM, and we saw both tools in action. SAM is worried about things, and now he knows, at least he’s doing something about it.

Whenever you are having a problem, and you are either not sure where to go, or you are not sure what the solution might be, the affinity diagram and the cause-and-effect chart are great places to start. Remember, if you do it by yourself, you only have one point of view. If you have a team or others to work the charts with you, such as the mentors and supporters we talked about back in June, you get a better view of what is happening. The better the views, the better the outcome.

When you have a problem or concern, you can put a Band-Aid on it, and it is okay for the moment. The problem with Band-Aids is that they fall off and you’re forced to deal with the problem again. The affinity chart and the Fish-bone diagram allow you to look deeper into the problem. What you’re looking for is the root cause.

Consider the root cause something akin to the small pebble in your shoe. By itself, it’s just a pebble. However, when it gets in a strategic place, it starts to be a pain. It hampers forward motion and elicits aggravation and soreness throughout the entire body.

When trying to remove the problem, you need to know you have found the root cause. You need to follow the actions of a three-year-old. My three-year-old was always asking me why. And as you work on these charts a technique to help is to continually ask why. Ask why very time you find an answer until you cannot find an answer to your next why.

When you get to the point where you and ask a why and cannot find an answer, you are probably at the root cause. Unfortunately, that is not guaranteed. You will have to run an experiment or maybe even 2 to ensure you have the right culprit.

Coming up in our next group of blogs, we will look at SAM some more, and help him to figure out which problems need to be tackled first. We will also run an experiment or two to ensure we are on the right path and looking at the right solutions to the problems.

If you would ever  like to ask me a question, you can type it in the comments section. I usually receive those and try to answer them as soon as possible. Usually within 48 hours.

If you need to talk with me, please go to www.readingsticks.space and within that website, I have a scheduling system for phone calls. If you sign up on the schedule, I can give you a free one-half hour phone call, where we can answer questions, go in more detail, and/or assist in items you are working on.

This is a fun week, thank you for being with us.

 

 

Author: Mike Balof

Mike Balof, MEd, develops intensive, interactive courses which have helped contract manufacturing and nonprofit institutions. He taught youth and adults seeking employment to better represent themselves, leading many of them to successful careers. Mike taught in corporate training, teaching adults and high school students to build computers, work as a team, and to identify and fix problems using a myriad of tools from Total Quality Management(TQM), to 8-D, to Six Sigma. Mike now turns his talents to helping fellow veterans reach their objectives and desires through continuous performance improvement. As we start to live in a post knowledge world, where a doubling of common knowledge shrinks from months to days, our essential skills will include how we interact with those around us. Mike believes there is hope for growth and opportunity for everyone. Everyone has the opportunity to retool and find the career they want. Mike strives to present students of all ages, abilities, and means with a full plate of options for learning.

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