Determine the Root Cause Efficiently with 5 WHY RCA
Blog | February 24th, 2022

Determine the Root Cause Efficiently with 5 WHY RCA

The 5 Why technique is one of the most effective tools for root cause analysis in the lean management arsenal. Every team faces roadblocks in its daily work. However, using the 5 Whys will help you find the root cause of any problem and protect the process from recurring mistakes and failures.

This blog talks about how the 5 Whys technique helps you achieve continuous improvement at any level of your organization. This blog is an excerpt from the whitepaper, “ComplianceQuest’s Next-Gen ‘5 Why’ Root Cause Analysis for Effective Problem Solving“.

From a quality management standpoint, a problem may be reported in an organization from one of the following processes:

Since a problem may have its origin elsewhere, drilling down and asking the right questions is not a boardroom activity but requires the people on the shop floor, the quality team, the safety team, and other stakeholders that are part of the process to get involved. A typical and effective process would include:

Assembling a Team: The first step would be to assemble a team of people that consist of relevant stakeholders. It is critical to appoint someone as a facilitator — to keep the team focused on identifying effective, corrective and preventive measures.

Defining the Problem: The second step would require writing a clear problem statement that all team members agree on.

Starting the ‘Why’ Process: The next step would be to ask the first “Why?” to identify the reason because of which the problem occurred. The ‘Why’ needs to be answered based on facts and data analysis.

The Subsequent Whys: As the answer to the first ‘why’ emerges, the second ‘why’ will have to be framed and the process goes on till the root cause is identified. It could be after three ‘whys’ and does not necessarily have to be five; or it could be more depending on the complexity of the problem.

Benefits of a Seamless 5 Why Root Cause Analysis Process

Digitally integrating the 5 Why Root Cause Analysis with your EQMS can help in many ways, including:

Enable Collaboration between Different Teams: 5 Why Root Cause Analysis requires members from different teams to come together. Integrating it with the EQMS can facilitate greater transparency and collaboration.

Improve Document Management: Root Cause Analysis is a regulatory requirement, be it ISO, FDA, or others. By integrating it with the EQMS, businesses can meet these requirements easily with the support of documented records and data points.

Improve Tracking, Storage, and Access: Tracking, storing, and monitoring the progress based on the root cause analysis can become difficult in a manual system. Digitalizing the process makes it easier to drive change management efforts and take corrective action with agility.

Loop Back to the Source: Making the root cause analysis part of the EQMS helps in linking back to the source from where the problem was reported. This can help ensure that corrective and preventive actions are taken to resolve the problem in a timely and appropriate manner, across the lifecycle.

Measure Progress: Digitizing the RCA process can make it easier to collect and review key performing indicators/metrics and effect continuous improvement.

Cost-Effectiveness: Both time and costs can be saved by digitizing the RCA process by enabling even geographically disparate teams to collaborate online.

Looking to drive efficiency into your Root Cause Analysis process? Would you like to automate and streamline the process of conducting a 5 Why RCA? The latest version of ComplianceQuest EQMS has a wonderful RCA tool that is truly next-generation.

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