Experiment using root cause analysis as part of problem solving sessions
Participants are invited to brainstorm the possible causes of a symptomatic problem they face within their team/organization by working with their peers. Using Fishbone diagram as root cause analysis tool enable participants to focus on real causes rather than on symptoms.
- The facilitator writes down the problem to be solved on a sticky note and places it over the fish’s head
- Participants are invited to use MyBoard to silently write down 3 possible causes (one cause/sticky note) – 3-4 min
- Participants place the sticky notes on the fishbone board, under the most suitable category: measurements, people, environment, machines, methods, materials.
- After participants present their own list of causes, the group is invited to deduplicate it.
- Continue to ask “Why did that happen?” and generate deeper levels of causes. Layers of branches indicate causal relationships.
- Participants are invited to dot vote on their “preferred” cause using 3 points (no more than 2 points on a cause).
- Address each cause (or top X) – brainstorm for solutions, within the big group or in smaller teams (using a separate board/activity).
- The facilitator may ask the following questions:
- Prior to completing the diagram, what were teams’ assumptions concerning the root cause for the stated problem?
- How did assumptions change after completing the diagram?
- How did teams identify the root cause(s) on which to focus?
Different problems to be solved can be addressed:
- why are the projects delayed in our organization;
- why are we constantly missing our deadlines;
- why didn’t we meet the sales targets;
- why NPS dropped, et cetera
This activity follows activity type guide from CARTA