1. Identify the Defect and Track the Effect –This is done by performing some of the most common root cause analysis methods and problem-solving techniques, e.g.:
Data Gathering – Problems or defects should always be factual, and the related data are usually derived by observing the actual processes. If the product is still in its design stage, data related to the processes are created and tested. However, any information gathered is useful only if it is presented by way of charts, maps and graphical displays that will depict the events leading to the identification of the root cause.
Statistical Analyses –These are used in conjunction with the data displays as a means to extract correlation between factors, progression and regression of the events and the variables (multivariates) produced by the main causal factor or the root cause.
Using Simulations – The simulations are created by using computer modeling software. Experimentations of the actual process under study are conducted for purposes of exploring all probabilities. The aim is to collect all data that lead to the root cause of the known or anticipated problems.
Analyses of Past Failures and Their Established Root Causes – The process involves the review of the physical evidence and subjecting it to further testing by using special tools or by gathering additional data from actual interviews. One of the testing methods used is “accelerated testing." The approach aims to obtain information regarding the results of a more severe test environment. However, caution should be taken when extracting information from this type of test by avoiding failure modes that are not common to the normal use of the design or product. Factors often used for testing either the life cycle or the stress threshold include high humidity, high levels of vibrations, extreme temperatures or higher rates of power frequencies.
Use The 5-Whys Method -- A root cause analysis method performed by asking five or more “why" questions about a given event. The answer elicited would prompt another why question that delves deeper into the underlying conditions for purposes of unraveling the real cause.
Analyze by Using “What is and What Isn’t" Method – This entails sorting the problem into what it is and what it is not, what happened or what didn’t happen, when did it happen or when it doesn’t happen, what changes took place or what didn’t change and other similar questions related to the circumstances of the event.