Root Cause Analysis Samples

Q: I am looking for samples of a RCA.  I will be doing training on that topic and I would like to have some samples to use with the participants.

A: Thank you for contacting ASQ and the Quality Information Center.  I received your request for samples of root cause analysis.  Root cause analysis is defined as a “quality tool used to distinguish the source of defects or problems.  It is a structured approach that focuses on the decisive or original cause of a problem or condition” (from The Quality Improvement Glossary by Donald L. Siebels).

Root cause analysis figure

The image (right) is take from Root Cause Analysis: Simplified Tools and Techniques.

I found hundreds of RCA results on ASQ’s website (if you wish to browse through them all, here is the link to my original search results).  I thought you might be most interested in case studies which provide examples of how root cause analysis has been used.  I found more than 100 case studies which focus on root cause analysis and I’ve listed some case studies below which I thought would be helpful:

Abstract: Customer Complain investigations weren’t getting to root causes.  Logic trees proved more effective than fault trees in determining what actually went wrong.  After root cause analysis, complaint numbers dropped by half.  That and indirect benefits led to bottom-line results.

Abstract: The authors used Six Sigma to improve the process of manufacturing gear boxes for mechanical power transmission at a foundry in India. The goal was to improve product performance by reducing variation in the casting of components, thereby reducing defects. The analyze phase used root cause analysis and failure mode and effect analysis to identify several process variables, including pattern design and maintenance, worker training, and the proportions of scrap and coal inputted into the molds, that were increasing the frequency of the major defects.

Abstract: A root cause analysis project saved Clipper Windpower $1 million in lost revenue. By identifying the root causes of turbine failure during inclement weather, Clipper increased customer satisfaction through improved turbine availability. This project also supported a key supplier’s quality process, as Clipper’s team helped redesign and test an improved anemometer. Team members mastered quality tools and strategies, preparing them for future improvement projects.

Abstract: Cross-functional teams identified root causes of injuries and reduced accidents by 48 percent in one year while saving an estimated $714,000 in cost avoidance over a 24-month period. To compile data and identify root causes, team members used trend graphs, Pareto diagrams, bar charts, and fishbone diagrams. A key tool used in developing an action plan was the solution selection matrix, a systematic approach that allows for the best possible solutions to surface.

The following webcasts may also be helpful for those who are new to root cause analysis:

Root Cause Analysis for Beginners, Part 1” & “Root Cause Analysis for Beginners, Part 2

I hope that this information is helpful.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or if you need additional assistance.

Best regards,

ASQ Research Librarian
Milwaukee, WI

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Force Field Analysis

Force field analysis

Q: I am trying to get information on Force Field Analysis.  Can you please provide me more details on the subject?

A: Thank you for contacting ASQ.  I received your request for more information regarding force field analysis.

The Quality Improvement Glossary by Donald L. Siebels defines force field analysis as a “technique for analyzing the forces that aid or hinder an organization in reaching an objective.  An arrow pointing to an objective is drawn down the middle of a piece of paper.  The factors that will aid the objective’s achievement, called the driving forces, are listed on the left hand side of the arrow.  The factors that will hinder its achievement, called the restraining forces, are listed on the right side of the arrow.”

For more on this topic, please visit ASQ’s website.

Six Sigma Case Studies

Suppliers, supplier management

Q: I would like to browse through detailed Six Sigma Case Studies. I do not mind making a payment for detailed case studies in the fields of manufacturing, services and software.
Kindly direct me to the requisite links please.

A: Thank you for contacting ASQ.  I received your request for case studies on Six Sigma in the fields of manufacturing, services, and software.

“Six Sigma is an organization-wide approach used to achieve breakthrough improvements tied to significant bottom-line results. Unlike previous TQM approaches, Six Sigma specifies exactly how the organization’s managers s hould set up and lead the effort. Key features are the use of data and statistical analysis, highly trained project leaders known as Black Belts and Green Belts, project selection based on estimated bottom-line results, and the dramatic goal of reducing errors to about three per million opportunities” (taken from The Quality Toolbox, 2nd ed. by Nancy R. Tague)

ASQ has around 300 Six Sigma case studies available online.

A host of additional Six Sigma content is also available.

Design for Six Sigma

Control chart, data, analysis

Q: I am preparing a short training session for my company on the topic of Design for Six Sigma.  I am interested in looking at some examples of how other companies or organizations have used DFSS.  Is it possible to get case studies from ASQ on this topic?

A: Thank you for contacting ASQ and the Quality Information Center.  Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) can be defined as “robust design that is consistent with the applicable manufacturing processes to assure a fully capable process that will deliver quality products” (from The Quality Improvement Glossary by Donald L. Siebels).

For DFSS case studies, please visit ASQ’s website.

Resources about Quality Culture

ASQ Global State of Quality 2016

Q: I am a senior member of ASQ.  I plan on giving a two to three hour workshop on quality culture at my company.  Do you have any audiovisual materials and/or examples from other successful companies that I could use for my slide presentation?  I would really appreciate it if you could provide me with more information on creating a quality culture.

A: According to The Quality Improvement Glossary by Donald L. Siebels, quality culture “consists of employee opinions, beliefs, traditions, and practices concerning quality within an organization”.

For more on this topic, please visit ASQ’s website.