An ISO 9001 certified company strives to maintain the highest level of quality, not only in their product, but also in their processes, which make up their quality management system. One of the key components of an effective quality management system is to continually improve. In order to continually improve, we must first identify issues or areas of concern and, more importantly, their causes.
One practice is root cause analysis, which is defined as a method of problem solving that tries to identify the root causes of faults or problems which, once removed, prevents the final undesirable event from recurring. By practicing root cause analysis, we are able to identify and correct the cause of failures, as opposed to simply addressing their symptoms. The goal of focusing on correcting the root cause of an issue is to prevent that problem from recurring. One way to practice root cause analysis is the 5-Why method. This is a method of asking “why” repeatedly until the root cause is identified.