Root cause analysis

You may have heard of this technique described as the fish-bone technique or cause -effect analysis, or even Ishakawa technique (named after its founder)

It offers a structured method for generating possible causal factors that may have created the problem

Have a look at the video, it offers a lovely clear overview of how the technique can be applied

  • Six Thinking Hats

Edward De Bono is respected as an expert in lateal thinking and creative problem solving. He is the author of the top selling book, Six Thinking Hats, in which he describes a methodical approach that a group can apply to problem solving.

six thinking-hats

This workplace problem solving method has become known for the way it blends rational and logical thought, with a creative perspective. De Bono refers to it as a technique which promotes “parallel thinking” or a way in which a group can explore and discuss an issue without debating or engaging in destructive argument. Each hat represents a different way of focusing on an idea, issue or proposal – by combining all of the hats, a more holistic and thorough approach to planning and decision making becomes likely …..

  • When wearing the white hat, your focus is on identifying and if necessary gathering he relevant facts of the situation and ensuring that you are not making any assumptions. There are no judgements with this hat on, it is the colour of neutrality – and is only focused on ensuring that the necessary information has been gathered for subsequent analysis. “What do we know – and what do we still need to find out”
  • The green hat is about looking at the situation in a more creative way – generating new ideas and exploring all possibilities that a proposal may stimulate
  • The yellow hat is looking at the benefits and upsides of a proposed option or course of action. It is looking at the proposal from a reasonably optimistic viewpoint.
  • The black hat is a more cautious perspective, in identifying potential risks and “down-sides” to a proposed option. It is adopting a critical look at the idea – and although necessary, this perspective is often over-used in some groups.
  • The red hat refers to sensing what your instincts or “gut” might be telling you. It reserves a place for “hunches” and feelings in the decision making process, recognising that sometimes years of experience may underlie your “intuition”, although you may not always be able to verbalise the reason for your “feeling”
  • The blue hat is about an overview and what process is to be used moving forward. It’s used when the chair of a meeting seeks to start the meeting by asking “How will we approach this?”- and then seeks a conclusion to the meeting by asking “So, what’s the next step?”

Have a look at Problem solving tips or

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