Root Cause Analysis: A Framework for Tool Selection
This article provides a framework for analyzing the performance of three popular root cause analysis tools: the cause-and-effect diagram, the interrelationship diagram, and the current reality tree. The literature confirmed that these tools have the capacity to find root causes with varying degrees of accuracy and quality. The literature, however, lacks a means for selecting the appropriate root cause analysis tool based upon objective performance criteria. Some of the important performance characteristics of root cause analysis tools include the ability to find root causes, causal interdependencies, factor relationships, and cause categories. Root cause analysis tools must also promote focus, stimulate discussion, be readable when complete, and have mechanisms for evaluating the integrity of group findings. This analysis found that each tool has advantages and disadvantages, with varying levels of causal yield and selected causal factor integrity. This framework provides decision makers with the knowledge of root cause analysis performance characteristics so they can better understand the underlying assumptions of a recommended solution.
Mark Doggett. "Root Cause Analysis: A Framework for Tool Selection" Quality Management Journal 12.4 (2005): 34-45.