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Root cause analysis in personal life

Updated on May 8, 2013

Why Why Analysis for solving personal problems

Corrective Action - identification and elimination of cause of problem

The concept of corrective action has emerged from deep thinking style of Japanese TQM. It look simple but it is very profound like Japanese themselves.

The corrective action is all about the identification of the cause of the problem and elimination of the same from the syste. So the same cause will not trigger any failure and problems. Simplly told the rigorous application of finding and eliminating the causes of the problems will increasingly reduce the problems and failutres resulting in greater predictability and control and in turn peace in life.

Most of the times when a problem happens it is contained or managed. But a scientific inquiry as a part of daily work gets neglected. If there is a failure of the equipment the same is rectified on a war footing but the same rigor is not applied to find the answer why it failed in the first place. So the causes are sitting pretty under the heaps or layers of things or information. They will keep triggering problems or failures. The concept of going to the root of a problem or failure has very relevant application in personal life also.

Why Why Analysis - The simplest and most elegant tool

The most elegant tool for finding the cause of a failure or problem was invented by one of the founders of Toyota Motors known as 5 Whys. You need to ask 'why' 5 times as why something has happened, though you may get the answer after 2 to 3 stages only. Let us see one small case given below to understand the practice of Why Why analysis.

- Motor failed

1st Why - Why the motor failed

-There was a heating of bearings

2nd Why - Why there was a heating in the bearings

-Lubrication was not adequate

3rd Why - Why the lubrication was not proper

The oil pump was faulty - The root cause. So replace the oil pump and motor burning due to this cause will stop.

Start a practice in your personal life to kill the causes of the problem

Imagine that you launch a practice in your section, department or the organization to identify and kill the enemies of your peace who are always tormenting you - the hidden causes of the problems! You do it with a right communication, understanding and learning the tools and methods for root cause analysis. You are having a great conviction and your approach is sincere and true, you are driving a "cause" to identify underlying causes which trigger problems.

A time will come when these remaining causes for potential problems are just handful in numbers. It is too good to believe but it is possible. In that case you are in that state of PDCA where you have enough time to do a rigorous planning and a detailed reflection as shown in my blog "Peace in life! Try PDCA.

Relevance of Why Why approach in Personal Life

Our approach to reflect deeper and deeper through Why Why can reduce the causes of our problems in personal lives leading to higher level of control and thus peace. We can try some common problems in the personal life. Like why the boss is not happy?. Why Why analysis may lead to one of our traits which should have been changed as per situation whereas you failed to do so.

Your child is loosing interest in studies. The cause may be that we ourselves are not truly passionate about the study of child and it is not a shared goal of the household. We are just going through a motion, giving commands and just ensuring the routines which have only skin deep impact.

You are always getting late for office, may be hot water system is taking too long to heat. Try seeing deeper into the problem. The practice will develop greater insight leading to a better life by identifying the hidden causes and eliminating the same.

Go to the root cause of the problem and peace is assured.


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