Root Cause Analysis


Step 1: We help define your problem by keeping on digging till we have arrived at the root causes of the problem. We do this through laddering technique to uncover each layer of the problem.

Step 2: The root causes are often accompanied by assumptions which act as road blocks to solving the problems. Hence, in this step, we list down all assumptions causing the bottlenecks.
Step 3: Negate each assumption by countering with a solution or by challenging the assumption itself

Step 4: Create solutions with detailed execution plan against each assumption

Let us take a hypothetical problem to illustrate the steps.

Problem: A company faces rampant attrition consistently over the last 3 years leading to high cost of acquisition and training of new resources and a bad reputation in the market. The following hypothetical set of questions-answers help illustrate the process.

-Why are people leaving?
-They are leaving for better opportunities.
-What kinds of better opportunities are they looking for?
-They are joining similar organizations like us but getting into better roles.
-What do these roles give them that our role does not?
-These roles give them better work life balance so they are less stressed.
-Why are they able to have better work life balance?
-Because they have better productivity and are able to complete their work in time.
-Why are they taking less time to do the same work they did here?
-Because, they are only focusing on their strengths, their areas of expertise that they do well.
-Who is doing the rest of the job that they cannot do?
-They have divided the jobs into smaller parts and have allocated parts of the job to individuals based on strength. So, each one is able to accomplish more in less time.
-What stops us from doing the same?
-Our processes are more complicated and require the same person to do the entire job, end-to-end.
-How can we change our process to accommodate effective job division?

The whole business question now changes from “how can we curb attrition?” to “how can we streamline our processes?”
The solution to this problem may entail a complete overhauling of the existing system. Solutions may be around:

• Hire Six Sigma certified Business Process Improvements specialists and assign them to streamline the process
• Define job descriptions based on expertise on parts of the process rather than control over the entire process
• Redefine the resource allocation – may be we need more junior executives than middle managers

Thus, we see that while we had set out to solve an HR problem, we ended up making a fundamental systemic shift that not only addresses attrition but also significantly improves overall productivity and profitability.

The advantage of the Root Cause Analysis Approach is that every problem becomes an opportunity to strengthen the organization from the root, thus making more lasting impact.

The other advantage is that, each problem also becomes a lever to integrate every part of the system thereby bringing holistic health.

Devil's Advocate


Hooks Identify HOOKS of cognitive delight & dismay while breaking down adoption jouney
ALTERNATIVES Ideate ALTERNATIVE routes to achieve delight or allay concerns
MIX MIX all the new alternatives to create new solutions
OPPORTUNITIES Identify OPPORTUNITIES emerging from the newly mixed solutions
ROADMAP Chart out the ROADMAP for execution of each identified opportunity