Is something about your business keeping you awake at night?
Perhaps more than one thing is disturbing your sleep. Even if everything seems just about OK maybe there are some nagging issues which haven’t been fully tackled or there still remain areas of doubt.
Is everything really as you would wish?
You may know what your biggest business issues are. But you may not realise ALL of them. Some can be hidden or buried. Moreover, the reasons for these issues may be multiple and harder to find. If you only treat the symptoms the issues will surface repeatedly.
Root cause analysis solves problems by identifying the initiating cause which starts the chain of events leading to faults, issues or even failures. By removing the root cause, or causes, the negative outcome will be eliminated.
It may take some time to understand a recurring problem which impacts your business. On the other hand consider the time and resource taken to keep repairing the damage and the long-term effects on your business, customers, staff and other stakeholders important to your success.
A complete root cause analysis, with data gathering and investigations, is most likely to be impractical unless the issue is so fundamental to the business that to leave it unresolved would be catastrophic.
My short cut to the root cause is the “5 Whys”. Ask yourself “Why?” to each answer about the issue and usually by the 5th “Why?” you have reached the root cause. You may find that your answers branch at points to find more than one root cause.
The next step is to remove the root causes…
Try it for yourself. One place you might want to start is with “Why are we not growing?” or “Why are we not more profitable?” or “Why do we miss our development targets?”