Cause Mapping: Frequently Asked Questions
What is Cause Mapping?
Cause Mapping is a simple 3-step problem solving process for defining, analyzing and solving any type of problem. Cause Mapping is an extremely effective method of root cause analysis that is also used for process improvement and six-sigma initiatives.
What is a Cause Map?
A Cause Map is a visual representation all of the cause-and-effect relationships for a problem. The construction of the Cause Map is the analysis of the problem. The Cause Map literally shows how all of the causes piece together to create the problem.
What is the basis for Cause Mapping?
Cause Mapping is based on three powerful principles: systems-thinking, cause-and-effect and visual communication. It is these three principles together that provide a clear understanding of the Cause Mapping approach to effective root cause analysis.
Why is Cause Mapping Effective?
Cause Mapping is particularly effective because it is so simple. The Cause Mapping process is based on sound principles so there is no new terminology or acronyms to learn. People learn the very basics of analysis. They learn that investigating or troubleshooting a complex problem means breaking it down into its basic cause-and-effect relationships.
What is Root Cause Analysis?
Root cause analysis is metaphor for not working on the symptom of the problem (the weed), but rather getting to “the root” to solve the problem for good. The Cause Mapping approach to root cause analysis demonstrates that the root is actually a system of causes, any one of which has possible solutions to prevent the problem from occurring. Many organizations mistakenly try to identify the root cause or root cause(s) of a problem. Cause Mapping is the process of identifying the system of causes for a given problem and then finding effective solutions from those causes.
Is Cause Mapping used for simple or complex problems?
Because Cause Mapping is based on systems-thinking it can be scaled to whatever level of detail is required. For this reason Cause Mapping can be used to troubleshoot day-to-day issues as well as investigate extremely complex problems that require very thorough and clear documentation.
Which industries use the Cause Mapping Process?
The Cause Mapping process is utilized in a wide variety of industries. They include: petrochemical, refining, power, aeronautics, telecommunication, manufacturing, transportation, service, healthcare, education, information technology and marine.
What kinds of problems do people Cause Map?
Cause Mapping is used for all different types of problems within an organization. Following are some examples: operations problems, safety incidents, environmental issues, manufacturing deficiencies, equipment failures, late deliveries, unclear work practices, ineffective communication, poor customer satisfaction, low sales, missed service levels,
Why does Cause Mapping apply to so many different problems?
Cause Mapping is universally applicable because it is based on the principle of cause-and-effect. The cause-and-effect principle does not change from problem to problem – it is a constant. There are no problems within a company that violate the principle of cause-and-effect.
Who in a Company uses Cause Mapping?
Cause Mapping is used by front line employees as well as executives. It’s also used by managers, supervisors, engineers, analysts and technicians. Because Cause Mapping is based on cause-and-effect, a consistent problem solving methodology for defining, analyzing and solving problems can be applied across an organization … regardless of department or group. Individuals who specialize in investigating specific problems also find the Cause Mapping process particularly helpful.
Why is a Cause-and-Effect important to problem solving?
Cause-and-effect is the basis of all problem solving. Organizations without a bias for cause-and-effect analysis supported with evidence waste significant time on speculation, opinion and incomplete analyses. A cause-and-effect approach is the opposite of the “stuff just happens” mentality.
How much detail is added to any analysis?
The amount of detail for a particular analysis is always dictated by the impact the problem has had on the overall goals of the company. Problems with a more significant impact on the overall goals require a more detailed analysis than problems with less impact.
How is Cause Mapping different from conventional root cause analysis?
Most organizations consider root cause analysis to be a search for the root cause or root causes. Cause Mapping focuses on finding specific solutions to prevent problems by matching them to specific causes. Cause Mapping identifies the system of causes for a problem to reveal all of the possible solutions. The best solutions are selected from the possible solutions. The output of the Cause Mapping process is specific actions to prevent occurrence.
How does Cause Mapping improve Communication?
A Cause Map captures all of the causes provided by the people with first hand information to create a complete picture of the problem. This not only improves the way people communicate when working a problem, it also is a significant improvement in the way organizations document and share problem information. Each problem analysis should grow experience to create a learning organization.
What is the most common feedback on Cause Mapping?
The most frequent comments on Cause Mapping are that it is extremely simple and very effective. By focusing on basic principles and eliminating unnecessary terminology and acronyms Cause Mapping is widely viewed as a very effective methodology that is easy to learn, teach, apply and implement?
Do you need special software or materials?
Cause Mapping is about understanding fundamental cause-and-effect relationships. It can be documented with pen and paper, using Post-it notes on a wall in a group situation and it can be captured electronically in a variety of readily available software tools. At its core Cause Mapping is affects the way people think about problems, causes and solutions. It doesn’t have to be captured to be effective, but documentation is important for growing organizational experience.
How long is the Cause Mapping training?
The basic Cause Mapping workshop is two-days long. The two-day workshop prepares attendees to apply the Cause Mapping process in their workgroup. ThinkReliability is very focused on people practicing what they learn in the workshop in their day-to-day role. As people’s proficiency in the Cause Mapping process improves additional materials and advanced training is available.
What does Cause Mapping training cost?
While Cause Mapping is the simplest most effective approach to root cause analysis it is also the most competitively priced training program in the market. Please request a quote
to bring the Cause Mapping workshop to your facility or attend a Public Workshop
in a city near you.
Does everyone need to be trained?
Cause Mapping doesn’t have to be a corporate-wide approach to be effective. One person in an organization can apply Cause Mapping on a single problem. Demonstrating results on just one problem is an effective way to grow the approach across an entire group, department or organization. Likewise, many companies consider Cause Mapping to be their corporate approach to analyzing, documenting, communicating and solving problems.
Should managers learn Cause Mapping?
Training individuals to lead and participate in Cause Mapping is important. It is equally important to have managers familiar with the Cause Mapping process. When managers set expectations for problems to be broken down into specific cause-and-effect relationships, the problem solving capability and culture of an organization changes.