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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2013

Shri Ashok Sarkar, Arup Ranjan Mukhopadhyay and Sadhan Kumar Ghosh

In implementing Six Sigma and/or Lean Six Sigma, a practitioner often faces a dilemma of how to select the subset of root causes from a superset of all possible potential…

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Abstract

Purpose

In implementing Six Sigma and/or Lean Six Sigma, a practitioner often faces a dilemma of how to select the subset of root causes from a superset of all possible potential causes, popularly known as root cause analysis (RCA). Generally one resorts to the cause and effect diagram for this purpose. However, the practice adopted for identification of root causes is in many situations quite arbitrary and lacks a systematic, structured approach based on the rigorous data driven statistical analysis. This paper aims at developing a methodology for validation of potential causes to root causes to aid practitioners.

Design/methodology/approach

Discussion has been made on various methods for identification and validation of potential causes to root causes with the help of a few real life examples for effective Lean Six Sigma implementation.

Findings

The cause and effect diagram is the frequently adopted method for identifying potential causes out of a host of methods available for such identification. The method of validation depends on the practitioners’ knowledge on the relationship between cause and effect and controllability of the causes.

Originality/value

The roadmap thus evolved for the validation of root causes will be of great value to the practitioners as it is expected to help them understand the ground reality in an unambiguous manner resulting in a superior strategy for cause validation and corrective actions.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

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Case study
Publication date: 29 November 2020

Rajaram Govindarajan and Mohammed Laeequddin

Learning outcomes are as follows: students will discover the importance of process orientation in management; students will determine the root cause of the problem by…

Abstract

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes are as follows: students will discover the importance of process orientation in management; students will determine the root cause of the problem by applying root cause analysis technique; students will identify the failure modes, analyze their effect, score them on a scale and prioritize the corrective action to prevent the failures; students will analyze the processes and propose error-proof system/s; and students will analyze organizational culture and ethical issues.

Case overview/synopsis

Purpose: This case study is intended as a class-exercise, for students to discover the importance of process-orientation in management, analyze the ethical dilemma in health care and to apply quality management techniques, such as five-why, root cause analysis, failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) and error-proofing, in the management of the health-care and service industry. Design/methodology/approach: A voluntary reporting of a case of “radiation overdose” in a hospital’s radio therapy treatment unit, which led to an ethical dilemma. Consequently, a study was conducted to establish the causes of the incident and to develop a fail-proof system, to avoid recurrence. Findings: After careful analysis of the process-flow and the root causes, 25 potential failure modes were detected and the team had assigned a risk priority number (RPN) for each potential incident, selected the top ten RPNs and developed an error-proofing system to prevent recurrence. Subsequently, the improvement process was carried out for all the 25 potential incidents and a new control mechanism was implemented. The question of ethical dilemma remained unresolved. Research limitations/implications: Ishikawa diagram, FMEA and Poka-Yoke techniques require a multi-disciplinary team with process knowledge in identifying the possible root causes for errors, potential risks and also the possible error-proofing method/s. Besides, these techniques need frank discussions and agreement among team members on the efforts for the development of action plan, implementation and control of the new processes. Practical implications: Students can take the case data to identify root cause analysis and the RPN (RPN = possibility of detection × probability of occurrence × severity), to redesign the protocols, through systematic identification of the deficiencies of the existing protocols. Further, they can recommend quality improvement projects. Faculty can navigate the case session orientation, emphasizing quality management or ethical practices, depending on the course for which the case is selected.

Complexity academic level

MBA or PG Diploma in Management – health-care management, hospital administration, operations management, services operations, total quality management (TQM) and ethics.

Supplementary materials

Teaching Notes are available for educators only.

Subject code

CSS 9: Operations and Logistics.

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Article
Publication date: 6 September 2016

Elisabeth E. Bennett and Rochell R. McWhorter

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of qualitative research in causality, with particular emphasis on process causality. In one paper, it is not possible to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of qualitative research in causality, with particular emphasis on process causality. In one paper, it is not possible to discuss all the issues of causality, but the aim is to provide useful ways of thinking about causality and qualitative research. Specifically, a brief overview of the regularity theory of causation is provided, qualitative research characteristics and ontological and epistemological views that serve as a potential conceptual frame to resolve some tensions between quantitative and qualitative work are discussed and causal processes are explored. This paper offers a definition and a model of process causality and then presents findings from an exploratory study that advanced the discussion beyond the conceptual frame.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper first conceptually frames process causality within qualitative research and then discusses results from an exploratory study that involved reviewing literature and interviewing expert researchers. The exploratory study conducted involved analyzing multiple years of literature in two top human resource development (HRD) journals and also exploratory expert interviews. The study was guided by the research question: How might qualitative research inform causal inferences in HRD? This study used a basic qualitative approach that sought insight through inductive analysis within the focus of this study.

Findings

The exploratory study found that triangulation, context, thick description and process research questions are important elements of qualitative studies that can improve research that involves causal relationships. Specifically, qualitative studies provide both depth of data collection and descriptive write-up that provide clues to cause-and-effect relationships that support or refute theory.

Research limitations/implications

A major conclusion of this study is that qualitative research plays a critical role in causal inference, albeit an understated one, when one takes an enlarged philosophical view of causality. Equating causality solely with variance theory associated with quantitative research leaves causal processes locked in a metaphoric black box between cause and effect, whereas qualitative research opens up the processes and mechanisms contained within the box.

Originality/value

This paper reframed the discussion about causality to include both the logic of quantitative studies and qualitative studies to demonstrate a more holistic view of causality and to demonstrate the value of qualitative research for causal inference. Process causality in qualitative research is added to the mix of techniques and theories found in the larger discussion of causality in HRD.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 40 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

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Article
Publication date: 27 July 2020

Dharyll Prince Abellana

This paper attempts to develop a hybrid cause and effect diagram (CED) and interpretative structural model (ISM) for root cause analysis in quality management. The…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper attempts to develop a hybrid cause and effect diagram (CED) and interpretative structural model (ISM) for root cause analysis in quality management. The proposed model overcomes the weakness of the CED in reliably articulating hierarchical causeeffect Relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

A focus group discussion (FGD) among quality experts in the case company to establish relationships between the determined causes.

Findings

The hybridization of the CED and ISM allowed the causes to be ordered more clearly to determine potential root causes as well as presenting these causes more comprehensively.

Originality/value

The paper has been one of the very few attempts to improve the CED approach. As such, this paper employs the ability of the ISM to order concepts in a hierarchical structure, which is useful in determining root causes.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 9 July 2018

Prashant Gangidi

The purpose of this paper is to go a step further from the traditional 5 Whys technique by adding three more legs during the root cause analysis stage – occurrence, human…

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2320

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to go a step further from the traditional 5 Whys technique by adding three more legs during the root cause analysis stage – occurrence, human and systemic issues that contribute toward the problem, hence the term 3 × 5 Whys. Performing individual 5 Whys for these three components enables to identify deeper root cause(s) that may spawn across multiple groups within an organization.

Design/methodology/approach

Cause-and-effect analysis used during traditional root cause investigations within an 8D or Lean six sigma project is used as a theoretical foundation. Examples from different industries are presented showing the 3 × 5 Why’s framework and advantages it brings to the organization along with identifying shortcomings and suggestions to make it more effective.

Findings

If properly used this integrated methodology will reveal higher order systemic causes (e.g. policies or management decisions) stemming from lower lever symptoms (e.g. defective parts, procedural errors). Effective execution of this methodology can provide tremendous results in defect reduction, yield improvement, operational efficiency improvement and logistics management type of projects. Resolving higher level sources of problems allows an organization to evolve itself and maintain a competitive edge in the market.

Research limitations/implications

Adopting this quality management technique in start-up companies entails some challenges and other implications have been discussed with SWOT analysis.

Practical implications

Examples from various sectors using 3 × 5 Why approach have been presented that show that this methodology provides deeper insight into root causes which could be affecting multiple groups in an organization. Using this technique effectively is found to be beneficial to resolve issues in operations management, logistics, supply chain, purchasing, warehouse operations, manufacturing, etc.

Social implications

This methodology has a human component which often results in some sort of resistance as not all working professionals think alike when it comes to accountability and ownership of issues. This may hinder root cause analysis and subsequent corrective actions implementation.

Originality/value

This study is unique in its in-depth real-world case studies demonstrating the need for taking a deep dive approach to root cause analysis by understanding specific, system and human components responsible for causing the failure mode.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

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Book part
Publication date: 20 June 2017

David Shinar

Abstract

Details

Traffic Safety and Human Behavior
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-222-4

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Article
Publication date: 10 May 2019

Narottam Yadav, Kaliyan Mathiyazhagan and Krishna Kumar

The purpose of this paper is to improve the yield of a particular model of a car windshield, as the organization faces losses due to poor performance and rejection.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to improve the yield of a particular model of a car windshield, as the organization faces losses due to poor performance and rejection.

Design/methodology/approach

The Six Sigma DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve and control) methodology is used to reduce variation and defects in the process. It is a methodology based on data-driven and fact-based analysis to find out the root cause of the problem with the help of statistical analysis. A worst performing model is selected as a case study through the scoping tree. The preprocess, printing, bending and layup process defects are reduced by analyzing the potential causes and hypothesis testing.

Findings

This paper describes Six Sigma methodology in a glass manufacturing industry in India for automotive applications. The overall yield of a car windshield achieved 93.57 percent against the historical yield of 88.4 percent, resulting in saving 50 lacs per annum. Due to no rework or repairing in the glass, low first-time yield causes major losses. Process improvement through focused cross-functional team reduces variation in the process. Six Sigma improves profitability and reduces defects in the automotive glass manufacturing process.

Research limitations/implications

This case study is applied in automotive glass manufacturing industries. For service and healthcare industries, a similar type of study can be performed. Further research on the common type of processor industry would be valuable.

Practical implications

The case study can be used as a problem-solving methodology in manufacturing and service industries. The tools and techniques can be used in other manufacturing processes also. This paper is useful for industries, researchers and academics for understanding Six Sigma methodology and its practical implementation.

Originality/value

This case study is an attempt to solve automobile glass manufacturing problems through DMAIC approach. The paper is a real case study showing benefits of Six Sigma implementation in the manufacturing industry and saving an annual cost of 50 lacs due to rejections in the process.

Details

Journal of Advances in Management Research, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0972-7981

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Book part
Publication date: 5 October 2007

David Shinar

Abstract

Details

Traffic Safety and Human Behavior
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-08-045029-2

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Abstract

Details

Lean Six Sigma in Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-929-8

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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2011

L.A.M. Huertas‐Quintero, P.P. Conway, D.M. Segura‐Velandia and A.A. West

The purpose of this paper is to propose a new software tool to support design for quality (DfQ) in the electronics manufacturing sector where quality and reliability are critical.

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1064

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a new software tool to support design for quality (DfQ) in the electronics manufacturing sector where quality and reliability are critical.

Design/methodology/approach

An integrated modelling framework that enables complete and realistic representations of manufacturing systems is proposed. A software tool, developed based on this framework, offers two modules to support DfQ: simulation and root cause analysis. This paper focuses on the latter.

Findings

Integrated models enable tracing back effects to their root causes. Software tools based on these, kind of models can provide support in finding and eliminating the cause of a particular effect. This capability can be used to perform DfQ in an effective and accurate way.

Research limitations/implications

The approach proposed strongly depends on the quality models within the integrated modelling framework. The models currently available are little and simplified. Future work includes the enrichment of the software by developing and more quality models.

Practical implications

The adoption of the proposed approach in an industrial context requires formalised information to fulfil the data required by the integrated modelling framework.

Originality/value

The main contribution of the paper is the integrated modelling framework definition and its implementation in the form of a software tool. The adoption of this tool in printed circuit assembly companies can support the solution of real quality problems and consequently, help to optimise manufacturing systems in the domain.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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