Root Cause Problem Solving: Methods and Tools

How do you solve a problem? Do you find yourself using quick and easy solutions or a structured methodology? Too often, organizations tend to seek quick solutions to a problem without adequately addressing its underlying cause. These decisions often result in solutions that don?t work or aren?t sustainable, often wasting time, effort, and money. To combat these issues and adopt a fresh approach, teams can use the methods and tools of Root Cause Problem Solving. By first viewing a problem as an opportunity for improvement, the team can then identify the problem?s root cause or causes, and implement solutions to prevent the problem?s reoccurrence.

This six module course introduces the Root Cause Problem Solving approach. It explains how using Root Cause analysis can help improve operational and financial performance by identifying root causes and implementing solutions to significant or recurring problems. This methodology is used by many major automotive manufacturers to improve quality and customer satisfaction, reduce operation costs, and provide greater employee knowledge of work processes.

Participants will become familiar with the eight steps of the Root Cause Problem Solving approach, learning the key actions completed in each step and interacting with examples and scenarios that demonstrate how each step functions to solve problems and keep them from reoccurring in an organization. Participants will also be supplied with tools that assist with the completion of each step that they can use in their own problem-solving efforts on-the-job.

What Will You Learn

By participating in this on-demand course, you'll be able to:
  • Explain why root cause analysis using the 8-Step Problem Solving Methodology is more effective than non-structured problem solving efforts
  • Define the difference between a problem, symptom, cause, and root cause
  • Use tools and techniques to solve problems
  • Evaluate effectiveness of problems solving efforts
  • Describe the role of problem solving in continuous improvement

Course Information

8.00 Hours
90 Days

Is This Course For You

This course is applicable to those directly working in or responsible for performance improvement of any definable, repetitive process (e.g., manufacturing, design, logistics, purchasing, sales, or distribution), including: manufacturing managers, supervisors, and team leaders; manufacturing engineers; design engineers; quality engineers and technicians; technical managers; project team leaders; problem solving and quality improvement facilitators; anyone whose role includes problem solving: supervisors and lead personnel.

See the options next to the Add to Cart button for details on buying this full course package, the introductory module only, and/or the core modules that build on the introduction. 

Materials Provided

  • 90 days of online single-user access (from date of purchase) to the six hour presentation
  • Job aids
  • Integrated knowledge checks to reinforce key concepts
  • Follow-up to your content questions
  • 1.0 CEUs*/Certificate of Achievement (upon completion of all course content and a score of 70% or higher on the learning assessment)

*SAE International is authorized by IACET to offer CEUs for this course.

Course Requirements

  • Windows 7, 8, 10 (other operating systems and mobile platforms are not supported but may work)
  • Internet Explorer 11, Mozilla Firefox 37, Google Chrome 42 (other browsers are not supported but may work)
  • Broadband-1Mbps minimum


Module 1: Foundations for Adopting Root Cause Analysis
  • Identifying Problems
  • How to Approach Problem Solving Using a Process Approach
  • Methods and Tools for Problem Solving: An 8 Step Approach
  • Roles and Responsibilities in Problem Solving
  • Setting Up a Problem Solving Team
Module 2: Describing the Problem and Implementing Containment
  • How to Describe a Problem
  • Symptoms vs. Causes
  • Methods for Collecting and Analyzing Data
  • Problem Statements
  • Methods for Protecting the Customer
Module 3: Discovering Root Causes
  • Recognizing Potential Causes
  • Methods for Identifying Causes and Root Causes (cause-effect diagram, 5-why)
  • Validating Potential Root Cause
Module 4: Designing a Solution and Implementing Permanent Corrective Action
  • Strategies for Planning and Designing Effective Solutions
  • Methods for Evaluating Potential Solutions
  • Error Proofing Strategies
  • Planning Implementation
  • Project Management Strategies
  • Completing System Changes
  • Measuring and Verifying Effectiveness
Module 5: Preventing Reoccurrence
  • Ensuring the Problem is Eliminated
  • Holding the Solution in Place
  • Leveraging What is Learned
  • FMEA and Problem Solving
Module 6: Recognizing Efforts
  • Methods of Team and Individual Recognition
  • Capturing Lessons Learned and Moving Them Forward
  • Problem Solving and Continuous Improvement