It is important to identify what issues will be targeted before revision can begin in the upcoming Innovate phase. In the Understand phase, you conduct root cause analysis, which not only helps to determine the right problems to attack, but also to gather an understanding of where you are currently and where you need to be. Correct identification will allow you to make quick improvements, which would not be possible if you only treated the symptoms.
For this Discussion topic, first:
Explain, in your own words, the difference between root cause analysis and simply identifying issues in a process.
Then, research and describe an article or a case study where a company has performed a successful root cause analysis. This means they went deeper than identifying just the symptoms.
Explain what the symptoms were and what root causes they identified as the culprits.
How did this analysis help the company create quantifiable, specific targets/objectives in their improvement efforts?
Make sure to describe how they accomplished this; there are various specific methodologies beyond sitting and talking in a room that can be used for this purpose. For example, root cause analysis is part of Six Sigma, which has specific tools for carrying this out.
If you cannot clearly show the distinction between the root causes and symptoms in the case, then you do not have the right case. You are not looking for cases where someone just identified problems by talking to people — root cause analysis is a very specific term that describes using formal methodologies to go beyond the most obvious issues. Your example should demonstrate this in-depth analysis.
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