Use diagrams, drawings and photos
To do a root cause analysis visual tools, such as diagrams, drawings, sketches and photographs, give people a common view of the issue. Without these, everyone has their own mental picture of the failure. A simple sketch on paper or a dry-erase board immediately provides a group with a picture that everyone can edit, improve, point to and comment on.
Don’t overlook the importance of a simple sketch. Mechanical drawings and diagrams from manuals or the original equipment manufacturers also can be used during the investigation to improve the accuracy of the analysis.
Photographs are especially helpful because they create such a simple and accurate record. Digital cameras allow people to take plenty of pictures so that the most relevant can be selected later. Digital photos easily can become part of the investigation record.
Remember: The more detail that’s included in a diagram, drawing, sketch or photo, the more specific the discussion can be.