Problem solving and “Root Cause Analysis (RCA)”

Naturally, any problem has its origins (roots). Some problems are, indeed, created by and therefore a derivative of solutions to prior problems; which is why “Root Cause Analysis (RCA)” is vital in the problem-solving process.

I prefer a systematic approach to problem-solving rather than act on impulse and panic for solutions. I prefer the practice of taking time to comprehensively identify the problem, i.e, what it is, what its cause is and thoroughly think through, test all possible and effective solutions. Admittedly, ad hoc action and solutions to situational difficulties (problems) is as vital and commendable as a systematic approach. But it should not – and should never – replace systematic problem-solving or be the preferred approach. It should be the default mode in emergencies.

However, it’s also important to understand and bear in mind that, every solution to a problem, is possibly, in fact, the next problem. No solution to a problem is without its own flaws, i.e, completely flawless, without possible (in-built) failures.

While we solve problems, we also create problems. This is critical especially to problem-solving professionals, i.e, those whose trade and daily preoccupation is solving problems, who make a living out of solving (other people’s) problems; or else, you solve yourself out of a trade.