Advanced IS- IS NOT problem analysis

A rational approach to root cause identification | taught by Jan Willem Vernhout
12 month access
3 month access
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Customer Service & Technical Support : 3 courses in 1
Root cause failure analysis: 4 courses in 1

Course description

Who is advanced IS-IS NOT problem analysis for?

After you have completed your initial problem evaluation using the Event Mapping methodology, you will sometimes have unknown causes which must be identified, particularly in technical areas having an impact on process performance and/or product quality.

In an established process, any deviation in performance from a standard or norm is always the consequence of a change: wear, changes of parts, materials, process parameters, environmental conditions…

Frequently we react to such situations by jumping to conclusions ie. based on past experience someone believes the most probable cause of the problem is X or Y and corrective measures are taken based on this input. Happily, a lot of the time, this will be correct but in the cases where it is not, such a trial and error approach, by introducing even more change, will often make the problem worse, potentially taking you off on a poorly controlled magical mystery tour from which it can be very difficult to recover.

Given this, advanced IS – IS NOT Problem Analysis is a must for anyone : Maintenance Engineers, Field Service Engineers, Reliability Engineers, Process Engineers, Installation Managers… who needs a methodology to quickly identify the most probable root cause of a given problem with a very high degree of confidence before implementing corrective measures.

What will you learn?

Designed to allow you to home in rapidly on the most probable root cause of any deviation from an established level of performance, with our on-line advanced IS- IS NOT Problem Analysis methodology you will learn the following:

  • How to establish a detailed problem specification, covering what the problem IS and what it IS-NOT in a manner which allows you to gain much deeper insights about the nature of the problem.
  • How to use the information in the problem specification to:
    • Quickly eliminate incompatible possible causes.
    • Identify other plausible possible causes.
  • How to verify that the most probable root cause identified in the previous is the true root cause.

Bonus: As both a bonus and to illustrate the (severe) limits of the methodology, the Problem Analysis theory module also includes an optional review (Theory & practise) of the Fishbone/Ishikawa diagram methodology

Course Content.

  • Two interactive on-line training modules:
    • Problem Analysis Theory: Introduction to all the basic Problem Analysis steps through an example
    • Problem Analysis Practise : Based on a case study, a guided, self-evaluation exercise to insure understanding of all the concepts presented in the theory module
  • Downloadable support documents covering the main concepts introduced on the Problem Analysis Theory module
  • One “homework” exercise + corrected solution : Based on a more complex case study that is already introduced in our Event Mapping course, a further opportunity to gain practical experience going through all the steps of advanced IS – IS NOT Problem Analysis.
  • An Excel based Problem Analysis template.
  • A Problem Definition & Specification Help sheet which provides details of all the questions that need to be asked to support high quality problem stratification.

Time required.

Depending on prior experience with formal problem solving methodologies and given the complexity of the practical exercises that are proposed (based on cases studies), this course requires 3 to 4 hours.

Recommended prerequisites.

While IS – IS NOT Analysis can be used as a stand-alone methodology, we highly recommend that you first do the courses below:

  • Information gathering and questioning technique: The quality of the information you have available will determine the quality of your IS _ IS NOT Problem Analysis. For those who have no formal training in this area, this course, which includes theory and practise exercises, provides very helpful guidelines on the key questions that need to be asked in any problem situation and how to ask them in a manner which insures high quality answers.

  • Event Mapping: In any case where a problem can’t be attributed to a unique cause-effect chain it always worthwhile to do an overall problem evaluation before doing an IS-IS NOT Analysis. In almost all cases, this will allow you to see issues that would have been overlooked otherwise. Furthermore, Event Mapping allows you to organise and categorise all the information available about a problem situation in a format which is particularly easy to share with others, from the initial problem evaluation through to the choice of corrective measures, their implementation and validation.

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Jan Willem Vernhout
Jan Willem Vernhout
senior consultant/facilitator

Mijn focus is het begeleiden van klanten om tastbare resultaten te behalen en hiermee de organisatie-effectiveit te verbeteren. In mijn dagelijks werk faciliteer ik het veranderingsproces, geef leiding aan projecten en vind het inspirerend om medewerkers te trainen en te coachen. Ik geloof dat er veel ongebruikte kennis en ervaring in mensen en organisaties aanwezig is. Door een systematische methodische aanpak zoals RATIO en Lean te combineren met onze vaardigheid om mensen te mobiliseren kun je het beste uit mensen naar voren halen.