Clues are insights you gain on impacting your process as you work to obtain your project goal. Clues will help you identify potential root causes to address to be successful. You discover clues to potential root causes during the Process Walk and the baseline data analysis.

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With the project goal in mind, the team will directly observe clues during the Process Walk and uncover them during interviews with staff. It’s a good practice to prioritize the clues based on their impact on the project goal. See the Process Walk article for details.

Non-random patterns in the baseline data Run Chart and performance differences when stratifying the data beg the question, “What is different in the process to cause the changes in performance?” It’s in these situations you’ll go deeper to understand why the issues are occurring.

The project team will stratify the data by the factors identified in the Data Collection Plan to identify these clues. Some of these stratifications will show no meaningful differences in performance, while others will highlight significant differences. You don’t know what you may find until you start analyzing the data. See the Baseline Performance and Data Collection Plan articles for details.


How do I use the Clues Discovered tool?

Before looking for root causes, take the time to summarize what you’ve learned from your Process Walk and data analysis. Then, list any clues you’ve found, even if you don’t know what they may mean. This step is crucial because it helps you search for root causes based on facts and data—not speculation and hunches.

Use your list of clues to begin developing your Fishbone Diagram. The Fishbone Diagram is the most popular tool for determining root causes. The head of the Fishbone is the problem you wish to solve and use the bones of the Fishbone to organize your identification of potential root causes.

Use your clues as a starting point to identify more complex causes on your Fishbone Diagram. Eventually, you’ll select the potential root causes you wish to explore further using the 5 Whys from the Fishbone.


Kure guides you through each step of identifying your clues by asking simple questions, analyzing your data and providing guidance along the way. Powered by our Process Optimization Path™ (artificial intelligence), Kure will help you and your teams collaborate to complete process improvement projects together.

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