A Root Cause Exploration™ project is a very flexible and robust approach to addressing the root causes of various problems. With the general-purpose Root Cause Exploration™ project, you can solve the majority of the issues with unknown causes.

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  • Step 1: What's My Opportunity? ➔ Screener ➔ Goal Statement ➔ Charter ➔ VOC ➔ SIPOC

  • Step 2: What's My Process? ➔ As-Is Map ➔ Data Collection ➔ Data Entry ➔ Baseline

  • Step 3: What's Causing My Problem? ➔ Clues ➔ Fishbone ➔ 5 Whys ➔ Confirm

  • Step 4: What's My Solution? ➔ Solutions ➔ Implement ➔ To-Be Map ➔ Verification ➔ Monitoring & Response ➔ Transfer Opportunities ➔ Project Handoff ➔ Project Summary

  • Do a Root Cause Exploration project when you have a specific problem to solve and root causes to understand.

However, the better we define the problem, the more we can adapt the path and increase the project’s speed and effectiveness. For example, within the Root Cause Exploration™ project, you can follow two tailored paths: Cycle Time Reduction or Error/Defect Reduction.

Cycle Time Reduction

If your process takes too long to complete, this is a Cycle Time Reduction project.

Cycle time is the time elapsed from when the work starts until complete. Many processes grow overly complex and cumbersome over time and need to be “refreshed,” tossing out elements no longer required. This path includes Process Simplification in which you look for non-value-added steps and eliminate some of them. Also included is targeted problem solving to address the process of Bottlenecks and the actions that consume the most time. The result is to improve workflow, reduce cycle time and increase productivity.

Error/Defect Reduction

Does your process often produce errors or defects? This is an Error/Defect Reduction project. If there’s a lot of internal rework making you redo things you’ve already completed. If work flowing through your process often needs revision, that can create a lot of work for people. This path will help you understand the Rolled Throughput Yield.

Rolled Throughput Yield is the percent of work done without rework or revision. You may be surprised to find that even though nearly all the output from your process is correct, only 10% got through without needing some rework! This is often called the hidden factory and is common in manufacturing and service processes. In this path, you’ll target your most painful sources of rework, understand the root causes and develop targeted solutions.


Kure guides you through each step in your process optimization journey by asking simple questions 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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