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How do you ensure that the solution to the goal is really the correct solution? In other words, how do you know that someone’s gut reaction to the problem is the solution to implement?

This is why Root Cause Analysis is SO important. Jumping right from a problem to a solution feels like shooting in the dark because it is! If Root Cause Analysis and discovery are completed prior to brainstorming solutions, individuals and teams have a better chance of identifying the root of the problem and coming up with a solution that addresses the root of the problem. Gut instincts might be good, but data is always better!

Tracy O'Rourke

Tracy is a Managing Partner at, the co-author of The Problem-Solver’s Toolkit and co-host of the Just-in-Time Cafe. She is also a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Instructor at UC San Diego and teaches in San Diego State University’s Lean Enterprise Program. For almost 20 years, she has helped leading organizations like Washington State, Charles Schwab and GE build problem-solving muscles.