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First, you need to brainstorm all the potential root causes, fill your fishbone! Go ahead and let it be unfiltered. Then, start the filtering process. A good questiont to ask is: “Of these causes, what do we have control over?” (circle them, or highlight them), Then from those, start to prioritize the root causes that the team can work towards proving or disproving before jumping to solution.

Tracy O'Rourke

Tracy is a Managing Partner & Executive Advisor at She is also a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Instructor at University of California 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.