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Root Cause Analysis and Waste Elimination in Six Sigma

Getting to the source of why something has gone wrong in a system or process is critical to identifying the changes necessary for resolving the problem. During the Improve phase of a Six Sigma project, team members use a variety of nonstatistical methods and Lean tools to analyze systems and processes, looking for ways to reduce costs and eliminate waste. These tools help identify root causes and possible solutions. This course explores how to use various tools for conducting root cause analysis and reducing waste, such as fishbone diagrams, relational matrices, the 5 Whys, fault tree analysis, the 5Ss, standard work, and kanban-pull. This course is aligned to the ASQ Body of Knowledge and is designed to assist Green Belt candidates toward achieving their certification and becoming productive members of their Six Sigma project teams.

Target Audience
Candidates seeking Six Sigma Green Belt certification; quality professionals, engineers, production managers, and frontline supervisors; process owners and champions charged with the responsibility of improving quality and processes at the organizational or departmental level

Expected Duration (hours)

Lesson Objectives

Root Cause Analysis and Waste Elimination in Six Sigma

  • recognize the general process for carrying out a root cause analysis
  • recognize how fishbone diagrams are used in root cause analysis
  • use a relational matrix to prioritize the root causes of a given problem
  • identify errors made by a team conducting a 5 Whys analysis, in a given scenario
  • interpret a given fault tree analysis diagram
  • use tools to conduct root cause analyses
  • classify activities as value-add or nonvalue-add
  • recommend strategies for eliminating waste in a work setting, given a scenario
  • recognize how to add value and reduce waste in a process
  • identify the terms that belong to the 5S tool
  • match 5S principles to examples
  • match types of poka-yoke to corresponding examples
  • match elements of the standard work process to their corresponding purposes
  • recognize characteristics of a kanban-pull system
  • sequence examples of the four basic steps in kanban-pull, given a scenario
  • recognize how to reduce waste in a process



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