Publication Date

Spring 2019

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Mark Doggett (Director), Dr. Mark Revels, and Dr. Bryan Reaka

Degree Program

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Degree Type

Master of Science


Several tools exist for root cause analysis (RCA). Despite this however, many practitioners are not obtaining the quality improvement desired. Those turning to literature for guidance would find most of the information resides in case studies with anecdotal outcomes. Since 5 Whys analysis has been one of the more pervasive tools in use, this study sought to add to the root cause analysis body of knowledge by investigating tool support factors. While studied in conjunction with 5 Whys, the support variables lend themselves to other root cause analysis tools as well. The purpose of the study was to utilize a 2 x 2 factorial design to determine the significance and effect on RCA effectiveness, of using a 5 Whys trained facilitator and action level classification. During the study, problem solving teams at service centers of a North American electric repair company conducted analysis with or without a trained facilitator. Additionally, corrective actions were or were not categorized by defined levels of ability to impact defect prevention. The dependent variable of effectiveness was determined by scoring from a weighted list of best practices for problem solving analysis. Analysis showed trained facilitators had significant effect on problem solving solutions, while classification had minimal


Industrial Technology