What is Facilitation?
Facilitation is a leadership function, without being a leader!
It involves ensuring that all team members share
responsibilities. It also entails assisting the leader in
managing the team, without being a manager.
When a team is assembled to complete a specific task, roles are
assigned and typically adhered to. One of the functions that
needs to be identified as the team is formed, is the
A strong Facilitator should be someone who can view the issues
of the team and its members from a "neutral
point-of-view". One might draw the analogy of a Facilitator
as a "civilian" rather than a subject matter expert (SME).
That should be mistaken for the fact that the Facilitator can be
success of the team depends on the ability of a Facilitator to
make sure procedures are followed, and that there are few
diversions from the task at hand. Contrary to belief, the
Facilitator need not be actively involved for the entire life
span of the team. Once the team has reached a point of maturity,
the Facilitator may step down and actually cease to be a part of
Given the above description, an external Facilitator is often a
good way to progress. For further information, please contact
Quality Training and Development Services:
Root Cause Analysis
What is root cause analysis?
In simple terms, root cause is the event or events
that caused a deviation (or difference) in a product, process or
service, from an expected level of performance to an n inferior
level of functionality. What should be is no longer the case due
to a relevant change in a product process or service.
Unfortunately, and too many times as the case may be, time is
not properly spent defining the problem. The trend, in industry,
is to "see a problem, fix a problem" or to solve for
the root cause, before understanding the problem in its
Imbedded in Ford's Global 8D process is the fourth discipline
(D4), which is entitled Define and Verify Root Cause and
Escape Point. Root cause analysis hinges on the premise that
a proper and thorough effort was put forth in the problem
description stage, allowing for the team members to genuinely
seek out what caused the problem the customer has experienced.
Who is involved in root cause analysis?
Root cause analysis should be the responsibility of a
cross-functional team that includes members from the area or
areas where the problem occurred. The team should also include
anyone else with insight into the product, process or service.
Fundamentals of root cause analysis
Tied into root cause analysis are the concepts of comparative
analysis, which looks at differences and changes, theory
generating and theory testing. Once most likely cause is
determined from the list of theories, verification is the next
step. Other components are the cause & effect, or fishbone
analysis, and process mapping or process flow-charting, to name
Global Eight Disciplines (Global 8D)
The Global 8D process is an important element for team problem
solving and for complementing the efforts of continuous
D0 - Prepare for the Ford Global 8D Process
Determines whether or not the internal or external customer
needs to be protected from any adverse effects. Explains how to
use the Global 8D application criteria to determine whether or
not to use the Global 8D process to solve the problem. Details
the assessing questions to use as a formative process check and
a confirmation of readiness to continue to the next step.
D1 - Establish the Team
key points, including team membership, team roles, operating
procedures, team system model, and team synergy.
D2 - Describe the Problem
Describes the internal/external problem by identifying
"what is wrong with what". Detailing the problem in
quantifiable terms. Develops a Problem Statement and a Problem
Description (what, where, when, how big).
D3 - Develop Interim Containment Action
Develops an interim containment action to protect the customer
from the problem identified in the previous discipline.
Distinguishes between the verification and the validation
processes. Describes the Management (Deming) Cycle that
constitutes an action plan.
D4 - Define and Verify Root Cause and Escape Point
Identifies the root cause(s) of the problem, and how the problem
escaped to the customer. Explains the techniques of comparative
analysis, identifying and testing theories to find root cause.
D5 -Choose and Verify Permanent Corrective Actions for Root
Cause and Escape Point
Examines the basic styles and steps in decision-making.
Identifies the Global 8D process criteria for Permanent
Corrective Actions. Useful tools and techniques overviewed
include decision-making, risk analysis, and action planning.
D6 - Implement and Validate Permanent Corrective Actions
Covers the elements of planning and problem prevention, as well
as the characteristics of successful implementation of the
permanent corrective actions. Potential problem analysis is
demonstrated. The Paynter Chart is introduced as a useful tool
for monitoring ongoing validation of the Permanent Corrective
D7 - Prevent Recurrence
Identifies improvement of the systems, policies, procedures and
practices of the problem just studied. Demonstrates the value of
also identifying other causes of the problem and actions that
should be taken.
D8 - Recognize Team and Individual Contributions
Looks at the theory of recognition and the closure process and
how to complete unfinished team business. Key concepts include
recognition and completing unfinished team business.