Every problem in our life has a root cause, but we rarely take the time to pull up the root and take a look. We wonder why our relationships keep failing, or why we don't have the relationship with our children that we once envisioned. Or maybe the same bad scenario keeps playing out in our professional lives. The first step in breaking these patterns is identifying their root causes. A method known as Root Cause Analysis (RCA) can help.
What is Root Cause Analysis?
RCA is a method of determining the root cause of a problem so the issue can be addressed and fixed.
We often focus on the effects of our problems rather than the cause. For example, maybe you lost custody of your children. You might be focusing on that instead of addressing the underlying reason you lost custody. Using RCA, you may peel back the layers and find that you lost custody because you failed to speak up for yourself at the hearing. Digging deeper, you may find that low self-esteem was the reason you failed to speak up. With this knowledge, you can address your self-esteem issues and prevent the same thing from happening again.
The Basic Steps of RCA
RCA is relatively simple. First, clearly identify and describe the problem. Next, establish a timeline with the problem or issue as the last event. From there you can analyze the timeline and determine all of the causal factors down to their root. It might be useful during this process to draw a graph or visual representation showing the root cause leading to the problem.
The “5 Whys”
The 5 Whys are a useful approach in RCA. In this method, after you identify the specific problem you want to find the cause of, you ask yourself five “why” questions.
For example, you might identify this as your problem: “I missed a child support payment.” Five “why” questions for this problem might look like this:
- Why did I miss a child support payment? Because I forgot.
- Why did I forget? Because I can't keep track of everything in my life.
- Why can't I keep track? Because I'm unorganized.
- Why am I unorganized? Because I don't have the time to create a system for myself.
- Why don't I have the time? Because I don't have a support system to allow me some time to get my things in order.
The lack of a support system is the root cause of your missed child support payment. Now that you recognize this, you can look for solutions.
Helping You Make a Change
Remember it's never too late to break your patterns and make a positive change in your life. Try Root Cause Analysis. A fresh start is closer than you think.
If you need help with a fresh start in your child custody or support case, Joseph D. Lento can help. He can explain your legal options and how you might change your situation. Call the Lento Law Firm now at 888.535.3686 or reach out online.