A 2-day course consisting of lectures, practices, and role plays that will provide attendees with an indepth understanding of how to analyze a system in order to identify the root causes of problems. The following topics are covered:

  •  The difference between problem solving and root cause analysis 
  •  Some common problem solving models and their weaknesses 
  •  Five steps for performing the root cause analysis part of problem solving  
  •  What each step accomplishes and some tools available for carrying it out 


This program is designed to: 

  • Enhance problem solving effectiveness by providing a model for more deeply analyzing problem situations 
  • Clarify the difference between analytical and creative thinking, and when each is most useful 
  • Promote the ability to provide problem-solving support in situations where one is not an expert in the process or technology involved 
  • Expand the range of tools available for analysis of problem situation 


Quality and process engineers, technicians or others responsible for troubleshooting technical problems, corrective action coordinators, or managers; supervisors, team leaders, and process owners; anyone who wants to improve their ability to solve recurring problems. 


None, although familiarity with standard problem solving models (e.g., PDCA, 8-D, ISO 9001 corrective action) and the seven QC tools (flowcharts, cause & effect diagrams, pareto charts, check sheets, run charts, histograms, scatter diagrams) would be useful.


Participants will learn how to:

  •   Differentiate between problem solving and root cause analysis   
  •   Implement five steps for carrying out effective root cause analysis  
  •   Select from and apply a variety of tools that support root cause analysis 
  •   Support and critique root cause analysis carried out by others 


Duke Okes has been helping organizations solve technical problems for more than 30 years. He holds degrees in technology, business and education, is an ASQ Fellow, and is certified by ASQ as a CMQ/OE, CQE and CQA. He is author of Root Cause Analysis:The Core of Problem Solving and Corrective Action.

         Class Dates: April 4 & 5, 2013
         Class Hours: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
         Location:  L105 in the Wayne Basler Library, Main Campus, Blountville, Tennessee
         Fee: $425.00 per participant

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