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Distinguishing between grasping the current situation and factor analysis

In a general sense, "factor analysis" is usually included in "understanding the current situation", but in the QC story, we will consider it separately. And it is a very important procedure to divide.

In addition, although there are no steps named "Understanding the current situation" and "Factor analysis" in the task achievement type QC story , if you cannot think of a measure to achieve the task, or if you have a firm grasp of the validity of the measure. If you want, "Understanding the current situation" and "Factor analysis" are useful.

From the above, this page is referred to as "understanding the current situation" and "factor analysis", but it is not just about problem-solving QC stories in which these words are clearly used .

Positioning of current situation understanding and factor analysis

The actual problem-solving QC story is more detailed, but the point here is the relationship of the following three stages.

When something goes wrong, people tend to talk about "what to do about it !?", but the point is that there are two steps before that.

Also, when something goes wrong, it is easy to talk about "what is the cause !?", but the point is that there is one step before that.

It is within the scope of my experience, but the efficiency and results of the subsequent process will change significantly depending on the content of the current situation.

Understanding the current situation

There are many ways to say "understand the current situation", so here are some examples.

To reiterate at the beginning, "understanding the current situation" in the QC story is different from "understanding the current situation" in the general sense. In a general sense, "understanding the current situation" is a combination of "understanding the current situation" and "analyzing factors" in the QC story.

Understanding the current situation in a QC story does not include investigating the causal system or investigating the relationship between cause and effect. Examine only the result system.

If you have a solid grasp of the current situation, you may be able to understand the countermeasures at that point. In addition, the factors that must be investigated in the next factor analysis can be narrowed down considerably, so factor analysis is easy and efficient.

A common mistake is to start working on the causal system without investigating the resulting system. As a feeling, I want to start working on the cause area quickly, but if I start working on the cause system before the result system is clear, I get "I don't know anything" or "re-examine the result system". It tends to be.

That said, in reality, there are times when something related to the cause comes out in the process of understanding the current situation. Therefore, it may not be clear to distinguish between the contents of the current situation and the analysis of the next factor, but at least at the stage of grasping the current situation, those who have withheld the decision that "the cause is this". Is good.

Factor analysis

Once the current situation is clear and what is happening, it is time to analyze the factors.

The analysis of factors is roughly divided into two, "hypothesis setting" and "hypothesis verification".

The "factor" in a factor analysis is a possible cause. It will be something that seems to be "Isn't this the cause?"

Even if you have a star from the beginning, "Isn't this the cause?", The point is to identify possible things at least once. That way, when the one with the star is lost, the next step will be decided. This identification work is the "hypothesis setting".

"Hypothesis verification" is a confirmation of whether the hypothesis is true. You can check everything before proceeding to the next plan, but in my experience, if you look at the ones that have a star from the beginning or the ones that can be checked immediately, and if the hypothesis is correct, then In many cases, the measures that can be taken are started.

When the goal is to achieve a task

When the purpose is to solve a problem, we will investigate the cause of the problem from various factors. There may be a causal relationship between the factors. Ultimately, the root cause can often be narrowed down to one.

There are also causal relationships that do not matter.

When the goal is to accomplish a task, it is an analysis that seeks to find various causal relationships rather than finding something fundamental.


AFD stands for Anticipatory Failure Determination. It means "identification of failure in advance".

The characteristic of AFD is that it does not analyze the reason why the "failure" occurred as "why did it occur?". At AFD, we start thinking, "How can I get the failure?" AFD also provides subsequent steps, but the first step is the main feature. Thinking in this way, it is not an investigation of the cause of what you do, but an invention (creation of a hypothesis), so TRIZ and academic knowledge will be useful.

The approach of "why? Why?" To the cause can be said to be bottom-up (going from bottom to top). "Why? Why?" Can get stuck because you can't think of a reason. AFD, on the other hand, is a top-down (top-to-bottom) approach.

If you want to use AFD to analyze a failure that has already occurred, look in the list of hypotheses for the one that fits the conditions when it actually happened. When used to predict potential failures, we will proceed with risk assessment and preventive measures.

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