Causal Analysis and Resolution (CAR) is a Process Area at CMMI Maturity Level 5 under the Support category.
The basic challenge is to understand the very fundamental principle – whether CMMI Causal Analysis and Resolution (CAR) starts only after achieving Maturity Level 4 or even a Maturity Level 2 organization can address the issue of Causal Analysis and Resolution. There are different schools of thought on the subject. Organizations while moving on the journey towards CMMI Maturity, typically, also pursue ISO 9001 implementation. Now, in ISO 9001 implementation, you implement “Continual Improvement, Corrective Action and Preventive Action”. Hence organizations achieving CMMI Maturity Level 2 and also implementing ISO 9001 will look at “continual improvement, corrective and preventive action” very early on their journey much before they try achieving Maturity Level 5 where CAR is placed in CMMI Maturity Level 5. Statistically, CAR at CMMI Maturity Level 5 is to be understood as an improvement of process performance by elimination of common causes where you narrow the bell-curve of standard deviation by reducing the inherent causes of process variation. Possibly, this concept, may not be understood by an organization working at CMMI Maturity Level 2 along-with an ISO 9001 framework. This could be the fundamental difference between implementation of CAR at CMMI Maturity Level 5 in comparison to implementing “Continual Improvement, Corrective Action and Preventive Action” at Maturity Level 2 along-with ISO 9001 framework.
Steps for implementing Causal Analysis and Resolution (CAR) in projects or organizational level:
- Select data for analysis. In the first step select the data of the issues, defects or incidents for analysis. Analysis can happened at the planned interval or on an event (like many high severity defects) or at the end of a phase or start of new phase.
- Perform causal analysis. In this step causal analysis is performed on the selected data using root cause analysis techniques like Pareto Analysis, Fish Bone Diagram, and Histogram, etc. Based on the analysis, we have to identify the action plans to address the selected issues, defects or incidents in their current state (corrective action) and to avoid future occurrences (preventive action).
- Implement selected action plans. Corrective and Preventive Action Plans are implemented. Action plans help in addressing the root causes of the analysed issues, defects or incidents to prevent or reduce their occurrence or recurrences. Action Plans are selected based on their scope and importance of the resolutions.
- Evaluate the effect of implemented actions plans. Next step is to evaluate the effect of the implemented action plans. This is done by studying the same category of the issues, defects or incidents whose remedial action plans were implemented and analysing the difference between the current status and past status.
- Record all data. All data used in the causal analysis and resolution shall be stored to a central repository so that project and organizations activities can use that data and transfer the learning.
Source: CMMI-DEV Model, CMMI Institute.
Interpretation by the author.
Want experts help in implementing CAR activities
DQS India, CMMI Authorised Partner, provides Causal Analysis and Resolution training for better management of CAR activities in your organization. Training provides best practices to be followed while conducting CAR activities in the organization using different Root Cause Analysis Techniques like Pareto Analysis, Fish Bone Diagram, and Histogram etc., collection of data, storage of data.
We also help in establishing the organizational repository for CAR Data, so that future projects and organizational can use them.
Training is delivered through highly qualified and experienced CMMI Consultants, who has multi-years of experience in CMMI and other Quality Management Systems.