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How to create a FCA

Posted 18th January 2014. Last Updated 16th January 2015


This article will provide a step-by-step on how to create a FCA (FACT - CAUSE - ACTION)


What is a FCA?

The FCA is ICG's Root Cause tool and is used by KPI managers to get to the Root Cause of an abnormal or unexpected result. Once the root cause has been researched, an appropriate action can be proposed.

On ICG, a Yellow or Red bubble indicates that  the result was worse than expected. The purpose of the FCA is therefore to get to the root cause of the problem and propose an action to ensure it never happens again. 

The blue bubble however indicates the result was better than expected. In this case it is an opportunity to learn. By understanding the root cause, maybe the results can be replicated or another process can be improved.



Creating a FCA

1) To create a FCA, select a bubble with a dark bold ring.

(The ring indicates a FCA is required)



The FCA Tab will then appear on the far right, as shown below.



2)   With FCAs, you need to first identify the FACT.

It should be a simple statement, ideally with numbers, defining exactly what happened. No explanation at this point is required.

Once created, click 'save'.



If you need to create another FACT, click 'F' as shown below.

Otherwise, click 'C' to create a 'CAUSE' and resume with the FCA.




4)    This next stage is about trying to understand why the abnormal result occurred.

Initially, you need to ask yourself 'why did it happen?' Define the primary cause and click 'save'.

As shown below the primary cause is not a long explanation. 




5) Defining one cause rarely gets to the root cause. It is more likely you need to dig deeper. 

So ask yourself 'why' that particular cause occurred.

Click 'C' again (as shown above) and define why the primary cause occurred. Again click 'save'.



6)  Keep repeating step 5 until you believe you have got to the root cause.

This example has identified three separate causes and it is now ready for an 'Action'

Click 'A' as shown below.




6)  When creating an action you need to think (and specify) whether you are fixing the 'Effect' or the 'Cause'.

     The difference:

>   Imagine treading on a rusty nail and cutting your foot. You put a plaster on it and it stops bleeding. BUT the rusty nail is still there. You are only treating the 'effect' and the same problem can happen again. 

>   This time imagine removing the nail. You no longer cut your foot and the same problem won't occur again. You have fixed the 'cause' of the problem.



You also need to specify the Action 'Due Date' and 'Who' is responsible for the action. Remember, actions can be delegated to other team members.

Once finished, click 'Save'. When you return to the dashboard you will notice the dark bold ring will have disappeared.

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