Troubleshooting 181

Troubleshooting provides a comprehensive overview of various methods and tools used to troubleshoot problems. Troubleshooting often involves finding the root cause of a problem and being able to distinguish deviations from problems and early warning signs from warning signs. Many tools are used to collect and interpret troubleshooting data, including check sheets, fishbone diagrams, and Pareto charts. The 5 Why technique, brainstorming, documentation, and troubleshooting teams are common methods of gathering troubleshooting data. Troubleshooting teams gather data in order to find possible solutions. Teams must test solutions to make sure they offer long-term results.

Troubleshooting is an extremely important skill for all areas of industry. The information provided in this class prepares students to solve problems and understand how to work to prevent them in many different settings. Without this knowledge, students would not be able to solve problems effectively.

  • Difficulty Beginner

  • Format Online

  • Number of Lessons 21

  • Language English


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Course Outline
  • What Is Troubleshooting?
  • Troubleshooting Teams
  • The Root Cause
  • The Root Cause: In Action
  • Deviations and Problems
  • Identifying Early Warning Signs
  • Troubleshooting Review
  • Gathering Data
  • Troubleshooting Tools: Check Sheets
  • Troubleshooting Tools: Cause and Effect Diagrams
  • Troubleshooting Tools: Pareto Charts
  • Troubleshooting Tools: 5 Why
  • 5 Why: In Action
  • Troubleshooting Tools: Brainstorming
  • Troubleshooting Tools Review
  • Prioritizing Solutions
  • Testing for Long-Term Solutions
  • Prioritizing and Testing Solutions: In Action
  • The Importance of Documentation
  • Procedures for Documentation
  • Advantages and Challenges of Standard Troubleshooting Procedures
  • Define troubleshooting.
  • Describe troubleshooting teams.
  • Define root cause.
  • Define root cause.
  • Distinguish between deviations and problems.
  • Describe common early warning signs.
  • Describe the purpose of collecting troubleshooting data.
  • Describe the uses of a check sheet for gathering data.
  • Describe the uses of cause and effect diagrams. Identify the different categories in 5 Ms and 1 P.
  • Describe the uses of a Pareto chart.
  • Describe the 5 Why technique.
  • Describe the 5 Why technique.
  • Describe the process of brainstorming.
  • Describe rationales for prioritizing solutions.
  • Describe the purpose of testing solutions.
  • Describe the purpose of testing solutions.
  • Describe the importance of documentation.
  • Describe procedures for documentation.
  • Describe advantages and challenges with standard troubleshooting procedures.
Vocabulary Term

5 Ms and 1 P

An expression identifying the six major factors most likely to be the source of problems. These factors are machines, materials, methods, Mother Nature, measurement, and people.

5 Why

A technique that asks a series of "why" questions (usually 5) in order to isolate the root cause of a problem. 5 Why is also a useful starting point for other troubleshooting techniques.

80-20 rule

The belief that 80% of a problem is caused by a specific, critical 20% of factors. The 80-20 rule is often illustrated in Pareto charts.


An activity in which an individual or group rapidly lists ideas in order to identify possible problem causes or solutions. During brainstorming, all ideas are accepted and recorded.

cause and effect diagram

A visual tool used to organize possible factors that contribute to a certain problem or event. Cause and effect diagrams are often used in troubleshooting.

check sheet

A quality control form that uses simple marks to collect and record information about a problem by tracking categories and occurrences. Check sheets are typically simple forms that can be filled out on the shop floor.


A collaboration technique which allows everyone on a team to actively participate in crafting solutions. A consensus is reached when all team members can support the final decision.

cyclone process

A method of forcing gas to swirl through a special compartment in order to separate solids from the gas. The cyclone process helps remove particulates from the gas stream.


Factual information that is used for analysis and problem solving. Data is often in the form of values or numbers.


A situation that is different from what is normal and expected. Some deviations are acceptable and some are not.

fishbone diagram

A visual cause and effect chart used to identify and isolate potential causes of a problem or effect. Fishbone diagrams have the central process in the center with possible causes branching off on separate lines.

heat treatment

The controlled heating and cooling processes used to change the structure of a material and alter its physical and mechanical properties. Heat treatment is often used to adjust a material's hardness.


The opening through which fluid is drawn into a pump. The inlet must be large enough to allow the required amount of fluid to flow through it.


A substance that cannot be dissolved. Insoluble particulates can cause problems like excessive wear.

Pareto chart

A visual tool used in troubleshooting to identify the causes of problems that occur most frequently by distinguishing a problem's major factors from its minor factors. Pareto charts often display the 80-20 rule.

Pareto charts

A visual tool used in troubleshooting to identify the causes of problems that occur most frequently by distinguishing a problem's major factors from its minor factors. Pareto charts often display the 80-20 rule.


Tiny pieces of solid matter. Particulates include metal, dirt, sand, and dust.


A situation that creates unacceptable quality or safety hazards. Problems must be corrected, usually as soon as possible.

root cause

The true origin of a problem, as opposed to any resulting symptoms or effects. Troubleshooting attempts to determine the root cause in order to create a permanent solution.


A systematic, standardized approach to solving problems quickly and efficiently. Troubleshooting focuses on identifying the root cause of a problem and eliminating that cause to create a permanent solution.

troubleshooting team

A group of employees who cooperate in order to effectively solve a problem. Troubleshooting teams consist of workers from diverse areas.


An upset in the even flow of gas or air. Turbulence is caused by surging fluid.