A factor is considered the root cause of a problem if removing it prevents the problem from recurring. A causal factor, conversely, is one that affects an event’s outcome, but is not the root cause. Although removing a causal factor can benefit an outcome, it does not prevent its recurrence with certainty.
The causal factor isn’t the single factor that drove the event. Instead, a causal factor was one of a few influences. The event could still occur again, or would have happened without the causal factor.
Identify Possible Causes:
This can be done in a brainstorm session. Start with the problem definition and ask “why?” it happened. Keep on asking “why?” repetitively until you have found the root cause.
Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not.Epictetus, 50 – c. 135 AD