The practice of RCA is predicated on the belief that problems are best solved by attempting to correct or eliminate root causes, as opposed to merely addressing the immediate or obvious symptoms.

The general principles of Root Cause Analysis are:

  • The primary aim of RCA is to identify the root cause of a problem in order to create effective corrective actions that will prevent the problem from ever re-occurring, this is also known as the “100-year fix”.
  • To be effective, RCA must be performed systematically as an investigation, with conclusions and the root cause backed-up by documented evidence.
  • There is always one root cause for any given problem, the difficulty is having the stamina to find it!
  • To be effective, the analysis must establish a sequence of events or timeline to understand the relationships between contributing factors, the root cause and the defined problem.
  • Root Cause Analysis can help transform an old culture that reacts to problems into a new culture that solves problems before they can escalate but more importantly; reduces the instances of problems occurring over time within the environment where the RCA process is operated.

This is the general process for performing and documenting an RCA-based Corrective Action. We have broken the process down into the steps needed to ensure success:

  • Define the problem
  • Gather all the necessary data/evidence
  • Ask why and identify the true root cause associated with the defined problem
  • Identify corrective actions(s) that will prevent recurrence of the problem and find the 100-year fix.
  • Identify effective solutions that prevent recurrence, are within your control, meet your goals and objectives and do not cause other problems.
  • Implement the recommendations.
  • Observe the recommended solutions to ensure effectiveness.
  • Variability Reduction methodology for problem-solving and the problem avoidance.

Why use the Root Cause Analysis technique?

  • Improved reliability
  • Constantly challenges costly problems
  • Prevents recurring problems
  • Be able to monitor and maximise return on business investments

For a detailed look at the benefits of the Root Cause Analysis technique and how it can be implemented in your business why not speak to a specialist today

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Our other lean techniques

There are several tools and techniques that form a key part of your Lean programme; there are hundreds, if not thousands, of great ideas within Lean to explore