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Root cause analysis (RCA) is the process of discovering the root causes of problems in order to identify appropriate solutions.

Root cause analysis assumes that it is much more effective to systematically prevent and solve for underlying issues rather than just treating ad hoc symptoms and putting out fires. Root cause analysis can be performed with a collection of principles, techniques, and methodologies that can all be leveraged to identify the root causes of an event or trend.

Looking beyond superficial cause and effect, RCA can show where processes or systems failed or caused an issue in the first place.

The primary goal of root cause analysis is to discover the root cause of a problem or event. The second goal is to fully understand how to fix, compensate, or learn from any underlying issues within the root cause. 

But the payoff is in the third goal: to apply what we learn from this analysis to systematically prevent future issues or to repeat successes.

Analysis is only as good as what we do with that analysis, so the third goal of RCA is important. We can use RCA to also modify core process and system issues in a way that prevents future problems.

Experts in this area believe that for an organization to use root cause analysis effectivity, certain core principles need to be followed.

One of those principles is to focus on correcting and remedying root causes rather than just symptoms. Another is realizing there can be multiple root causes to a problem.


  • Be methodical and find concrete cause-effect evidence to back up root cause claims.
  • Provide enough information to inform a corrective course of action.
  • Consider how a root cause can be prevented (or replicated) in the future.

Want to learn more? Tonex offers Root Cause Analysis Workshop, a 2-day course that focuses on practical root cause analysis knowledge and skills. Attendees will learn about procedures and tools to analyze the causes of problems to determine corrective actions.

The workshop consists of lectures, practical examples, case studies and role-playing to provide participants with an in-depth knowledge and tools analyze and identify the root causes of problems and mitigations.

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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