Root cause analysis (RCA) is important in an organization because it can turn negatives into something positive and productive.
RCA enables management to think of ways to continually provide improvements and to recommend “out of the box” ideas that may benefit the organization.
A main principle of RCA is the belief that systems and events are interrelated. Call it the domino effect, where a misstep in one area triggers an issue in another area, which has a bad outcome in another. By tracing back these events you can often discover where the problem started and how it developed into a bigger concern.
It’s important to note that RCA is not a one-size-fits-all methodology. There are many different tools, processes and philosophies of accomplishing RCA, which was born out of a need to analyze various enterprise activities such as:
- Accident analysis and occupational safety and health
- Quality control
- Efficient business process
- Engineering and maintenance failure analysis
- Various systems-based processes, including change management and risk management
RCA has become a prominent approach in several industries. For example, in health and safety RCA is commonly used in medical diagnosis and epidemiology where causal inference methods often require both clinical and statistical expertise to make sense of the complexities of the processes.
In IT and telecommunications, RCA is frequently used to detect the root causes of serious problems. In the computer security incident management process, root cause analysis is brought into the picture to investigate security breaches.
Additionally, RCA is often used in environmental science accident analysis (aviation and rail industry), and occupational safety and health.
In the manufacture of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, food, and dietary supplements, root cause analysis is an FDA regulatory requirement.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers nearly three dozen courses in Root Cause Analysis Training. Some of our classes include:
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