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Root cause analysis (RCA) could just as easily be called “getting to the heart of the matter.” It can be applied to just about any situation in any business, organization or agency.

The RCA approach especially helps administrators and other management personnel identify the origin of a problem. Using a specific set of steps with associated tools, RCA seeks to determine what happened, why it happened and come up with a plan to reduce the likelihood of the problem happening again.

The applications are far reaching. Examples where RCA can solve problems and provide preventative actions, include:

  • Medical errors
  • Productivity matters
  • Accidents (major, minor and near misses)
  • Environmental disruptions
  • Risk analysis
  • Office issues
  • Maintenance problems

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.

Generally, there are three basic types of causes:

  1. Physical causes – A physical component fails in some way, such as automatic transmission.
  2. Human causes – A person made a mistake. Human causes such as failure to put automatic transmission fluid into the transmission, often lead to physical causes.
  3. Organizational causes – A system, policy or process led to a problem, such as everyone assumed someone else had filled the transmission with fluid.

An RCA investigator would take a look at all three possible causes in order to determine the real issue that needs to be changed to prevent similar problems in the future.

Most RCA experts believe that achievement of total prevention by a single intervention is not always possible and see RCA as an ongoing process that strives for continuous improvement.

A common denominator of RCA includes focusing on corrective measures rather than simply treating the symptoms of a problem. Another is emphasis on why a problem occurred rather than who made the error. RCA investigators also realize that there is usually more than one root cause for a problem.

How RCA Saves Money

According to Thinking Dimensions, the true cost savings brought about by Root Cause Analysis is twofold:

  1. The longer it takes to solve a problem, the more expensive the problem becomes.  Root Cause Analysts must therefore employ the right process to ensure conclusion and resolution in good time.
  2. The true savings associated with an incident is, however, an avoidance of future incidents.  Root Cause Analysis should not stop when a problem is resolved; active analysis should be done to put plans in place to avoid the recurrence of the problem.

Root Cause Analysis Training

Tonex offers many courses in Root Cause Analysis Training, including:

Participants can expect to learn about problem solving tools, root cause elimination, statistical hypothesis, human factors, cause mapping, using data, developing corrective and preventative actions – and much more.

Why Tonex?

For over 30 years Tonex, while presenting highly customized learning solutions, has worked with organizations in improving their understanding and capabilities in topics often with new development, design, optimization, regulations and compliances that, frankly, can be difficult to comprehend.

— Ratings tabulated from student feedback post-course evaluations show an amazing 98 percent satisfaction score.

–Reasonably priced classes taught by the best trainers is the reason all kinds of organizations from Fortune 500 companies to government’s most important agencies return for updates in courses and hands-on workshops

Contact us for more information, questions, comments.

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