Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is widely used in IT operations, manufacturing, telecommunications, industrial process control, accident analysis, medicine and the healthcare industry.
The popularity of Root Cause Analysis is due to its success as finding the root cause of a problem – not just the surface issue.
In other words, reaching the heart of a problem and inspecting its aspects allows RCA to create an efficient, systematic problem-solving approach.
There are several goals involved in the root cause analysis (RCA) process.
The first 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.
The third goal is 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.
Core principles also rate highly in root cause analysis because these principles guide effective root cause analysis. These core principles help the analysis quality as well as aid the analyst to gain trust from clients, patients and from stakeholders.
One of the most important core principles of RCA is to focus on correcting and remedying root causes rather than just symptoms. It’s critical that analysts don’t ignore the importance of treating symptoms for short-term relief.
The benefits to an organization of a root cause analysis are considerable, such as:
Solving real-world problems
Lowering operational costs
Making workplaces safer
Providing an organizational knowledge repository
Implementing effective & permanent solutions
Improving quality control
Preventing failure in maintenance
Improving risk and change management
But even with the success of Root Cause Analysis, experts in this area believe organizations can have even greater success with RCA by following a few simple guidelines, such as:
Collect the right information.Your analysis will only be as good as the data you collect, so compiling comprehensive, accurate, and consistent information about your incidents is essential.
Look beyond the incident report. Take a step back to understand the full chain of events and relationships that led to the incident.
Ask questions.The five whys technique is helpful in digging for answers. Start with the problem and work backward to sequence all of the contributing events. Ask why the incident happened. Take that answer and ask why again, drilling down until you reach a cause that can’t be broken down any further. Explore all potential causes initially, and narrow down the list to the most likely culprits.
Focus your attention where you can have the greatest impact. Since very few companies have the time or resources to drill down into every incident or claim, it is important to focus attention where you can have the greatest impact. About 80% of your issues will be caused by 20% of your problems – known as the Pareto Principle.
It’s also advisable to include technology in your RCA. Software can help you simplify and streamline the root cause analysis process by seamlessly integrating claim, incident and cause data into one platform.
Software tools designed to support successful Root Cause Analysis follow a structured approach to capture and analyze data, identify and implement corrective actions, and track the progress of new initiatives.
Root Cause Analysis Training Courses by Tonex
Tonex offers more than 30 courses in Root Cause Analysis. Many of the courses focus on the fundamentals of Root Cause Analysis tailored to specific user groups, such as:
The courses cover a wide range of topics including how RCA can be helpful in such areas as:
Risk analysis, risk mapping
Participants also learn how RCA can be beneficial for:
Identifying the burdens and the root causes of problems in order to coming up with permanent solutions
Enabling to establish a rational methodology to problem-solving, by utilizing the available data
Exploring the current and future needs for organizational improvement
Developing repeatable, step-by-step protocols, in which one process verifies the results of another.
The various RCA approaches are also covered. Attendees learn about:
–The “5-Whys” Analysis
–Causal Factor Tree Analysis
–Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
–Fishbone Diagram or Ishikawa Diagram
–Fault Tree Analysis
Why Choose Tonex?
Tonex has been conducting Root Cause Analysis training throughout the world since 1993. The world class instructors at Tonex have trained engineers, managers and technicians on how to effectively solve problems using a variety of Root Cause Analysis tools and techniques.
We have clients from organizations, agencies and companies large and small. Many of our customers are repeat clients. One reason is that at Tonex we tailor courses to your group’s specific needs.
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