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About Root Cause Analysis
So, let’s talk about what root cause analysis is. There are a lot of people ask these questions. If you are one of them now it is the right time to find out about the answer. There is a factor that we cannot avoid causing non conformance and root cause needs to be abolished permanently through an improvement process. An extensive range of techniques, approaches, and tools is called as a collective term while root cause is applied to know the problems cause.
The Foundation of Root Cause Analysis
If you ask what root cause analysis is, it is an approach applied to find out the cause of an accident/incident in order to know and implement the best solution. That’s how we define it in a simple term. Usually, root cause is applied when something is haywire. But, it can also be applied during moments when everything runs smoothly. In an organization, there are three basic questions that you can see the examples of root cause, the problem solving and incident investigation. Here are those three basic questions:
- What is the incident or accident?
- Why did it happen?
- What measures will be done to prevent the problem from happening again next time?
There are two elements which root cause analysis looks to analyze. Those two things which root cause analysis looks to analyze include the problem’s symptoms and the underlying causes. You should understand it better by looking at the template of a root cause analysis. In addition, the symptom of the accident or incident usually refers to the weed above the cause(s) or the surface which are clear. On the other hand, the bottom line causes are the root that can be found below the surface or it means that the causes are hidden.
Digging underneath the problem’s surface is what root cause analysis is about. Even though instead of analyzing a single root cause, it is better to apply root cause analysis to find out a system of causes. The causes you can see below the surface are what the word ‘root’ in root cause analysis meant to. But it is quite unfortunate that the majority of the companies or organizations apply root cause analysis to find out a single cause.
It is essential for you to remember that the solution set will be limited if you only pay attention to a single cause. This is what makes you miss the best solution to manage the cause. An easy explanation of every cause of the incident is what root cause analysis has. By knowing every cause, the root provides you a chance to know various solutions to the problem. In addition, the root also gives you a chance to apply many ways to prevent problems and minimize risk. To apply root cause analysis for your organization effectively, you can follow these simple steps:
- First, the problem needs to be defined depends on its effect on the whole goals. Many people usually tend to disagree over about how to define the problem. If you define the problem depends on its effect on the goals, then you can win an agreement from the rest of the people.
- Second, create a problem’s visual map. Using the visual map, you can find out every cause of the problem.
- Finally, choose the perfect solution to minimize or prevent any negative impact that can affect the goals.
The Techniques and Approaches of Root Cause Analysis
The best way to know about the techniques and approaches of root cause analysis is analyzing at a template of the root cause. But, if you want to save time, we are going to talk about the techniques, approaches, and methodologies applied to use root cause. There are several numbers of techniques, approaches, and methodologies. But, we are going to give you five root cause approaches or techniques recommended by the Department of Energy or DOE. They are including:
- Change analysis
When the performance of a system has significantly changed, change analysis is the approach of a root cause. Change analysis looks to analyze the shift in people, equipment, information, and other things which may have affected the shift in performance.
- Causal and events factor analysis
A process which makes use of evidence collected quickly and methodically, causal and events factor analysis are used widely for many events which happen alone including a refinery explosion. In this root cause, the collective evidence is applied to set the activities’ timeline which leads to the accident. You can analyze the contributing and casual factors after the timeline has set already.
- Barrier analysis
To either prevent or detect an issue, barrier analysis a root cause technique applied to define what controls are in place.
- Risk tree and management oversight analysis
To see what happened and determine why an issue happened, risk tree and management oversight analysis is the approach used in root cause. This approach includes the use of a tree diagram. You can have a better understanding of risk tree analysis and management oversight by analyzing the root cause or examples.
This approach of root cause includes the use of four various analysis techniques. These are the four techniques used by the Kepner-Tregoe. The problem solving and decision-making approach is including:
- Solution analysis
- Potential problem analysis
- Situation analysis
- Problem analysis
So, those are five approaches and techniques used for root cause analysis. The approaches and techniques written above can be overlapped so you might need to take a look at the examples of root cause to know which approach is the best one for you. Now, since we have talked about the root cause it is the time for you to apply it in real life. Good luck!
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