Root Cause Analysis

Quality Management & Training Limited

Root Cause Analysis (RCA):

Root cause analysis is a methodology that is continually evolving. Like most Quality Improvement approaches it is not magic; "there is no silver bullet". It is the application in a different way of a series of well known, common sense techniques which used in a different combination can produce a systematic, quantified and documented approach to the identification, understanding and resolution of underlying causes of under achieved quality in organisations. Below is a definition, which encapsulates the main points of this technique:

"An objective, thorough and disciplined methodology employed to determine the most probable underlying causes of problems and undesired events within an organisation with the aim of formulating and agreeing corrective actions to at least mitigate if not eliminate those causes and so produce significant long term performance improvement."

 

Definitions:

There are a number of difference definitions of RCA

  • "An objective, thorough and disciplined methodology employed to determine the most probable underlying causes of  problems and undesired events within an organisation with the aim of formulating and agreeing corrective actions to at least mitigate if not eliminate those causes and so produce significant long term performance improvement." - Vorley & Tickle, Quality Management (Tools & Techniques), 2002
  • "A powerful tool used to identify, record and visually represent the possible causes of a problem" Instead of problems and their effects appearing vast and insoluble, root cause analysis breaks down the problem into smaller, more easily handled chunks represented by a 'fishbone' diagram". - Paul Wilson RCA (ASQC)
  • "The investigation and reporting the causes of occurrences to enable the identification of corrective actions adequate to prevent recurrence and thereby protect the health and safety of the public, the workers, and the environment." - RCA Guidance document DOE Guidelines, Feb 92

Why is RCA important?

Well there are a number of reason:

  • Getting to the root cause means stopping it from ever happening again
  • A structured problem solving - an agreed approach Determines underlying causes
  • It prevents reoccurrence
  • Provides a permanent solutions
  • It avoids repeats of non-conformities

Also it may be:

  • Part of policy and goals of the Organisation
  • Providing long term improvement
  • A powerful vehicle for training people
  • Analysing for root cause is a mind-set, it takes more time at first but is a 'high return investment' for eliminating fire fighting

There is available a RCA Mini Guide in pdf format which also is downloadable by clicking of the image opposite. Note: none printable for actual booklet email sales@qmt.co.uk)

Contents list

1)     Introduction.

2)     Why complete Root Cause Analysis?.

3)     QM&T approach to RCA.

4)     Practical guide to carrying out an RCA.

5)     RCA Tools & Techniques.

6)     Look up table for completing an RCA.

7)     Examples RCA's.

8)     Hints and Tips.

9)     12 Pitfalls of RCA.

Follow link for further details on the RCA Mini Guide

Techniques Associated with RCA

5 whys - Gemba Gembutsu

Gemba is Japanese for the place where the problem has happened. Gembutsu is Japanese for the actual information.

Consequently, gemba gembutsu is actual information obtained at the scene of the problem. Therefore gemba gembutsu kaizen would be improvement established as a consequence of information from the problem scene.

5 Why's

  1. A process of asking Why? at least five times
  2. Method of establishing whether cause is symptom, lower level cause or Root Cause
  3. Questioning technique to provide further information

Much more practical details regarding Gemba Gembutsu and 5 Why's  is provided in Vorley & Tickles book Quality Management (Tools & Techniques).
Free copy of the book Quality Management by Geoff Vorley & Fred Tickle provided for each course delegate.

     

Alternatively a more fuller explanation is available in the book Quality Management Tools & Techniques By: Geoff Vorley and Fred Tickle

Book Introduction
 

This book Quality Management (Tools and Techniques) is intended to provide quality professionals and students with a clear and comprehensive understanding of the tools and techniques of quality. It delivers an exploration of the applicability and effectiveness of different quality tools and techniques for all organisational types. The intention being to encourage and stimulate the reader to feel sufficiently confident to use the tools and techniques in a practical and rewarding way.

Quality Management (Tools and Techniques) is part of the Quality Management series which includes; Introduction to Quality, Quality Management (Principles and Practice) and Quality Management (Communications and Projects). For clarity and continuity purposes, there is correctly some overlap between these titles. However, this book is expected to be 'stand alone' and a comprehensive and practical reference to all the major quality management tools and techniques.

The overall aim of this book Quality Management (Tools and Techniques) is to:

  • provide a clear awareness and understanding of the disciplines, tools and techniques of quality improvement.

  • enable the user to be capable of practical evaluation of the tools and techniques for variety of situations.

  • enable the confident application of the appropriate quality tools and techniques for the selected activities in the business or organisation.

Detailed below, is what could reasonably be expected to be appreciated and be competent in performing, as a consequence of studying this book.

  • Demonstrate and present an argument for the use of the tools and techniques of quality improvement.

  • Evaluate the applicability of tools and techniques of quality.

  • Appropriately apply the quality tool or technique.

  • Appraise the effectiveness of individual applications of the quality tool or technique.

  • Analyse the contribution to quality improvement of the tools and techniques in a variety of organisational settings.

  • Understand and develop the relationship between an organisation and its suppliers.

INFORMATION

  • ISBN 1 904302 19 X
  • Pages: 359
  • Diagrams & Pictures: 126
  • Tables: 47

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For further information

Training courses

If you would like to know more about RCA please contact Sales at:

 

Telephone:    +44 -0 1483 453511
Fax:    +44 -0 1483 453512
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Quality Management & Training Limited    Thursday, 07 July 2011

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