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Root Cause

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Root Cause Analysis
Why do we bother (Andersen, 2000)
Fool me once, DIRTFT, steady continual improvement Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is the central theme of 6 sigma activities. RCA identifies the real problem so the problem can be solved one time and not repeat for that same cause. That over the long haul your time is spent most efficiently and each problem that occurs will be unique. As you solve the root causes of problems the amount of problems will decrease for any given system and that system will become more efficient and cheaper as RCA is performed Standards mandate it (Persse, 2006) ISO9001 - ISO17025 - CMMI In addition to making good business sense various standards mandate its use. In ISO9001 the sections on corrective and preventative action require an effective solution to problems. RCA is a proven effective method of problem solving. ISO17025 specifically calls for RCA and CMMI also requires an effective problem solving system.

What it isn’t (Robitaille, The Corrective action handbook, 2002)
It is not containment – like 8D It is not remedial – not a rework RCA does not deal with immediate problem containment as in step D3 of the 8D discipline. Similarly, a rework procedure does not address the root cause. Finding a root cause may take some time and both a containment action and/or a rework must be implemented while the search for the root cause occurs. DO NOT stop when you get a containment action deployed.

When it may not work so well (Okes, 2009)
Technology is new or unknown If the technology is new or under development then there may not be enough knowledge to suggest possible root causes. This does not mean that RCA won’t work but it will take longer to reach a root cause and the RCA will be more of a research project. System is very complex with a large number of variables If the system under analysis is very complex with a large number of…...

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