Why is Root Cause Analysis (RCA) important?

Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is a technique that is used to address a problem or non-conformance, in order to get to the “root cause” of the problem.

The purpose of that is to hopefully prevent the problem from re-occurring.

In an organization, problem-solving, incident examination, and root cause analysis is used to identify:

1.         What is the problem?

2.         Why did it happen?

3.         What will be done to prevent it from happening again?

Root cause analysis is about digging underneath the surface of a problem. It is the application of a series of techniques that can produce an approach to the identification, understanding and resolving of underlying causes.

To improve efficiency and profitability, it’s important to look under the surface of the origin of a problem. Observing the result of a problem and inferring (guessing) why it occurred, it becomes possible to create a preventative solution that should put an end to the problem. But, in order to understand the cause of a problem, a root cause analysis should be undertaken.

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No problem has a single issue. Most organizations wrongly use the term “root cause” to identify one core cause. Focusing on only one cause limits the range of solutions. All causes that contributed to the occurrence should be addressed. The root is really a system of causes that reveal all of the possible solutions. The outcome of a root cause analysis should lead to multiple opportunities to mitigate risk and prevent problems.

Root Cause Analysis is used as a tool for continuous improvement. If a Root Cause Analysis is used for the first time, it is a way of identifying and solving problems. This means that an analysis is performed after a problem or incident has occurred. By gaining experience with root cause analysis, its use changes from reactive to proactive, so that problems can be anticipated in time.

Without investigating the root cause, a lot of time and resources are spent applying solutions that work as a “quick fix” or don’t do anything to address the problem. Often these “quick fixes’ end up costing way more resources than the root cause solution.

What’s important to remember, is that you follow the problem, through each until you’ve traced it to its.

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3 replies to “Why is Root Cause Analysis (RCA) important?”

  1. Willem M. Van Dijk says:

    I came a cross that there are many ways to perform root cause analysis. I am aware that the article explains why is important and now exactly how. I like the simplicity of the explanation. Thank you.

  2. Dominica Looney says:

    I don’t find to so important. I’m for the resolving of a problem. Why dig into depth and lose time, when the problem is obvious and you have prepared a solution?!

  3. Daniel Leo says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Discovering the real cause of the problem, the proper solution for it could be found. That can make sure it won’t happen again.

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