What is a root cause analysis?


Quick Answer

A root cause analysis refers to the various tools, approaches, and techniques used to find out the main cause of a particular problem. This process identifies a problem in a particular environment and prevents future occurrences.

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Full Answer

A root cause analysis falls into different subcategories such as safety-based, production-based, failure-based and system-based. The safety-based root cause analysis helps in analyzing accidents in a particular organization. The production-based version focuses on quality control measures in various industries. Failure-based analysis is common in engineering and maintenance fields, while the system-based version applies in risk and change management.

Many institutions use the root cause mapping method to conduct root cause analysis. It involves defining, analyzing and preventing a particular phenomenon. In businesses, the root cause analysis method helps achieve the set goals, recover from a crisis and understand the needs of consumers.

For a particular factor or phenomenon to qualify as a root cause, it has to prevent the final undesirable event from reoccurring when removed from the sequence. A casual factor is any factor that affects the final outcome of the event, but is not the root cause. An effective root cause analysis should explain why a particular phenomenon occurs, provide evidence, identify other potential dangers, give solutions and implement the recommendations.

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