Root Cause Failure Analysis - Educate Me: What Is Root Cause Analysis?

A

Aaron Lupo

#1
Root Cause Analysis

Help! What can anyone tell me about Root Cause Analysis. I need some type of training to be able to give to our company.
 
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SteelMaiden

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#3
Technicomp has some good training that I have used in the past for problem solving. I know that isn't exactly what you asked for, but to my mind it goes pretty much hand in hand.

For root cause analysis, you need to remember these steps:
1. Define the problem. The problem as seen by the initiator may not be the "Whole" problem, it may not be anything more than a minor symptom.
WHAT went or could go wrong
WHO is affected, try to include every possibility
Is it sporadic or continuous, WHEN does it happen?
HOW did it happen (see step 2, this is the beginning of the identification of root cause)
2. Identify the cause. WHY did it happen, why did it not get caught etc. A lot of systems work using the 5Ys. Ask yourself why after each why you come up with for at least five whys. In other words, until you can no longer come up with any more answers.

A great way to use root cause analysis is to get others involved when you perform it. Get input from all or many departments.

If you do a good job of getting many areas involved and show that the company (management) is interested in looking into change and implementing what they can, you often end up with a staff of people who find it is much more satisfying to identify the root causes before a nonconformance happens (preventive actions).
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#4
RCA involves identifying those factors which contributed to the occurance of an event and then determining the primary or major factor that lead up to it. Stay away from personalities and only look at fact.
 
A

Aaron Lupo

#5
Well thats a big part of the problem, we don't have Management Support, hence that is why we received a NC during our Surviellance Audit to element 4.1. The feel that if we have root cause analysis that people will respond to the CAR's, they said the reason they dont now is becuase they don't know how to determine root cause, at which point i had to bite my tounge. I have explaind to people that you need to ask why as many times as it takes to find out why it really happen. I will take a look at the 8-D in the fourm Marc, and thanks for your input also Steel it was very helpful.
 

SteelMaiden

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#6
Randy, you are right, like any tool, root cause analysis is often used for purposes that were improper, I myself often use table knives as screwdrivers. That doesn't make it right, and it sure isn't the best use.

ISO Guy, I've been exactly where you are. And I do mean exactly, we were a hair's breadth from loosing our cert due to commitment issues. Can I help you in any way?

[This message has been edited by SteelMaiden (edited 20 April 2001).]
 
A

Aaron Lupo

#7
Steel tahnks for the offer I do appreciate it. The only way you could help me is if you know of any companies in the Upstate NY are that are looking for a Quality Manager. I know what needs to be done, I have showed and explained to them what they need to do, do they listen no of course not. To tell you the truth if they lose their Cert. I could give a rats a$$, it will only hurt them. I was told by our Registrar (the auditors) that they were very confident in my abilities and knowledge, but they had questions abouit our Quality Managers at ou other facilities. The did ask me why I was still working here (they even told my upper Mgmt this), I told them I am not the type of person to jump ship and also that I have only been with the Company 1 1/2 years and I dont want to make it seem that i jump around fom job to job. I approached my boss for a raise at least what the incompetent QA managers of our other facilities (who have not been here as long as I have)and I was told I would need to put on a paper a justification for my raise before they would even consider it. I should just tell them give me a raise or I will leave and you will not have a prayer of maintaining your cert. LOL.
 

SteelMaiden

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#8
Good Luck ISO Guy. Don't know too many companies in your area...

As I said, I have been where you are (including the wage thing), we did manage to clear up the problems for the most part but in the long run, I put in for the first available transfer I could after we were out of danger of cert loss. I ended up with more than I had asked my previous mgt for, and all in all we are all happier. As my dear old Granny used to say, "This too shall pass"...but she was usually talking about something my brother swallowed. Have a good one!
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#9
Hey ISOGUY, I know how ya feel bud. I'm looking like crazy. I was just turned down for a position to coordinate EMS implementation for a multi-site company. They said they found someone more qualified? I'm an EMS-LA and serve on the Advisory Board to a Registrar for crimeny sake. I kinda know what it may take to get registered. I know just a wee bit about the subject. I'm no expert, but at least I hope I've proved I'm competent in the field . I don't know what management thinks sometimes.

Do like me, try www.monster.com , www.headhunter.com , www.hotjobs.com , www.flipdog.com and others. I saw all kinds of Quality jobs on the ASQ site also.

Good luck

Randy

[This message has been edited by Randy (edited 20 April 2001).]
 
G

Greenraisin

#10
The biggest selling point one can make to a conscientious management is that causes of problems are more expensive the closer they occur to the customer. In other words, the futher down the line they happen, the more it costs to fix it and that is pretty self evident.

Every effect has one or more causes and my experience tells me it's usually more than one by the time it manifests itself. Prevention is always the best route and a thorough understanding of cause and effect in your particular process will save a lot of time and effort (MONEY) in mitigating problems before they occur.

Wilson, P.F., Dell, L.D. and Anderson, G.F. 1993. Root Cause Analysis. Milwaukee: ASQC Quality Press is a good book to get info from. I'm not sure it's still available. Kepner Tregoe has some course materials that you could look through. There are several other packages out there that aer basically the same but packaged differently. Sort of like the differences in gurus!

Hope this helps some. Let us know what you end up doing and how you get there!


------------------
See you down life's highway!

Eric
 
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