Beginner level RCA
If an organization does not have a process in place to conduct RCA, what are some clear steps that an organization can follow to get started utilizing RCA tools, practices, and principles?
3 Replies
Duke Okes
257 Posts
Perhaps just get familiar with the concept of 5-whys ... continually asking why something happened until the real cause(s) are found.

Then perhaps using something like A3, which provides guidance on the steps for defining the problem, finding out why it occurred, developing and implementing countermeasures, and seeing how well they worked.

8D is then a more comprehensive model, but I wouldn't recommend it for beginners.  It was designed for more complex situations.

My 10-step model parallels both A3 and 8D, but is stronger, more detailed in the steps for finding causes.

ASQ has some good info on RCA on their website, including webinars, examples, etc.
Duke Okes
257 Posts
Another way to learn RCA for quality applications is to see what others in the organization do to solve problems.  For example, is there are safety incidents/accidents, how does the organization find the causes.  The steps will be a little different from quality applications, but a lot of the same concepts, principles, etc. apply.

Also, financial auditors to RCA as part of their audits when they find a nonconformity.  Seeing how they do this can also provide ideas that can be translated into quality process applications.
Thanks, Duke Okes‍!

I'll share a link here to some ASQ TV episodes about RCA: