Root Cause Analysis with Shon Isenhour
When you deal with machines on daily basis, machine failures are bound to happen. But what if these failures keep occurring? Wouldn’t you get tired and want a solution for these problems? This is why root cause analysis is so important in an organization. The basic idea of RCA is to know the reason behind the occurrence of a failure and then finding a solution to reduce a risk—certain or uncertain—in a cost-effective manner. You can’t just rely on a single approach all the time because it might not be applicable to your problem.
Now, why do RCA programs fail? The biggest reason is that people don’t go deeper and wider. That means that they use a general method, apply it, and don’t get the results that they expected. Then they just abandon the whole projects because they end up spending money with no value. That is where they should stop blaming each other and try a different approach that fits their organizational environment. They need to understand that they can’t get useful results just by using 5-Why or Fishbone diagrams. They have to analyze the problem based on the type of cause.
Was it caused by a failed component or due to human error? Was it systemic or latent cause? If it was a systemic cause, then someone must have made a mistake and some component might have been overlooked. That could lead to a failure. It might have happened due to lack of training. Then there are latent causes that are a result of organizational standards. The program might not work because the organization didn’t believe in predictive maintenance. There might have been people who worked really well but they gave up because their top-level peers asked them to.
The key is to make the best use of data that you have. Ask people questions that might help make others understand the benefits of what you are doing. You need to fill in the gaps using every piece of information you can find. Then, you convince others to change their approach in dealing with failures. When you make sense and show them the value of a root cause analysis program, they will start believing in it, too. You don’t have to just eliminate the root cause, you just need to mitigate the failures. You need to have some processes that you can follow for long-term.
These have to be reliable methods for making sense of a problem. If there’s a problem, there’s definitely a reason behind it. You just need to start by asking questions, from people who can provide you answers. Those answers should be logical and you can use tools like Logic Tree or something similar to take it step-by-step. Once you start down that path, you will eventually get to the deeper level of solutions that you designed or came up with along the way. You just have to keep trying until you and everyone sees some value.
- HP Reliability
- A Smarter Way of Preventative Maintenance Free eBook
- inspired Blended Learning (iBL®)
- James Kovacevic’s LinkedIn
Shon Isenhour Links:
- Reliability Report
- ReliabilityNow.com (click RCA topic cloud found on the right side of the blog)
- Eruditio Resources
- Eruditio Calendar of Events
- Shon Isenhour LinkedIn
- Shon Isenhour Twitter
- Conferences: MainTrain 2018, 26th SMRP Annual Conference
- Other Events: UT-RMC “Root Cause Failure Analysis”
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