Root Cause Analysis for Process Industries


Root cause analysis (RCA) is a method of problem solving used for identifying the root causes of faults or problems. A factor is considered a root cause if removal thereof from the problem-fault-sequence prevents the final undesirable event from recurring; whereas a causal factor is one that affects an event's outcome, but is not a root cause. Though removing a causal factor can benefit an outcome, it does not prevent its recurrence within certainty.

Following the introduction of Kepner-Tregoe Analysis—which had limitations in the highly complex arena of rocket design, development and launch—RCA arose in the 1950s as a formal study by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States. It has subsequently been evolved to serve as a effective tool in analysing and alleviating complex Process Operations and Equipment problems.

Learning outcomes

  • To enable delegates to:

    Understand and implement the “Root Cause Analysis methodology"

    Understand and practically employ the basic techniques associated with Root Cause Analysis (RCA)

    Identify where RCA can be used for best effect

    Coordinate and motivate the RCA team to provide real, tangible solutions to what appears to be intractable quality problems.

Who will benefit

  • Production, Quality and Technical Managers

Course outline

  • Day 1

    •Identification process - Reactive /Proactive
    •Problem definition
    •Objectives and success measures
    •Scope/constraints /timescales
    •Costs – impact and resolution
    •Measuring the problem
    •Analysis - Logical/Data/Process
    •Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
    Day 2
    •Ishikawa diagrams
    •Cause and Effect Matrix
    •5 Whys Root Cause
    •Hypothesis Root cause verification - Scatter Diagrams
    •Identify solution - Brainstorming Techniques
    •Evaluate solutions
    •Pilot testing
    •Implementation planning - Force field analysis