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Root Cause Analysis: Driving Bottom-Line Improvements by Preventing One Failure at a Time

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Original date: 
Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Picture yourself driving to work on a cold, dark, winter morning. It’s Monday. You pull into the parking lot and note with surprise that the plant is much quieter than it should be on a Monday morning. As you walk inside to your office, your growing apprehension turns into the sudden realization that something serious must have happened over the weekend…

Whether you work in a manufacturing facility, a continuous production facility, a hospital or building infrastructure, the need to prevent failures from reoccurring is familiar. So how is this accomplished? By applying root cause analysis methodology.

Root Cause Analysis Made Simple covers the four fundamental steps to RCA.

  • Quantify the magnitude of the problem – Why? When?
  • Perform the analysis using the appropriate technique – Who? How?
  • Develop a list of options for solving the problem
  • Document the results and implement recommended actions

This book provides an overview of RCA. It is intended to support you in understanding the business impact of preventing reoccurring failures and provide some tried-and-true practical approaches to conducting a root cause analysis.

BoK Content Source: 
Practitioner Produced
BoK Content Type: 
Recommended Resources
Asset Management Framework Subject: 
03 Lifecycle Delivery, 3.05 Maintenance Delivery, 3.06 Reliability Engineering
Maintenance Management Framework Subject: 
05 Maintenance & Reliability Engineering, 5.3 Failure Analysis
Edition or Version: 
Author Title: 
Principal Consultant
Author Employer: 
Steppe Consulting Ltd.
Author Bio: 

Susan Lubell P. Eng, MBA, MMP, CAMA specializes in operational excellence with a strong focus on asset management and reliability strategy, cost effective lean maintenance programs, and continuous improvement. She brings over 25 years of practical and progressive experience leading teams on their asset management improvement journeys and guiding associated initiatives within asset intensive companies. Her industry experience spans the entire asset lifecycle from conception to retirement with a focus on driving business value through the operate and maintain phase.

Teaching and instructional workshop experience includes teaching Maintenance Management Professional (MMP) and Asset Management Professional (AMP) courses for both Northern Lakes College and Bow Valley College, as well as internal workshop delivery for her employers and clients. Author of Root Cause Analysis Made Simple, Susan currently serves as a Past-President for PEMAC Asset Management Association of Canada, Board Chair of World Partners in Asset Management (WPiAM), and Canadian representative and past-Secretary of the Global Forum on Maintenance and Asset Management (GFMAM).

Author 2 Bio: 
Ricky Smith CMRP, CRL, CNRT, is a well-known Maintenance and Reliability book author, consultant, and best practices educator. Authoring such books as “Rules of Thumb for Maintenance and Reliability Engineers”, “Industrial Machinery Repair, “Lean Maintenance”, “Failure Reporting Made Simple” and many more. Ricky has over 30 years’ experience working as a Maintenance and Reliability Professional for companies/organizations such as US Army, Exxon Company USA, Alcoa Mt Holly, Kendall Company, and Life Cycle Engineering. In addition, Ricky worked as a Maintenance Consultant/Educator with hundreds of companies in over 30 countries world-wide. Ricky is a Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP), a Certified Maintenance and Reliability Technician (CMRT) and a Certified Reliability Leader (CRL). Graduated from the University of Georgia and Trident Technical College. Ricky worked for one of three plants in the world every certified as achieving “World Class Maintenance” and is commonly making the statement, World Class Production thru World Class Maintenance (Alcoa, Mt Holly)