December 1, 2021 | Mark Paradies

Analyze Root Causes

Five or Seven Steps to Analyze Root Causes?

What does it take to analyze root causes? That’s a tough question.

Using the TapRooT® System for Root Cause Analysis there are two processes to find the root causes of incidents. One is for simple low-to-medium risk incidents. One is for major accidents.

We will explain both below.

Analyzing the Root Causes of Simple Incidents

Simple (low-to-medium risk) incidents use the 5-Step Process to find and fix the root causes of a simple incident. The process is shown below.

The process starts with finding out what happened and drawing a SnapCharT® Diagram (below).

SnapCharT® Diagram

You then need to decide if the simple incident is worth investigating further. If it is, you continue to gather evidence and identify the incident’s Causal Factors (indicated by the triangles in the SnapCharT® Diagram below.

Next, you use the Root Cause Tree® Diagram to find the root causes of each Causal Factor.

TapRooT® Root Cause Tree®

Finally, you use the Corrective Action Helper® Guide (or the Corrective Action Helper® Module in the TapRooT® Software) to develop effective corrective actions for each root cause you identify.

Analyzing the Root Causes of a Major Accident

To analyze the root causes of a major accident (there are almost always multiple root causes) you need the TapRooT® 7-Step Major Investigation Process.

7-Step Major Investigation Process

The 7-Step Process, shown above) always is completed. There is no stopping – this is a major accident.

The process starts with planning. Next is determining the sequence of events. Then defining Causal Factors (using a new tool (the Causal Factor Worksheet – a sample of which is shown below).

Once you have identified all the Causal Factors on your SnapCharT®, you are ready to use the Root Cause Tree® Diagram to find all the root causes for all the Causal Factors.

For major investigations, we go beyond root causes. We also identify the Generic Causes of the root causes.

Next, we develop corrective actions including removing the Hazard or the Target and fixing the root causes and the Generic Causes. A major part of developing corrective actions is the use of the Corrective Action Helper® Guide (a sample of which is shown below).

Finally, you present your analysis of the root causes to management.

See Book 4: TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis for Major Investigations for more details about these steps.

Why is Analyzing Root Causes so Important

Watch this video by Alex Paradies that explains why root cause analysis is so important.

Learn How to Analyze Root Causes

TapRooT® Training is the best way to learn to analyze root causes. The 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Course teaches both the 5-Step and the 7-Step Processes. See the upcoming public 5-Day Courses HERE. Or call us at 865-548-8990 or CONTACT US to get a quote for a course at your site.

TapRooT® Training
Root Cause Analysis, Root Cause Analysis Tips
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