August 1, 2007 | Mark Paradies

Are You Ready to Perform a Root Cause Analysis of the Levee Failures in New Orleans?

Army Core Levee Report

Above is a pdf of an independent report sponsored by the Army Corps of Engineers. Very interesting reading.

Digging in to it made me want to draw a SnapCharT®, define the Causal Factors, and start through the Root Cause Tree®. The problem is that the information is so extensive and the sequence of events is so long that it would takes weeks – or maybe months – to do a good, thorough root cause analysis. Then we would be ready to analyze Generic Causes and start developing corrective actions.

I already have so much to do that I just can’t find the time to dig in, find the root causes, and answers to fix the problems. To tell the truth, I barley had time to read the report (ah – great vacation reading).

Plus, my guess is that the Management System causes (of which there seem to be many) would require the government – local and national – and even Congress to change. Sometime you shouldn’t start a root cause analysis if you aren’t ready (or able) to fix the problems you find because root cause analysis without the ability to implement corrective actions is a waste of time.

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