Monthly Archives: May 2012

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One definition of Root Cause Analysis  is:
Root Cause Analysis is any structured process used to understand the causes of past events for the purpose of preventing recurrence.

This basic premise is the reason that the RCA is done.

On the surface, it always appears to be a simple matter, however there are always pitfalls and nuances.

One such pitfall that RCA investigators or facilitators face is something I call the “problem is fixed” syndrome. In my work at plants I would run across situations where a problem occurred and a solution was implemented. The particular solution used may or may not have been arrived at by using RCA. In either case the solution is implemented and the “problem is fixed”. Read More →

Jason Apps - Mainstream Perth

The ARMS Leadership team will be presenting around the world at conferences in the coming weeks. Following packed presentations earlier this year at the RCA & RCM Conference in the USA by Mick Drew and more recently by Jason Apps at Mainstream in Australia, the upcoming presentations are varied but all designed to give you valuable insight into how you can improve your asset management program

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NOT Apollo RCA trained!

Many readers will recognize this iconic phrase.  I thought it appropriate for this article, since, if we don’t perform Root Cause Analysis’ and solve problems to root cause, “they’ll be back” again and again.

How do we prevent repeat occurrences of problems? By providing effective solutions that keep your problem from happening.   These solutions are determined through Root Cause Analysis (RCA), a process learned by attending a training course.

Unfortunately people seem to focus more on attending the course than about the institutionalization of the processes into the fabric of a corporate culture.   We all know training for training’s sake is a large waste of time.  The way you get value out of training is if you put what you’ve learned into action.  I have taught RCA for 9 years and have seen the same thing over and over – people leave the class with the improved skills, knowledge and enthusiasm to perform better problem analysis, but it is never utilized.

This issue boils down to triggers.  If you don’t have them, you don’t have a reason for doing RCA.  In today’s fast paced world run by CEO’s with accounting backgrounds and money being the driving factor, most companies’ business plans are sounding more like the one proposed by Billy Connelly;

“… I want it NOW, I want it YESTERDAY, and I want MORE tomorrow – and the demands will all be changed then, so stay awake!” Read More →

When it comes to looking for failures during a Reliability Study or for causes during a Root Cause Analysis investigation, ‘Listen to your operators’.

They are the eyes and ears of your production facility. it doesn’t matter if you are running a chocolate factory, bottling beer, or drilling for oil, they all have one thing in common – operators on the front line.

These valuable members of your team are often the first to notice problems occurring; these problems may only stop the machine once a shift for a few minutes while they go and hit the reset button. These ‘high frequency short duration’ issues often get reported but are not seen or considered as critical because we have not yet witnessed a major stoppage. After all, we hit the reset button and the machine starts again. Read More →