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By Bruce Ballinger, RCA Instructor, ARMS Reliability

Most organizations today have a well-defined, reliable Management of Change process for things like the addition of new equipment or changes in the manufacturing processes, to ensure the transformations are implemented smoothly and with minimal disruption.  However, fewer organizations put much effort into how best to prepare the workforce for the changes they will be having to make within their duties, roles, and responsibilities. Yet, research by the Human Change Management (HCM) specialist organization, Prosci, validates that more projects or programs fail from not addressing the impact and changes that will occur for the organization’s employees than from technical flaws in the initiative itself.

HCM is often defined as, “the people side of project management.”  A new initiative may be the best answer to a problem or the right thing to do to improve the organization.  However, if the employees impacted by the change aren’t supportive or properly prepared, then the effort is in grave risk of failure.  The HCM process requires an organized, objective methodology for defining the degree to which a formal HCM effort may be required and identifies where and upon whom the HCM effort should be focused to greatly improve chances of initiative success.

In short, a few key components must be addressed by the methodology:

  1. The first is visible executive sponsorship of the initiative to develop an environment where the change can happen. As is said, “If it isn’t important to the boss, then it won’t be important to anyone that works for the boss.”
  2. Second, is identifying the positions that may be either negatively or positively affected by the change. Those affected negatively will be provided assistance throughout the change period using training, mentoring, and coaching until such time they have successfully transitioned from current state into the future state.
  3. Last is future follow up and monitoring to guard against regression back into the old ways.

For major projects, the HCM process can be very important for a successful outcome. For example, if employees are to have a complete role change by perhaps becoming a full-time RCA facilitator and problem solver, then an HCM plan would be vital.  However, in the case where RCA facilitation is simply a minor change in duties (say, changing from a mix of RCA methodologies to standardizing on one), then an informal, less rigorous effort should suffice.

Regardless of the magnitude of the change, organizations need to consider and detail the HCM process to ensure the new initiative is successfully deployed by preparing and informing all stakeholders of how the change will affect their daily roles, processes, and working environment.

So far in the RCA Program Development series we’ve covered:

The Key Steps of Designing Your Program

Defining Goals and Current Status

Setting KPIs and Establishing Trigger Thresholds

RCA and Solution Tracking and Roles and Responsibilities

Recommended RCA Team Structure

Responsibilities of the Six Roles

Training Strategy

Oversight and Management

Process Mapping

And, Change Management

Stay tuned for our next installment on Implementation Tracking.

Un elemento a menudo pasado por alto en la implementación de cualquier iniciativa nueva es el ejercicio de mapeo de procesos. Cuanto más intrincada sea la iniciativa, más valioso se vuelve el mapa del proceso. Aunque el lanzamiento de un plan de implementación de análisis causa raíz suele ser bastante directo, todavía vale la pena dedicar algún tiempo a diseñar cómo el trabajo fluye desde un evento desencadenado hasta el seguimiento de la efectividad de las soluciones implementadas. Es una forma efectiva de garantizar que todos tengan una clara comprensión de su función y de dónde encaja en el proceso.

El mapeo de procesos generalmente se realiza en dos pasos conocidos comúnmente como ejercicio de papel marrón / papel blanco. El paso de mapeo de papel marrón crea un diagrama que representa cómo los RCA se administran actualmente en todo el sistema. Una vez que los flujos de trabajo existentes se entienden y grafican claramente, se realiza el proceso de gráficos en papel blanco. Este diagrama documenta el flujo de trabajo deseado y sistemáticamente identifica las brechas entre el estado actual y el futuro deseado. La identificación de la naturaleza y la magnitud de estas brechas permite que el Equipo Líder de la Planta y/o el Comité Directivo del RCA dediquen los recursos necesarios para realizar el cambio. También define claramente los roles y responsabilidades de los departamentos y puestos afectados en el programa RCA.

Como se ve en el siguiente ejemplo, se usan diferentes símbolos y colores para representar varios pasos y componentes. Los pasos se presentan de izquierda a derecha y de arriba a abajo. Un punto de inicio o parada se suele designar con un rectángulo ovalado o redondeado, un paso regular es un rectángulo y un punto de decisión es un diamante. Todos los pasos están conectados por líneas y flechas.

Ejemplo de Mapa de Proceso RCA: Haga clic para descargar el PDF ampliado

RCA Workflow_SP

Cuando se hace correctamente, el mapeo de procesos no deja lugar a malentendidos sobre lo que se debe hacer en cuanto a los roles / responsabilidades, lo que da como resultado una implementación eficiente y efectiva de la iniciativa RCA y, en última instancia, mejoras operacionales.

Hasta ahora, esta serie de blogs ha cubierto:

Los Pasos Clave para Diseñar Su Programa

Definición de Objetivos y Estado Actual

RCA y Seguimiento de Soluciones y Roles y Responsabilidades

Estructura de Equipo RCA Recomendada

Responsabilidades de los Seis Roles

Estrategia de Capacitación

Y, Mapeo de Procesos.

An often-overlooked element of implementing any new initiative is the process mapping exercise. The more intricate the initiative, the more valuable the process map becomes. Although launching a root cause analysis implementation plan is usually fairly straight-forward, it is still worthwhile spending some time mapping out how the work flows from a triggered event all the way through tracking the effectiveness of implemented solutions. It’s an effective way of ensuring that everyone has a clear understanding of their role and where it fits into the process.

Process mapping is usually done in two-steps commonly known as the brown paper/white paper exercise. The brown paper mapping step creates a diagram representing how RCAs are currently managed throughout the system. Once the existing workflows are clearly understood and charted the white paper charting is performed. This diagram documents the desired workflow and systematically identifies gaps between the current and desired future state. Identifying the nature and magnitude of these gaps allows the Facility Leadership Team and/or RCA Steering Committee to dedicate the resources needed to make the change over.  It also clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of affected departments and positions in the RCA program.

As seen in the example below, different symbols and colors are used to represent various steps and components. The steps are laid out from left to right and top to bottom. A start or stop point is usually designated with an oval or rounded rectangle, a regular step is a rectangle and a decision point is a diamond. All steps are connected by lines and arrows.

Example RCA Process Map- Click to download enlarged PDF

RCA Workflow

When done properly, process mapping leaves no room for misunderstanding of what needs to be done when or voids in roles/responsibilities, resulting in efficient and effective implementation of the RCA initiative and ultimately, operational improvements.

So far, this blog series has covered:

The Key Steps of Designing Your Program

Defining Goals and Current Status

Setting KPIs and Establishing Trigger Thresholds

RCA and Solution Tracking and Roles and Responsibilities

Recommended RCA Team Structure

Responsibilities of the Six Roles

Training Strategy

Oversight and Management

And, Process Mapping.

Stay tuned for our next installments on Change Management and Implementation Tracking.

Corporate and site reliability teams face challenges and pressures to continuously improve and demonstrate the value and business impact they have on their organizations.  The old adage of RCM being a “Resource Consuming Monster” has plagued many a Reliability Department – some organizations have even banned the use of the acronym.

Instead, RCM needs to be viewed as an engineering framework that enables the definition of a complete maintenance regime for maintenance task optimization.

Both puaudit_your_rca_program_im-6a80209eb03aca77b25807e308a01367005abbc6blic and private sector organizations around the world rely on reliability centered maintenance as a means to significantly increase asset performance by delivering value to all stakeholders. Successful implementation of RCM will lead to increase in cost effectiveness, reliability, machine uptime, and a greater understanding of the level of risk that the organization is managing. It can also deliver safer operations, provide a document base for planned maintenance, and predict resource requirements, spares usage, and maintenance budget.

 So, how do you equip your organization for best-practice reliability centered maintenance?

An RCM study determines the optimal maintenance strategy for assets determines by modelling different scenarios and comparing risks and improvements over this lifetime to enable better long-term management of the assets.

At a high level, an RCM Study involves:

Step 1: Developing an FMEA using collected failure data from a variety of sources, such as work order history, spares usage rates, interviews with personnel responsible for maintaining the equipment

Step 2: Combining data with OEM maintenance manuals and spares catalog information to develop a preliminary RCM model

Step 3: Making changes to the preliminary model during facilitation with the staff

Step 4: Validating and optimizing the RCM model by assessing each failure mode by the cost, safety,  environmental and operational contributions to reduce cost and risk

Step 5: Building an maintenance plan that can be uploaded into your CMMS for direct integration of RCM with CMMS

This process will reveal any gaps in the existing maintenance strategy, or conversely deliver peace of mind that existing strategies are working.

Join us at the Reliability Summit, March 26-29, 2019, in Austin, Texas to learn how to manage reliability centered maintenance for your organization.

Attendees will learn: 

  • RCM Skill Building
  • Why Traditional Maintenance cannot meet the needs of business today
  • Weibull Data Analysis
  • What is RCM and how does RCMCost deliver this methodology plus more
  • How to identify failure modes that can impact your plant
  • How to calculate failure data relevant to your equipment using Weibull feature in RCMCost
  • Assessing the total cost impact of failure on a business
  • How Preventive Maintenance and Predictive Maintenance improve business, safety, environment and operational risks
  • Simulating the maintenance strategy in RCMCost
  • RCM Skill Building Continued
  • How to select the optimum maintenance task and frequency
  • Exercises in RCMCost
  • Maintenance Decision making elements and sensitivities

This is one of many workshops attendees can select to attend at the Reliability Summit. For a full list of workshops, please visit our Reliability Summit website.  

 

 

 

Reliability Summit View Available WorkshopsYour company is going through an asset management initiative and they need ‘reliability engineers’ to support this new focus.  One day your title begins with ‘Maintenance _____’ and the next day you come into the office and the title on your door now reads ‘Reliability _____’.  Undertaking new asset management initiatives as a newly titled “reliability engineer” can be daunting.

Reliability Engineering isn’t typically something one would go to school for or get a certificate in, so what does an R.E need to know?

Your “toolkit” as an R.E. should consists of various methods that you can employ with the goal of optimizing maintenance strategies to achieve operational success, including:

  • root cause analysis
  • reliability centered maintenance
  • failure modes and effects analysis
  • failure data analysis
  • reliability block diagrams
  • lifecycle cost calculation

To be successful at increasing the reliability of your plant, reliability practitioners should utilize these ‘tools’ that can deliver the best results, applying them based on the type of problem you’re facing.

Approaching Maintenance Strategy Optimization with Your Toolkit

It’s essential for a newly appointed reliability professional to be aware of common maintenance issues. The more time maintenance personnel spend fighting fires, the more their morale, productivity, and budget erodes. The less effective routine work that is performed, the more equipment uptime and business profitability suffer.

Here’s the good news: An optimized maintenance strategy is simpler and easier to sustain than a non-optimized strategy, resulting in fewer issues and downtime. It’s easy for organizations and new reliability engineers to be intimidated by the idea of maintenance strategy optimization. An important tip to remember is that small changes can make a huge difference. Maintenance optimization doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult, nor does it have to be a huge undertaking. By creating a framework for continuous improvement and understanding the methods to employ, you can ultimately drive towards higher reliability, availability and more efficient use of your production equipment.

Join us at the Reliability Summit, May 8-11, in Austin, Texas to learn the essential tools in a Reliability Engineer’s toolkit and how to apply them to achieve operational success.

Attendees will learn: 

  • History of Reliability
  • Introduction to Reliability Concepts
  • Benefits of a Reliability Based Maintenance System
  • Performance Measures
  • Definitions of Terms and Measures in Reliability
  • Introduction to Reliability Engineering Methods
  • Failure Mode and Effects Analysis
  • Failure Data Analysis
  • Reliability Centered Maintenance
  • Maintenance Optimization
  • System Availability Analysis
  • Lifecycle Cost Calculation
  • Problem Reporting
  • What Tool When
  • Key Factors for Success
  • Key Steps in a Reliability Program
  • Summarizing the Business Case for Reliability

This is one of many workshops attendees can select to attend at the Reliability Summit. For a full list of workshops, please visit our Reliability Summit 2018 website.  

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Reliability Summit View Available WorkshopsWorld-class maintenance performance requires strong maintenance strategy. But all too often, Leadership within the organization isn’t fulling on board with undertaking an optimization project because they don’t yet see the full value in doing so. And, perhaps, you’re not sure exactly how to convince them that the initiative is worthwhile. 

So, how do you raise awareness within the organization and get support for what you need to do? 

You must build a business case that can overcome the primary objections, illuminate the need and demonstrate the real, tangible value that your project will provide to the organization. 

If you are thinking your organization should invest in doing a maintenance review and optimization, then you’re probably experiencing some of the signs:  

  • High production downtime 
  • Maintenance staff in fire-fighting mode 
  • Some spare parts collecting dust, yet key spares are not available when needed 
  • Maintenance instructions consist of little more than a title or some generic text, e.g., “check and lube as necessary”
  • Very little, if any, information captured on maintenance work orders 
  • Scheduled maintenance tasks generally only created after equipment has failed 
  • Costly equipment failures creating budget overruns 
  • Higher risk of catastrophic failure, equipment damage and major events due to potential (or actual) equipment failures
  • Maintenance KPIs are not in place or are trending towards lower performance
  • Maintenance group isn’t highly valued by the rest of the organization 

To get the buy-in you need, you need to consider points of resistance you might encounter from Maintenance, Production, and Site Management teams. Show them how the signs listed above are causing real problems for your organization, build your business case backed by data, and demonstrate how your initiatives will benefit each stakeholder group.  

Join us at the Reliability Summit, May 8-11, in Austin, Texas to learn in-depth how to build a compelling business case to gain support for your reliability initiatives.  

Attendees will learn: 

  • Potential resistance, fear of change and how the two impact reliability initiatives  
  • Benefits to stakeholders at all levels and how to sell them
  • Necessary steps to build the business case  
  • What analyses and data are required to assess the current state of maintenance and how to use your CMMS to assist   
  • How to explain how each problem affects the business from a maintenance, production, EHS, and business impact  
  • How to develop a project proposal and the key items to be included  
  • What tools to use and how to quantify the additional cost savings to be realized   
  • How to conduct a pilot project and benefits of doing so  

This is one of many workshops attendees can select to attend at the Reliability Summit. For a full list of workshops, please visit our Reliability Summit 2018 website.  

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 Reliability Summit View Available WorkshopsHow do you know if your plant is designed to deliver the target level of productivity?

For many organizations, their answer is “we don’t know.” New capital projects are  typically designed with the main goals of achieving the lowest possible capital outlay for plant and equipment while maintaining the plant’s ability to meet productivity targets. Too often; however, minimizing costs ultimately garners most of the focus in the design phase and as a result plants are handed over to operations teams that simply aren’t designed for reliability. Then the consequences start to appear – High number of failures and breakdowns, no way to achieve better performance from equipment short of a redesign, maintenance costs too high for the plant to be sustainable for the long term.  

To combat this, world-leading organizations are starting to require that a RAMS Analysis (Reliability, Availability, Maintenance, and Safety Analysis) be completed at each project stage. These studies serve as checkpoints with scenario modeling that provides various options to the project team as to how they can meet the business goals of the project at the lowest possible cost. Sophisticated organizations are also incorporating peer reviews to challenge the plant designs and Lifecycle Cost Analysis to evaluate the project over a longer period to predict costs, so they can plan and budget accordingly.  

Case in point… 

Here’s a timeline of how a global mining company built reliability into their design throughout various project stages

  • 2008 – Developed Reliability Block Diagram (RBD) model to validate the design capacity and allow for potential bottlenecks to be understood. Identified that there was a baghouse in the design that could not be isolated and required a complete plant shutdown to perform any maintenance.  Also predicted maintenance budget and labor requirements to understand the maintenance intensive items in the design. Identified multi-million dollar per day single point failure that was addressed in revised re-design that allowed maintenance on baghouse to be completed without plant shutdown.  
  • 2010 – Revised RBD to accommodate some design changes and to validate that the capacity could still be achieved.   
  • 2014 – Revised RBD to accommodate further design changes as project team was challenged to reduce capital cost and increase construction speed. RAM/RBD proved capacity could still be met. Team was challenged to reduce equipment capital by $30M yet keep capacity. Marginal capacity increase resulted and $30M reduction.  
  • 2016 – Revised RBD as more detailed information became available and as further changes were made. Headquarters rubber-stamped project to proceed.  
  • 2017 – Estimate for maintenance build from EPC was 120,000+ man hours. Using ARMS’ libraries, past company models/FMEA’s, and an equipment class strategy approach, we estimate it can take around half of that time and investment to produce maintenance strategies that will help ensure the predicted availability is realized. 

All through the process the mining giant found that the RBD was an essential tool for them when undergoing peer reviews at each project gate.  It was used to confidently assure the board that the capacity targets could be met and that they had a solid foundation on which the budget and resource forecasts were made. 

Join us at the Reliability Summit, May 8-11, in Austin, Texas to learn in-depth best-practices for designing for reliability. This workshop will cover the benefits of designing for reliability and what that process should look like to ensure a sustainable, successful plant is handed over to Operations.  

Attendees will learn: 

  • How to conduct scenario modelling of the plant design and configuration to ensure the plant meets its availability and production requirements at the lowest cost 
  • How to prevent hidden failures and bottlenecks caused by poor plant design 
  • How to develop budget predictions around availability, capacity, labor needs, spares needs, and maintenance costs 
  • How to build maintenance strategies for projects that help ensure the predicted availability is realized 

This is one of many workshops attendees can select to attend at the Reliability Summit. For a full list of workshops, please visit our Reliability Summit 2018 website.

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Author: Jack Jager

While there are three main reasons organizations typically perform Root Cause Analysis (RCA) following an issue with their asset or equipment, there are a whole host of other indicators that RCA should be performed. bigstock-Worker-in-caution-sign-icon-th-92706563

Odds are, you’re recording a lot of valuable information about the performance of your equipment – information that could reveal opportunities to perform root cause analysis, find causes, and implement solutions that will solve recurring problems and improve operations. But are you using your recorded information to this extent?

First, let’s quickly talk about three reasons why root cause analysis is typically performed. 

1. Because you have to

There may be a regulatory requirement to demonstrate that you are doing something about a problem that’s occurred.                                    

2. You have breached a trigger point

Your own company has identified the triggers for significant incidents that warrant root cause analysis. 

3. Because you want to

An opportunity has presented itself to make changes for the better. Or perhaps you’ve decided you simply don’t want to lose so much money all the time.

At the core of all industry is the desire to make money. Anything that negatively impacts this goal is usually attacked by performing root cause analysis.

I was having a conversation with a reliability engineer at an oil and gas site, and I asked him what lost opportunity or downtime might cost that company over the course of a year. He said it was in the vicinity of three quarters of a billion dollars. $750,000,000. Is this a good enough reason to perform root cause analysis? Even a 10% change would have a huge impact on bottom line figures.

The monetary impact to the business was of course not due to any single event, but to a multitude of events both large and small.

Each event presents itself as an opportunity to learn and to make any changes necessary to prevent its reoccurrence. Once can be written off as happenstance… things happen, serious or minor, and that’s life. But to let it happen continuously means that something is seriously wrong.

While these are all valid reasons to perform root cause analysis, there are at least ten more tell-tale equipment-related clues that an RCA needs to happen – most of which can be identified through the information you’re probably already recording.

Here are ten tell-tale signs that your organization needs to perform Root Cause Analysis:

  1. Increased downtime to plant, equipment or process.
  2. Increase in recurring failures.
  3. Increase in overtime due to unplanned failures.
  4. Increase in the number of trigger events.
  5. Less availability of equipment.
  6. High level of reactive maintenance.
  7. Lack of time… simply can’t do everything that needs doing.
  8. Increase in the number of serious events… nearing the top of the pyramid.
  9. Longer planned “shut” durations.
  10. More frequent “shut” requirement.

These indicators imply that we need to be doing more in the realm of root cause analysis before these issues snowball.

If you can identify with some of these pain points, download our eBook “11 Problems With Your RCA Process and How to Fix Them” in which we provide best practice advice on using RCA to help eliminate some of these problems.

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Author: Jack Jager

An effective root cause analysis process can improve business outcomes significantly. Why is it then that few organisations have a functioning root cause analysis process in place? 

Here are the top 6 sure-fire ways to kill off a Root Cause Analysis program

1. Don’t use it.

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The company commits to the training, creates an expectation of use and then doesn’t follow through with commitment, process and resources! Now come on, how easy is it to devalue the training and deliver a message that the training was just to tick someone’s KPI box and that the process doesn’t really need to be used.

2. Don’t support it.

Success in Root Cause Analysis would be the ultimate goal of each and every defect elimination program. To achieve success however, requires a bit more than just training people in how to do it. It requires structures that initially support the training, that mentor and provide feedback on the journey towards application of excellence and thereafter have structures that delineate exactly when an investigation needs to take place and that delivers clear support in terms of time and people to achieve the desired outcome. Without support for the chosen process the expected outcomes are rarely delivered.  

3. Don’t implement solutions.

To do all of the work involved in an investigation and then notice that there have been no corrective actions implemented, that the problem has recurred because nothing has changed, has got to be one of the easiest ways to kill off a Root Cause Analysis process. What happens when people get asked to get involved in RCAs or to facilitate them when the history indicates that nothing happens from the efforts expended in this pursuit? “I’m too busy to waste my time on that stuff!”  

 

4. Take the easy option and implement soft solutions.

Why are the soft controls implemented instead of the hard controls? Because they are easy and they don’t cost much and we are seen to be doing something about the problem. We have ticked all the boxes. But will this prevent recurrence of the problem? There is certainly no guarantee of this if it is only the soft controls that we implement. We aren’t really serious about problem solving are we, if this is what we continue to do?   

5. Continue to blame people.

The easy way out! Find a scapegoat for any problem that you don’t have time to investigate or that you simply can’t be bothered to investigate properly. But will knowing who did it, actually prevent rectraining your staff urrence of the problem?

Ask a different question! How do you control what people do? You control them or more correctly their actions by training them, by putting in the right procedures and protocols, by providing clear guidelines into what they can or can’t do, by creating standard work    instructions for everyone to follow and by clearly establishing what the rules are in the work place that must be adhered to.

What sort of controls are these if we measure them against the hierarchy of controls? They are all administrative controls, deemed to be soft controls that will give you no certainty that the problem will not happen again. We know this! So why do we implement these so readily? Because it is the easy way out! It ticks all the boxes, except the one that says “will these corrective actions prevent recurrence of the problem?”

We all understand the hierarchy of controls but do we actually use it to the extent that we should?  

6. We don’t know if we are succeeding because we don’t measure anything.

You get what you measure! When management don’t implement or audit a process for completed RCAs it sends a strong message that there is no interest, or little, in the work that is being done to complete the analysis.

Tracking KPIs like, how many RCAs have been raised against the triggers set? How many actions have been raised in the month as a result and, of those actions raised, how many have been completed? If management is not interested in reviewing these things regularly along with the number of RCAs subsequently closed off in a relevant period, then it won’t be long before people notice that no one is interested in the good work being done.

The additional work done to complete RCAs will not be seen as necessary, as it’s not important enough to review and the work or the effort in doing this will then drop away until it’s no longer done at all.

measuring success

Another interesting point is that if only the number of investigations is reported, and there is no check on the quality of the analysis being completed, then anything can be whipped up as no one is looking! If a random audit is completed on just one of the analyses completed in a month then this implies that the quality of the analysis is important to the organisation. 

What message do we send if we don’t measure anything?

 

 

In closing, the first step on the road to implementing an effective and sustainable Root Cause Analysis program is to pinpoint what’s holding it back. These Top 6 sure-fire ways to kill off a Root Cause Analysis program will help you identify your obstacles, and allow you to develop a plan to overcome them. 

 

Webinar Elements to Sustain a RCA Program
 

 

 

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Author: Kevin Stewart

 
This question was posed to a discussion group and it got me thinking how do you grade an investigation?

The overall success will be whether the solution actually prevents recurrence of the problem.  One definition of Root Cause Analysis is: “A structured process used to understand the causes of past events for the purpose of preventing recurrence.” So a reasonable assessment of the quality of the analysis would be to determine whether the RCA addressed the problem it set out to fix by ensuring that it never happens again (this may be a lengthy process to prove if the MTBF of the problem is 5 years, or has only happened once). bigstock-Blank-checklist-on-whiteboard--68750128.jpg

Are there some other tangibles that can help you assess the quality of an RCA?  RCAs use some sort of process to accomplish their task. If this is the case then it would stand to reason that there will be some things you can look for in order to gauge the quality of the process followed. While this is no guarantee of a correct analysis, ensuring that due diligence was followed in the process  would lend more credibility to the solutions.

What are some of these criteria by which you can judge an analysis?

  • Are the cause statements ‘binary’? By this we mean unambiguous or explicit. A few words only and precise language use without vague adjectives like “poor” since they can be very subjective.

 

  • Are the causes void of conjunctions? If they have conjunctions there may be multiple causes in the statement. Words such as: and, if, or, but, because.

 

  • Is there valid evidence for each cause? If causes don’t have evidence they may not belong in the analysis or worse yet solutions may be tied to them and be ineffective.

 

  • Does each cause path have a valid reason for stopping that makes sense? It is easy to stop too soon and is sometimes obvious. For example, if a cause of “no PM” has no cause for it so that the branch stops, it would seem that an analyst in most cases would want to know why there was no PM.

 

  • Does the structure of the chart meet the process being used? If it is a principle-based process then it should be easy to check the causal elements to verify that they satisfy those principles. These might be causal logic checks or space time logic checks or others that were associated with the particular process.

 

  • Is the chart or analysis completed? Does it have a lot of unfinished branches or questions that need to be answered or action items to complete?

 

  • Is the chart or analysis completed? Does it have a lot of unfinished branches or questions that need to be answered or action items to complete?

 

  • Are the solutions SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Timely)? Or do they include words like: investigate, review, analyze, gather, contact, observe, verify, etc.

 

  • Do the solutions meet a set of criteria against which they can be judged?

 

  • Do the solutions address specific causes or are they general in nature?  Even though they may be identified against specific causes if they don’t directly address those causes then it may still be a guess.

 

  • If there is a report, is it well written, short, specific and cover just the basics that an executive would be interested in? Information such as cost, time to implement, when will it be completed, a brief causal description and solutions that will solve the identified problem are the requisites.

 

These are some of the things that I currently look at when I review the projects submitted by clients. I’d be interested to know about other things that may be added to the list.

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