What is Root Cause Analysis (RCA)?

When a problem occurs, it’s often tempting to just fix the immediate symptoms and move on. However, this approach can lead to recurring problems and wasted resources. That’s where Root Cause Analysis (RCA) comes in.

RCA is a methodology used to identify the source of an incident or near miss and discover a solution to that issue. It involves a systematic approach to examining the symptoms of a problem, determining the underlying causes and addressing those causes to prevent the problem from occurring or recurring in the future. The goal of RCA root cause analysis is to identify the root cause(s) of a problem rather than simply addressing the symptoms, allowing organisations to develop more effective and permanent solutions.

What is Root Cause Analysis used for?

RCA is used by businesses across industries as it allows you to find out what happened, why it happened and determine what changes need to be made. By identifying the root cause(s) of a problem, RCA can identify areas for improvement in processes and procedures, leading to increased efficiency and productivity. Also, this process can be used to identify safety hazards and mitigate risk.

Why is Root Cause Analysis important?

RCA is important for businesses operating in various ‘high-risk’ industries for several reasons:

1. Prevention of Recurring Problems: Identifying the root cause of a problem helps to prevent it from recurring, which can save a company time, money and resources.

2. Continuous Improvement: By identifying the root cause of a problem, businesses can implement solutions to prevent similar issues from occurring in the future. This helps to improve processes and procedures, leading to increased efficiency and productivity.

3. Improve Safety: RCA can be used to improve safety as it identifies safety hazards, allowing you to implement measures to prevent accidents or injuries from occurring.

4. Cost Savings: Addressing the root cause of a problem can lead to cost savings by eliminating the need for costly work arounds or temporary fixes.

5. Regulatory Compliance: RCA is often required in certain industries to comply with regulatory standards.

COMET Investigate as a RCA Root Cause Analysis tool

COMET, our audit and investigation tool, is a unique 3-phase methodology for investigation, root cause identification and prevention. Created and led by a team of career investigators with 400+ years’ experience, COMET is widely trusted across industries including energy, construction, transportation and utilities.

With COMET, you can tackle any issue head-on and prevent it from happening again. Emphasising the ‘DISCOVER’ phase of incident investigation, COMET generates high quality input data that provides a solid foundation for making sound decisions for future prevention. Then, through the ‘ANALYSE’ and ‘ACTION’ phases, COMET reveals real root causes and empowers organisations to make confident decisions about future preventative actions. The tool can be applied whenever you need to understand what went wrong and prevent it from happening again.

Interested in a demo of our RCA Root Cause Analysis and Incident Investigation tool? Contact comet@stcinsiso.com