March 28, 2023 | Benna Hughes

What Are Your Root Cause Analysis Pain Points?

pain points

Root Cause Analysis Pain Points . . . Do any of these sound familiar to you?

Week after week, I talk to people looking to improve root cause analysis (RCA) at their companies, and I recognize pain points when I hear them. No pun intended, but rooting out these areas that need attention are worthy of time and energy. Usually, when someone gets on the phone with me, they are full of frustration.

Some frustrations, or pain points, I hear are:

1) My team gets to human error and stops their investigation.

2) There is no consistency in our investigations.

3) We keep having repeat incidents.

4) There is no standardized process. 

5) We use a mishmash of different methodologies. 

6) We get on-site to start investigating, and the team at the site is already trying to implement corrective actions before we’ve started our investigation. Then, we have to reign them back in. By then, they already have their theories they want to prove.

7) Everyone speaks a different RCA language in our company.

8) It’s hard to get past investigator bias.

There are more, but these seem to be pretty consistent pain points that I hear. 

Some of the frustrations in the list are just different ways of saying the same thing on that list, but these are simply alternate ways people voice frustrations to me. Their pain is real! Their frustration is a real problem that they are having trouble solving. They know their root cause analysis can be better than it currently is, but they are not at all confident about the accurate conclusion. 

And this isn’t a frustration only for the person reaching out to me but for their teams as well. Everyone is so busy it’s tough to take time to do investigations. When it’s down to the wire to do them, we want to do them in the most effective & efficient manner possible. 

Very often in our conversations, I ask questions about what’s happening at their company. I ask about the root cause analysis they use. Methodologies such as 5 Whys & Fishbone come up often . . . more often than not. While there may be a place for these methodologies, they seem to send people to me for help; they seem to come from a place of realization that there has to be a better way. And they are on the hunt for that better way.

One of my favorite parts of my job is when I can do a free TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis demonstration for an HSE, Quality, or Reliability Manager or Director or to a team of a mixture of all of these folks. I get to show them a better way—a guided, expert system designed by human performance experts

Regardless of the industry, TapRooT® RCA is designed to perform a robust, root cause analysis worthy of managers’ and employees’ time for training and implementation. I talk to them about what we are looking for — processes that can be improved to help humans perform better. Of course, we offer courses in equipment troubleshooting . . . we train folks to get to the root cause and end repetitive replacement of parts.

Perhaps there is a process in your system that allows human error to continue. Why is human error occurring? Certainly (hopefully!) not because the person was trying to fail.

How can we set ourselves and our employees up for success versus failure? 

With thorough and robust RCA, we find systemic issues that can be fixed so those repeat incidents stop taking up our time or, worse, causing major downtime (remember, time is money) or even fatalities. How do we do that? We ask ALL the questions, not just the questions on topics we know about. We remove the bias by removing the veil from what we don’t know and get hand-delivered human performance expert questions . . . things we may have never imagined asking because it wasn’t “our area of expertise,” per se. In the end, finding true root causes and then offering effective corrective actions to put in place, not just a Band-Aid, is the right answer. 

Whether talking to someone one on one or getting to talk to a team of people who are trying to relieve these pain points, I love sharing how TapRooT® can help. I love telling them about our goal of setting employees up for success. Most people are out there “trying their best” at their jobs. But, if they’re lacking the tools that will equip them to find the problem, for once and for all, how do they succeed at “being their best” at their jobs?

Do you have any of these pain points at your company? 

What are all the frustrations you may have? If you are suffering from some of these issues and would like to learn more about how TapRooT® RCA can be the relief you are looking for, shoot me a message and I’ll be happy to set up a free webinar demonstration for you too.

Photo source/credit: Image by Steve DiMatteo from Pixabay.

TapRooT® Training is what you need – a guided root cause analysis 

TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis is global — and local — to meet your needs. If you would like us to teach a course at your workplace, please reach out here to discuss what we can do for you, or call us at 865.539.2139.

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Investigations, Root Cause Analysis
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