What I offer in terms of root cause analysis is described below in a personal reference from Rolls-Royce.
“Simon worked at Rolls-Royce for 20 years.
During this time, he pioneered new, unique methods to analyse the root cause of technical problems. As well as creating and running Rolls-Royce's most advanced root cause analysis training, Simon used his people skills in leading investigations to successfully establish root cause with more than 100 different teams.
He also successfully led change in Rolls-Royce in the UK, Germany and the USA and shared the new methods with Rolls-Royce's customers (e.g. Airbus, Singapore Airlines, British Airways).
He was highly respected from shop-floor to very senior levels of the company. His methods are still successfully used, even though Simon has now left Rolls-Royce.”
- Personal reference from a very senior person in my last company
The new approach avoids generating lots of possible causes (e.g. with a Fishbone diagram).
Instead, it captures the detail facts regarding the symptoms and from each symptom a deduction is made about cause. All these deductions are put together to arrive at the root cause. In other words, each deduction creates a piece of jigsaw. When put together, all the deductions give a picture of the root cause.
This approach has been developed from experience (not abstract thinking or text books) and by learning from the causes of pitfalls of previous methods used.
The new approach, used on over 100 investigations, has proven to be at least 50% quicker in getting to root cause. Further, it has proven to be much more robust – that is, the concluded root cause has much, much less chance of being erroneous.
Previous methods involved generating a list of possible causes. Then evidence was used to prove/disprove each one.. Often the number of possible causes meant that it became unmanageable, time consuming, frustrating for the team and confusing. In some cases, the confusion led to the wrong conclusion as to root cause and so to a solution that did not work. This meant having to start all over again – time consuming, expensive and, not surprisingly, customers hated it.
What can I offer?