What is Root Cause Analysis and how does software help?

Andy Pritchard  |   March 24, 2022  |    5 min read

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    Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is a process that is usually required as part of other larger processes. Whether you are performing a CAPA (Corrective and Preventive Action) for a product defect or an Incident Report for a safety concern, RCAs help to ensure the underlying issues are address so it is less likely to recur.

    Root Cause Analysis software helps to increase compliance by ensuring the project is completed correctly, while also reducing time, resource and other cost requirements.


    How does Root Cause Analysis work?

    Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is the process of discovering the root cause (or causes) of problems in order to identify appropriate solutions that not only correct the issue, but also prevent it from recurring in the future. 

    RCA assumes that it is much more effective to systematically prevent and solve for underlying issues rather than just treating ad hoc symptoms.

    One RCA approach is a “Why-why” analysis, where staff continue to ask the question “why” until they arrive at what they consider to be the underlying cause of the issue.

     

    Why is Root Cause Analysis Important?
    1. Focus on prevention (vs correcting) is a much more robust, long term solution.
    2. Save time and money over the long run.
    3. Elevates employee engagement, staff knowledge, critical thinking and collaboration.
    4. Creates opportunities for innovative solutions that may become competitive advantages over time.

    How can Root Cause Analysis Software help?

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    Digitization through Root Cause Analysis Software helps to increase accountability, compliance and collaboration. Staff can be guided through the experience, which helps to ensure successful outcomes. Project status can be reviewed in real-time, which enables heightened efficiency and productivity.

    Increase Engagement & Accountability

    Digital tools are more accessible so staff spend less time getting setup and more time doing the analysis. Digital features, including conditional logic, on-demand video instructions, and photo capture help to ensure the analysis is completed correctly.

    A challenge with paper-based programs is that project get sidelined as a secondary concern because staff forget about them. Software helps to elevate accountability and keep projects moving forward with automated alerts, schedules and due date reminders.

    Ensure Compliance

    Some RCA processes are required by law, while others may be required by corporate relationships. Whether you are adhering to regulations or simply to internal SOP (Standard Operating Processes), software can help ensure compliance.

    Software ensures data is captures appropriately by the person that is required to capture that information. Also data is clearer and easy to understand for auditors. Real-time visibility also allows managers to catch and correct process issues more quickly.

    Enhance Efficiency and Productivity

    Root Cause Analysis Software makes the process more efficient and productive by ensuring staff have access to the most update documentation and resources and reducing the "back-and-forth" required when errors occur. Software also automates workflows and reporting, so you can spend less time administering spreadsheets and more time affecting positive change and generating results.

    Root Cause Analysis

    • Customize pre-built templates.
    • Guide staff with on-demand instructions, call-outs and tutorials.
    • Capture photos, sketches and digital signatures.
    • Automated alerts and create investigation action plans.
    • Automate KPI reporting and share data with other business systems in real-time.
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