Root Cause Analysis Blog

Build your RCA skills and program, and engage in dialogue and best practices by reading our blog, written by senior management and product developers. We’ll also share details about Sologic® speaking engagements and explore industry ideas, issues and events. 

Brian Hughes, Senior VP
Jan 18, 2018

In parts 1 and 2 of this 3-part installment, I discussed the history of RCA up to the current state, based on my own experiences, observations, and discussions.  I broke up this history into different eras.  RCA 1.0 was the beginning of modern structured problem solving.  RCA 2.0 could be characterized as the “Guru Era” whereby smart early adopters innovated and improved upon existing RCA tools.  RCA 3.0 was marked by the introduction of RCA-specific software.  But what about RCA 4.0?

Jon Boisoneau, VP Product
Sep 18, 2017

I’m sure you've experienced the strong sense of euphoria often felt after starting a new relationship.  You can’t stop thinking about this new person and they help fill your world with a kaleidoscope of sounds and colors.  You can’t imagine yourself being happy with anyone else.  Well, I’m feeling that way about Causelink Enterprise Version 4.0!  Here’s why...

Brian Hughes, Senior VP
Aug 16, 2017

Let’s travel back three or four decades to the period of main-frame computers, pocket protectors, and ashtrays in the office.  Engineers at the DOE, NASA, and a variety of other organizations were working on problems of enormous complexity.  The failures were therefore equally complex.  But persistent failure was simply not an option, so they urgently developed, and utilized, what were at the time new ways of thinking to help manage this complexity.  Not surprisingly, they discovered deficiencies in these methods.  That’s because when we use something, we find out where it works as well as where it doesn’t.  Deficiency combined with practical application drives innovation and improvement.  And at that time, the field (if you could call it that) of root cause analysis was ripe for it.

Brian Hughes, Senior VP
May 02, 2017

An attendee at a public seminar recently asked if I’d compare and contrast RCA methods.  I can appreciate this question.  I mean seriously – put yourself in the position of someone tasked with identifying an RCA method.  How do you choose?  What would be the basis of your choice?

Brian Hughes, Senior Vice President
Feb 14, 2017

We are now offering a condensed class, stripped of all but the most essential topics, while preserving the most important deliverable:  Assembling a high-quality root cause analysis.  

Chris Eckert, President
Jan 11, 2017

Through ongoing development of artificial intelligence(AI)/cognitive computing, the answers to complex problems are becoming more available (and getting more accurate) as data sets expand. 

Chris Eckert, President
Nov 29, 2016

You aren’t going to completely stop the cycle of reactivity with one RCA, but you will begin to slow it down. That’s a start. Build on it. Things will get better. Who knows, it may even leave you with enough time to actually watch your daughters game as opposed to just being there physically and spending most of your time on your phone responding to emails from people who want to know when the latest problem will be resolved. 

Jon Boisoneau, VP Products
Sep 13, 2016

During focus group sessions we learned that not only should the timeline be interactive and support the editing of details for each event, but there should also be a way to add these events as causes on the cause and effect chart.  We also learned how the timeline fits into user workflow during an incident investigation, knowledge which helped in making decisions about navigation and user interaction.

Brian Hughes, Sr. Vice President
Aug 29, 2016

While the money you spend to investigate the problem and implement solutions is real, your returns equate to a reduction in risk.  In other words, the problem cost you a lot of money and now you are going to spend a little more in order to reduce the risk of the problem happening again.

Jon Boisoneau, VP Products
May 19, 2016

My favorite part of this release has been reviewing the software, mobile phone in hand, while strolling around my backyard.  The neighbors must have thought I was crazy as I talked through the “hazardous spill” I was “investigating”, while uploading photos and videos of our new puppy, Roxy. 

Brian Hughes, Senior Vice President
Mar 31, 2016

An RCA program is a lot more than a series of training classes. Think about the number of people that attend root cause analysis training classes every year. I have no idea how many there are, but if I had to guess I’d say perhaps 250,000 people receive some form of formal RCA training over any given 12-month period. I’m not counting those that get a splash of 5-Whys or Fishbone as a part of different training… I expect including them would increase the total number to a few million. But whatever the number is, it’s not small.

Cory Boisoneau - Manager, Sales & Marketing
Mar 03, 2016

Automated root cause analysis systems seemingly provide the Problem Manager with his/her “problem unicorn” – a system that collects your data, analyzes your problems, and identifies solutions, all without human participation! Unfortunately, much like the mythical unicorn of lore, this system does not exist in reality.

Chris Eckert
Feb 19, 2016

Like the phoenix of Greek mythology that emerges from the ashes of its predecessor, Root Cause Analysis programs have been undergoing similar transformations recently. We examine the causes of program failure during the recession, and provide a roadmap to get you back on track.span>

Cory Boisoneau - Manager, Sales & Marketing
Feb 18, 2016

Did human error cause this fatal train crash? Should the operator be punished? We examine these questions and provide guidance for how to deal with human error in your root cause analyses.

Jon Boisoneau, VP Products
Dec 16, 2015

This holiday season we want to say thank you to everyone who has provided feedback – you know who you are!  Thanks to you, we’ve focused our software development team on the features that provide the most value, while also experimenting with new technologies that will drive future innovations in problem solving.  Here is a look back at the highlights from 2015.

Chris Eckert, President
Nov 16, 2015

Leading a productive and efficient cause and effect chart building session is important, especially if you have a large team, or you are pressed for time. The following is an effective technique you can use to speed up the chart construction process and keep your team engaged.

Jon Boisoneau, VP Products
Oct 28, 2015

In late summer 2015 we re-started development with the following goals for the Mobile Beta version:  1) Prove that voice to text makes data entry faster. 2) Improve the user interaction when uploading photos and videos. 3) Make action tracking and completion of items easier.

Chris Eckert, President
Sep 28, 2015

“Should I have one of my people lead this investigation, or should I farm it out to a 3rd party?”  The answer depends on a few things including concerns about liability, desired turnaround time, availability of skilled, in-house facilitators, internal politics, the need for impartiality and budget.

Jon Boisoneau, VP Products
Jul 06, 2015

We can now leverage Watson's powerful capabilities to analyze data inside Causelink Enterprise and uncover patterns in the data that were otherwise hidden, or would have taken many hours of expert analysis to uncover.

Chris Eckert
May 29, 2015

Beware, he’s out there. A righteously bad dude, by all accounts. He holds everyone back. The guy who doesn’t support RCA or your efforts to make improvements. You might know him. I find that few can speak a name though (Lord Voldemort, perhaps?). I usually hear him referred to generically as “Leadership”.