Root Cause Analysis Blog

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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. 

Chris Eckert, President
Jul 31, 2012

Some very popular online discussions among quality and reliability professionals have caught my eye lately.  In a nut shell, many, especially engineers, are frustrated with the trending belief that software solves all ills – that it’s more powerful and effective than human knowledge, innovation and collaboration.  “Get the app” is now the answer for everything. Certainly Sologic's™ Causelink™ root cause analysis software is a powerful tool that provides many benefits to an organization, especially in terms of efficiency.  However, the people using the software are only successful if they understand and effectively apply the RCA methodology…and that requires thought, creativity and collaboration.  

Debbie Alford, Dir. of Communication
Jul 10, 2012

Throughout our days as Apollo Associated Services, our root cause analysis students told us through their class critiques that our training was effective and valuable for them. Consistently, 99% told us they would recommend the training to their colleagues – to us, a powerful indicator that we were doing our job well. We are proud to find – and to report to you – that during the first six-plus months since we launched our improved RCA method and training curriculum under the new company name Sologic™, our track record of excellent student reviews continues.  

Brian Hughes, Vice President
Jun 14, 2012

We attended the American Society for Safety Engineers “Safety 2012” conference in Denver, CO last week.  Our second major conference since launching Sologic in December 2011, this one was special because it represented our first opportunity to share Sologic with the Safety crowd, face-to-face, in an international forum.  The meaningful interaction and interest exceeded our expectations. I appreciated being invited to present safety best practices from the RCA perspective again this year.  As trainers, consultants, and investigators, we are positioned in a sort of crossroads of new ideas and thinking, which gives us unique opportunities to develop, combine and share valuable new insights. My presentation focused on one idea we hear raised continually: there is potentially tremendous value in conducting RCAs on events with positive outcomes. 

Brian Hughes, Vice President
May 23, 2012

When we ask our root cause analysis students to share what part of conducting an RCA might feel the most uncertain to them, though they hesitate to admit it, we often hear that it’s the thought of facilitating a group of people through the process.  After all, many of our students are analytics who would rather wrangle predictable and controllable technical data than facilitate a group of people with differing work styles and opinions.  But students learn in Sologic training that facilitation skills may be even more important than analytical skills -- there’s no getting around it.  So, how do you take the mystery out of building facilitation skills?

Marcelo Haick, Director, Sologic South America
May 02, 2012

Sologic clients in South America are enthusiastic about improvements in the root cause analysis method, training curriculum, software and website.  As a result, the South America division is growing throughout the continent, and seeing a significant rise in the number of clients participating in training and skill-building webinars. The team also will actively participate in professional conferences in the coming months.

Chris Eckert, President
Apr 11, 2012

What makes people good at root cause analysis facilitation, and how do you find them? I was recently asked these questions by a client who was about to kick off an RCA program.  I’m glad he asked. The reality is, the best choice is sometimes counterintuitive at first glance, so organizations often choose people who aren’t the best fit. Although it might take a little more thought and time to identify the right RCA facilitators, rather than jumping to the easy or typical choices, the pay-off will come in many ways, such as more effective problem elimination and prevention, improved problem-solving culture, new opportunities for certain employees, and distribution of work load. 

Jon Boisoneau, Product Manager
Mar 15, 2012

Since our initial release of Causelink in December of 2011, we’ve had a number of end users send improvement suggestions, which we are happy to receive. Our goal is to listen to these suggestions and incorporate them into future versions of the software. Users wanted to more easily share their RCAs with other team members. They also needed Causelink to work better with standard software tools such as MS Office products. In light of this feedback, we are pleased to announce the release of Causelink Version 1.1 Beta.

Brian Hughes, Vice President
Feb 29, 2012

Over the years, we've seen maturation in IT with respect to Problem Management. Three years ago, I remember most people wondering what we were doing there. Last year, we heard a lot of comments like "we're getting Incident Management off the ground, and then we'll focus on Problem Management." And this year, we had many conversations about the intricacies of a Problem Management program and how root cause analysis fits. This growth is admirable, no doubt. However, in my opinion the IT sector in general still has tremendous opportunity to more fully understand the potential of a sophisticated root cause analysis program.

Jimmy Marullo
Feb 13, 2012

I’ve now had the opportunity to speak with many of our clients about Sologic’s improved root cause analysis method, products and services, and to teach this curriculum to students from multiple companies during recent public seminars.  Our intention from the beginning has been to provide our clients with an RCA method and curriculum that would give students more confidence and determination to effectively solve and prevent costly problems.  Based on client conversations and feedback over the last several weeks, I think we are on the right path, and I look forward to seeing what we’ll accomplish together!

Brian Hughes, Vice President
Jan 16, 2012

It’s no fun to show up to lead a root cause analysis when the only supporting evidence participants bring is their assumptions.  This, unfortunately, has happened to me more than once.  As a consultant, I’ve learned the hard way to make sure participants have a clear idea what we will need in order to facilitate the investigation.  People need to know what is meant by the word “evidence,” and have a very clear idea of what it means when they are asked to collect evidence to bring to the analysis.  Hopefully this simple overview will provide you with a basic understanding of evidence, evidence types, and how it is used in an investigation.

Marcus McCoy, Sologic Instructor-Facilitator
Jan 12, 2012

Recently, I had my first opportunity to teach the new Sologic RCA method to a classroom of students.  It was really rewarding to see that the way we now teach students successfully helped them overcome former struggles! They dove in with confidence, they were able to use the Sologic process to identify all significant causes, they left out the irrelevant, they organized causes in a logical sequence…and they did it all in much less time than it previously took the average student. 

Chris Eckert, President
Dec 21, 2011

Over the last week, we’ve had the opportunity to talk with many of our key clients around the globe about our new suite of product-service offerings. We’ve been demonstrating the features, capabilities and benefits of our new RCA method and Causelink RCA software…all a direct response to clients’ needs and requests. It’s been rewarding and validating to hear clients’ enthusiasm and eagerness to embrace Sologic’s offerings. I’ll let their own words speak for themselves from here.

Brian Hughes, Vice President
Dec 08, 2011

The Sologic site has been live for a few hours now and the first Sologic class was taught this week -- in Sweden.  The attendees will be downloading their copies of Causelink -- the first distribution of our new root cause analysis software.  Amazing -- it's really happening!
Sologic was created by listening to our clients, students, instructors, and investigators.  You will see, as you click through the new site, that we heard you -- loud and clear.  Our ongoing challenge is to turn our collective capacity for learning and growth into a source of powerful ideas that continually generate value for you -- our clients -- in the years to come.

Brian Hughes
Sep 29, 2011

Root cause analysis is most well-known as a tool to react to problems after they've occurred, but RCA is a powerful proactive tool -- identifying preventive actions that help reduce the risk of potential future problems from occurring.  Here are some highlights from our presentation on this topic at UBM Canon ASQ Quality Expo 2011.

Brian Hughes, Vice President
Aug 29, 2011

Managing the problems associated with the global supply chain of major products requires a flexible, adaptable, and consistent approach.  Companies that learn to manage the risks of a global supply chain can expect to reap the reward of survival, but those that learn to proactively manage problems can expect to rule their sectors.

Jun 03, 2011

While many companies have a formal incident investigation process and corrective action tracking program in place, they could benefit from instituting a corrective action review board, which helps ensure that that the lessons learned are leveraged.

Brian Hughes
May 27, 2011

Because many companies are outsourcing portions of their supply chain to other countries, reducing costs, they're also taking on more risks. Learn best practices for reducing those risks from highlights of our presentation to the ASQ World Conference on Quality by Sologic President Chris Eckert and Vice President Brian Hughes.

Brian Hughes, Vice President
May 10, 2011

Many of the disciplines we work with -- safety, quality, reliability, IT, supply chain -- are considered overhead to their organization.  But here's a fresh perspective about how to shift them to value centers, and prove it.

Brian Hughes, Vice President
Apr 28, 2011

When air traffic controllers fall asleep on the job, should it be considered human error, and should the solution be disciplinary action?  Or, are there conditional causes and solutions that are really more important and effective?

Brian Hughes, Vice President
Mar 28, 2011

Have you put your RCA training to practical use...and done it promptly after training?  Applying it immediately to real-life problems is the best way to make it stick, and to leverage maximize your training investment.