RCA Programs

Every company has problems. How many occur at your company? Add up the combined impact from these problems – the amount will likely shock you. A well-defined and managed RCA Program will help you reclaim a large percentage of these losses.  Contact us to discuss your RCA Program.

Putting an RCA program together is easy.  Follow the steps listed below and you can create your own RCA Program.  And keep in mind, Sologic can provide RCA program support to our clients.  Contract with us for eight hours per month for a six-month period.  We will assign an experienced program champion to work with you to make sure your program stays on track.  The goal would be to hand the fully-functioning program over to you at the end of the contract.  

RCA Program Steps

RCA Program Process

1.  Goals and Objectives:

An RCA program needs to support the broader goals and objectives of the organization.  Otherwise, those being asked to support the program may not fully grasp the value RCA provides in helping to achieve these goals. 

Goals can be broken down into two types:  Global and Individual.  Global goals are the same for everyone in the organization.  Classic global goals include Safety, Environmental, and Quality – but there may be others. Individual goals are specific to the business unit or specific area of responsibility.  For instance, one business unit may have very different production goals than another.  These individual businesses will need assistance identifying business-unique goals.  However, they will likely share the global goals set at the corporate level.

2.  Create RCA Triggers:

RCA trigger criteria alert employees to when a formal RCA is required.  Triggers can be easily derived from your goals.  There will be global as well as business-specific triggers.  Keep investigation capacity in mind. Aggressive triggers will increase the number of required RCAs.  Don’t flood the system with RCA’s right away. Triggers can always be adjusted up or down to achieve balance.  Set what you believe to be achievable thresholds and then monitor.  Make adjustments as needed.

RCA triggers can be either event-based or risk-based.  Event-based triggers consider the actual impact of a problem – if it is severe enough, an RCA is required.  Risk-based triggers consider event probability and severity.  Risk scores are plotted on a matrix.  If the score is high enough, an RCA is triggered.

Theoretical RCA process, including triggering criteria

3.  Develop RCA Capability:

Once triggers are set you should be able to estimate the RCA case load.  This will give you a baseline from which to develop a training strategy. 

Sologic offers training for each level.  Learn more at our training page: http://www.sologic.com/root-cause-analysis-training.

RCA Training Options

4.  Corrective Action Tracking and RCA Reports:

All RCAs generate actions.  What is your system for managing actions?  Is there a Corporate-wide system, or does each individual business do its own thing?  

You will also need to develop and distribute a common RCA report template.  You do not need separate templates for different types of RCAs – the report sections should be universal.

Note that Causelink is a great tool for both tracking corrective actions as well as RCA reporting.


5.  RCA Program Metrics:

RCA program metrics tell us how well we are managing our RCA program.  Examples include:

  • How many threshold events were triggered last month?
  • How long between threshold event occurrence and the start of the RCA?
  • How long to complete the RCA?
  • How many investigations per trained Analyst?
  • How many analysts are using their training?
  • How effective are the implemented solutions?
    • Has the incident recurred?  If so, what has been the frequency (before vs. after the RCA)?
    • What is the improvement and/or cost avoidance as a result of the RCA?
    • What is the Return on Investment for the RCA?
  • Others are certainly possible…

These metrics should be tracked and reported to leadership.  Identify and focus on areas of concern.  Trend over time to determine overall program effectiveness.


Create Your Own RCA Program

You can do it – just complete the tasks in the following list and contact us.

  1. Goals
    • Make a list of your goals.  Start with global goals, and then ask representatives in each business to help develop individual goals.  Keep things simple—you can always adjust later!
    • For each goal, consider how progress can be objectively measured.  If there is no existing way to measure the goal, develop a new one.
  2. Triggers
    • Take your list of goals and create an RCA trigger for each.
    • Consider that RCA triggers can be either event-based or risk-based (or a combination of the two)
  3. Develop RCA Capability
    • Determine who to train and to what level.
  4. Corrective Action Tracking and Reports
    • Determine how you will track actions.
    • Develop a common RCA reporting template.
  5. RCA Program Metrics
    • Develop a list of RCA program metrics that can be easily tracked and reported.

Contact us to discuss your RCA Program.