Root Cause Analysis - A Diagnostic Failure Analysis Technique for Managers
ARMY MISSILE RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT AND ENGINEERING LAB REDSTONE ARSENAL AL ADVANCED SYSTEMS CONCEPTS OFFICE
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This report presents a proven technique for technical problem analysis. An analysis method is described and a format presented which is aimed at the systematic solution of failures. Examples of typical problems and solutions are included in addition to guidance for the organization and operation of teams charged with establishing the root cause of failures. Comments on group processes should be helpful to new root cause team managers in the operation of the teams, and a bibliography of material on problem solving and decision making provides sources of data related to the topics. Although the text focuses on hardware development activities, it can readily be seen that the root cause analysis technique has broad application to general problems, e.g., low sales, business reversals, increased costs, etc. This technique is easy to learn and requires no special skills. Use of the format provides explicit data for the systematic evaluation of postulated failure modes. Rigid adherence to this technique makes the root cause of the problem obvious through the process of elimination and, therefore, assures that the source root of the problem, not the symptoms, is dealt with.
- Administration and Management
- Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering and Control of Production Systems