Tuesday, 03 January 2017 17:17

S803X: Root Cause Failure Analysis Fundamentals

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Root Cause Analysis is one of the most potent tools in the fight against failure

canstockphoto3893070Root Cause Analysis is used in a routine way in most medical situations. It is recognised that a symptom has an immediate cause, which can in turn be caused by a deeper seated problem. Physicians also understand that you cannot just jump in and start treating the symptoms. You need to stop to consider whether there's actually a deeper problem that needs your attention.

If you only address the symptoms – what you see on the surface – the problem will almost certainly happen again... which will lead you to re-address the same symptoms, again, and again, and again. If, instead, you look deeper to find out why the problem is occurring, you can remedy the underlying systems and processes that cause the problem.

We in maintenance also work with 'patients', machine patients. In the same way as with patients in the medical case, we have to find problems through the use of Root Cause Analysis.

Root Cause Analysis seeks to identify the origin of a problem. It uses a specific set of steps, with associated tools, to find the primary cause of the problem, so that you can:

  • Determine what happened.
  • Determine why it happened.
  • Decide on an action to reduce the risk of it happening again.

S803 photo4Root Cause Analysis typically leads to one or more of the following three basic types of causes:

  • Physical causes – something physical failed or stopped working.
  • Human causes – somebody did something wrong, made a judgment error.
  • Organisational causes – a system, process, or policy that people use to make decisions or do their work is inadequate.


This simplified version of the full S803 Root Cause Failure Analysis course aims to provide all the information to be able to perform a full root cause analysis, but leaving out the very worthwhile part on using the Herman Brain Dominance instrument to optimise your team's problem solving capabilities, as well as the final comprehensive practical workshop. This is intended for persons that need the knowledge regarding RCFA, but without the need for optimise the use of the method, and the practice afforded by the final workshop.

The accent of the course is on practical application through group work. The purpose of this is for students to internalise the method well.

Course Content

Module 1 – Failure Cause Analysis Fundamentals

  • Introduction to RCFA
  • What failure? (Defining the Problem)
  • Determining the problem boundaries
  • The 11 Problem Definition Steps
  • Root Cause – A True Pursuit?
  • Mental Barriers to Creative Thinking
  • Brainstorming – Idea Generation
    1. Team Work & Team Management
    2. Team Development
    3. Management & Team Responsibility
    4. Verbal Brainstorming

Module 2 – Principles of RCFA

  • Introduction to the RCFA Wall Chart
  • The Cause and Effect Principle
  • Fault Tracing Fundamentals
  • The RCFA Analysis Process
  • Creative Idea Evaluation
  • Judgment
  • Critical Thinking

Module 3 – Getting RCFA to Work

  • Solution Implementation
  • Selling the Plan
  • Planning the Plan
  • What Can Go Wrong? Risk Analysis
  • Implementation Monitoring
  • Time Management
  • Team Facilitation


Who Should Attend


The course is intended for maintenance people who need to cope with maintenance problem situations.

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Credits 8*, level 5**                      


* The course comprises 40 hours of study, of which 24 hours are in class, with a further 16 hours for the assignment.

**Occupational Certificate level

Read 5166 times Last modified on Thursday, 05 January 2017 14:47