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Problem Determination and Root Cause Analysis (RCA)

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Business success is dependent on effective resolution of the problems that present themselves every day. Often the same or similar problems continue causing repeated losses in time or money and your staff become experts at fixing rather than preventing the problems. Learn to find and fix root causes and develop corrective actions that will effectively eliminate or control these problems.

Excellent problem determination skills cannot be acquired simply by reading a book. They mostly come from experience as well as discipline. After this course, you should have a general understanding of a structured problem determination approach, which you can then apply in your daily work to gain more experience.

At the completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Identify the different types of tools and techniques available
  • Apply change management successfully
  • Review what to look for when applying business case thinking to Root Cause Analysis
  • Develop a process to systematically approach problems


Section 1: RCA Foundation Concepts and Objectives

  • Section Learning Objectives
  • Discuss Definitions – IT Perspective
  • Discuss What is a problem and why do they exist?

Lesson 1a: Why is RCA important

  • What is Root Cause?
  • RCA Benefits and Approaches

Lesson 1b: Why are multiple approaches important?

  • Event and Casual Analysis

Lesson 1c: Apply Event and Causal Analysis

  • Event and Causal Analysis: Exercise 1c Worksheet
  • RCA Tools for each approach

Lesson 1d: Prepare for Case Study

  • Section Summary and Conclusions

Section 2: Enhance use of RCA tools

  • Why use a Particular Method
  • Tool: Change Analysis
  • Change Analysis Examples

Lesson 2a: Apply Change Analysis

Lesson 2b: Change Analysis Worksheet

  • Tool: How to Resolve Conflict
  • Tool: 5 Why`s
  • Example Learning Management Problem

Lesson 2c: Apply 5 Why`s Sequence-of-Events

Lesson 2c: Worksheet

  • Tool: Cause and Effect

Exercise 2d: Apply Cause and Effect

Exercise 2e: Cause and Effect Worksheet

  • Tool: Fault Tree Analysis
  • Why do we use Fault Tree Analysis?
  • How does it work?
  • Fault Tree Diagram Symbols
  • Example #1 of FTA: Car Hits Object

Exercise 2f: Apply Fault Tree Analysis

  • Tool: Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
  • Example: Failure Modes and Effects Analysis

Exercise 2g: Apply FMEA

  • Tool: Design / Application Review
  • Exercise 2d: Apply Design/Application Review
  • Section Summary and Conclusions

Section 3: Problem Resolution and Prevention

  • Section Objectives
  • The Secret of Solving Problems
    • A Note about Statistical Control
    • A Note about Fire Fighting
  • Technique: Business Process Mapping
  • Example: IGOE

Lesson 3a: Problem as IGOE

Lesson 3b: IGOE Template

  • Technique: Lean Six Sigma and DMAIC
  • Lean Six Sigma Benefits

Lesson 3c: Apply Lean Six Sigma

  • Importance of Understanding the Business Process
  • The Business Process Mandate
  • Technique: Process Modeling
  • Graphical Notation Standard (BPMN)
    • What is Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN)?
    • Benefits of BPMN
    • Basic Components of BPMN

Lesson 3d: Use BPMN to Document a Current State

  • Technique: Business Process Maturity Model
  • Five Levels of Maturity

Lesson 3e: Appraise Business Process Maturity Level

  • Section Summary and Conclusions

Section 4: Capability Improvement for RCA

  • Section Learning Objectives
  • Steps in Disciplined Problem Solving
  • RCA as a RCA Process
  • Key RCA Role Considerations

Lesson 4A: Apply RCA to RCA Process

  • Sustainable RCA Improvement
  • Organizational Units
  • Process Area Goals, Practices
  • Specific and General Practices
  • Specific Practice Examples
  • Software Maturity Survey

Lesson 4b: Apply Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) to RCA

  • SWOT Analysis Worksheet
  • Recognize the importance of the Change Management component in your RCA implementation
  • Using the ADKAR Model to Communicate Change
  • Review ADKAR® Model –
    • Awareness of the need for change
    • Desire to participate and support the change
    • Knowledge on how to change
    • Ability to implement required skills and behaviors
    • Reinforcement to sustain the change

Lesson 4c: Create an Ability Checklist

  • The ADKAR Model: Reinforcement

Lesson 4d: Find two examples of how ADKAR will be different

  • Section Summary and Conclusions

Section 5: Course Summary and Conclusions

  • Plan the Proposal and Business Case
  • Example: 1 Page Business Case

Lesson 5a: Creating Action Plans

  • Resource Guide
  • Questions


This course is aimed at experienced people to have more hands practice with root cause analysis.


Executives, Project Managers, Business Analysts, Business and IT stakeholders working with analysts, Quality and process engineers, technicians, corrective action coordinators or managers; supervisors, team leaders, and process operators; anyone who wants to improve their ability to solve recurring problems.



2 Days Course

Class Dates

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14 PDU's
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