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Erik Hupje

What is your favourite RCA technique and why?

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What RCA techniques do you use? Which one is the most effective? Which one is your favourite and why?

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Good morning 

We are pretty new to RCA techniques in my factory, We usually use simply why-why analysis during small weekly or bi-weekly meeting with a final recommendations lines ( some further protective actions) as an outcome.

 

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Hi @Bishoy Saeed, thanks for sharing.

The why-why technique or 5-Why is used in many organisations (as far as I know it was 'invented' in Toyota) and it can be very effective as long as you're disciplined enough to go deep enough and are willing to 'branch out' i.e. accept that a why could have more than one answer.

Do you track the effectiveness of the RCAs you complete?

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@Erik Hupje thanks for the advice.

as the system is still pretty new, I keep tracking the RCAs by exchanging mails with my colleagues within the shifts to track our progress within the RCA's recommendation/lessons learned. I believe there are better tools & methods for tracking that I wish to give them a trial within our work tasks. 

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@Bishoy Saeed indeed, no need to go with complicated tools. Even a simple spreadsheet listing all the agreed actions, with action parties and due dates can be very powerful if it is well used.

Most organisations don't get the value out of RCA's because they don't follow through with the agreed actions. They just keeping doing more RCA's but never close them out. The other thing is that most teams fail to check whether the RCA was effective i.e. once all actions for an RCA have been completed has the completely gone away?

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this is a good point. I believe that we shall standardize & numbering RCA's and giving them keywords so that we can get them tangled together and make good use of the repeated cases. unfortunately at the moment we hadn't this advantage yet.

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I agree with Erik that we can quickly get loss with incomplete action items from initializing too many RCAs. 

One strategy I've used has been to implement a database system such as Microsoft Sharepoint. Where each RCA can be logged and each item can be assigned to an individual. The system was programmed to send reminder emails to the responsible person. In my view, the action items need to remain visible to all members. Either physically in a public meeting room, or digitally on the front page of a facility's internal website. 

I like the simplicity of the 5-why's approach. By keeping the RCA simple it doesn't need to be only done by specialized reliability professionals. I think all members of a maintenance department can be trained to perform RCA's and should be empowered to do so. 

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My organization is using Tripod Beta. I have used 5 Whys and Kelvin Topset and they are quite similar to Tripod Beta. I don't have a favourite.

Result of the RCA is quite highly dependent on how the main question is framed, as such a highly trained facilitator is a must for this exercise. Tracking of actions being closed is well managed by ways of completing the form that triggers it. A problem has happened in the facility, the technician(s) will fill up the form and log it to the reliability team. Operations team will call for an RCA, where the results are then filled in the same form for action. However, one weakness is no one is tracking the effectiveness of the action though. How should we determine the period of observation to say that the problem has really gone away?

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3 hours ago, Jefferson Voo said:

How should we determine the period of observation to say that the problem has really gone away?

I don't think there is a hard and fast rule for that, but I would say you want to agree the monitoring period in your RCA report and define it as a success criteria. If you typically had a failure occur every 6 months you might want to monitor for 12-18 months before declaring 'victory'... having standardised failure modes and reporting codes obviously helps a lot here.

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I use different techniques what I choose depends to the problem, i.e. for rotatory defects I use fault tree (Apolo), for human errors I use bow-tie, for faster analysis use five-why. What do you think about this techniques?

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All three very useful and sound techniques. The secret to success will be in the quality of the analysis (which is I believe a direct correlation with who you have in the room when you do the analysis and of course the follow-up. this is where most companies let themselves down.

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We have introduced the RATIO-model within our company. This is in fact a derivative of Kepner tregoe.

Within our own made maintenance management system, we can distinguish between a large and small challenge and link a set of tools to analyze the problem.

The actual failure modes and causes are logged within the system and the mitigating actions and solutions are recorded.

This is all recently live, because things were stored locally in the past (if it was recorded 😁). We want knowledge stored within the system and make sure the wheel is not reinvented each time.

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Hi @Freek Doornkamp, What you guys have sounds interesting. I would like to learn/know more on how/what you guys did to implement this as I think what you did is excellent!

1. When you said link a set of tools to analyze the problem, do you mean your RCA tools are online/within the CMMS? Do you guys use other RCA other than RATIO in this case?

2. Actual failure modes and causes are logged where exactly do you log this? Is it under CM or is there a separate log just for this? As for my company, currently, the RCA results are stored in the RCA database, and the closing of the report of the failed equipment does not directly link (depending on the tech) to the RCA. As such, it could be slightly more difficult for us to know if an RCA has been done if another similar failure has occured in another facility.

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Hello Freek,

I, like Jefferson, would l like to learn more about the tools you are using. I would be interested in your answers to Jefferson's questions.

Thank you,

Jim

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We use the Causal Tree Analysis Method (CTA). It's quite new for us as well and I feel its uniquely suited to us because we only focus on the the limb of the fault tree that actually matters. 

Earlier when using a standard Fault tree for RCA we would stop once we had a root cause and never drilled down into it to get to the crux of the issue. CTA allows us to do that now.

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