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Root cause analysis

Root cause analysis is the process of learning from consequences. The consequences can be desirable, but most root cause analysis deals with adverse consequences, e.g., the so-called d-words: death, damage, delay, disruption, dollars (of loss), disgrace, discredit, discharges (to the environment), etc.

The generally accepted principles of root cause analysis include:

  1. Do all reasoning from solid evidence.
  2. Determine what influenced the consequences.
  3. Establish tightly linked chains of influence.
  4. Whenever feasible drill down to root causes.
  5. There are always multiple root causes.