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7 benefits of RATIO root cause analysis (RCA)

It is hard to be humble knowing you work with probably the best and most effective tool for root cause analysis in the world. It is difficult to explain and people hardly believe it when I try. But after many years of trying to express my enthusiasm, I think I finally can do it.

These are the 7 benefits of RATIO RCA

  1. RATIO RCA recognizes three different analytical demands in root cause analysis: creating a factual causal chain, testing all hypothesis on the same problem specification and focus on organizational improvement in case of personal mistakes. This is a clear framework to separate facts form assumptions and questions of guilt.
  2. RATIO Event Map provides a full causal chain, including all effects and taken actions which might have influenced the system. It gives a comprehensive insight in the (potential) threats and the severity of the problem. This is important in the communication with management and stakeholders and it will increase awareness about company goals in relation to (near) failures etc.
  3. RATIO Event Map uses strict definitions of problems, events, deviations, contributing circumstances and breached barriers – not only in language (concrete, specific – no generalizations, assumptions, opinions) but also in the visualization.
  4. RATIO Event Map makes a very clear distinction between circumstances (causes without deviation) and breached barriers (failed measures) whereof causes need to be examined.
  5. RATIO Event Map emphasizes on provable facts and does not admit generalities or possible causes in the Event Map. Just to be clear about it.
  6. RATIO RCA lists possible causes separately and uses the ProblemAnalysis to distinguish probable causes from proven non-causes. And the Human Factor Analysis for human failures. RATIO is locating a lot of common tools, like Ishikawa, timeline, brainstorming in these phases of the investigation – if needed after all former steps to focus on the core of the problem.
  7. RATIO provides a robust frame of continuous improvement for RCA. By using the colors in Event Map one will always have insight in the progress of decision making and implementation.


Some additional benefits

Event Map is representing causes downwards. This sounds futile but it coincides with our intuitive image of the ‘root cause’: we dig it out, get to the bottom and all evil is down there, in the depts of hell.

It will support our imaginary brain competence.

Many others RCA tools represent causes sideward to the right: the way you read and thus activating our linguistic instincts, or the way one creates a timeline – the chronological ordering of events (which can be confused with causality). Furthermore, the ordering of sentences horizontally uses a lot more space and printed RCA’s are often hard to read because of the tiny font.

RATIO RCA is applicable in every issue, system or unwanted situation with a deviation from an expectation or a norm which you don’t want to happen again.

For more info, please contact the author: Dirk Vollenhoven

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