Any failure in a product or service can trigger a chain reaction in an organization. The costs and efforts involved in recalls, reworks and responses to clients or legal authorities is just the tip of the iceberg, whereas the submerged invisible part is related to a decline in reputation, loss of potential orders, increased appraisal requirements, regulatory fines and costs involved in rebuilding employee confidence – creating long-term challenges for any organization.

However, failure is always a test of an organization’s adaptability and agility to learn and improve. It should not be considered as a dead-end, but only a stepping stone to assess why the failure happened and how to fix it in a way to prevent its recurrence. The most critical part of this process, after taking the immediate correction measures, is identifying, analyzing and evaluating the root cause.

Very often organizations focus only on immediate measures to tackle the symptoms of a failure instead of searching and fixing the actual source of the problem. This happens because root cause analysis requires a proper understanding of the processes involved and access to right information and data. Moreover, the individuals conducting the analysis should also hold clarity of the problem statement and necessary competence to evaluate the root cause. The actual issue which instigated the cause-and-effect reaction, is required to be identified and managed systematically. Errors in recognizing the root cause can put the organization in a vicious cycle of fixing just the symptoms of recurring failures.

Root cause analysis also serves as an integral part of an organization’s risk assessment process where proactive prediction of any potential failures can help in implementing necessary preventive measures. Organizations can always adopt the root cause analysis approach to perform a comprehensive, system-wide review of the potential problems, to help them stay on top of issues and foster a culture of risk assessment.

At Intertek, we recently hosted a webinar to explain the fundamentals of root cause analysis and how it serves as a foundation of continual improvement in the organization. This webinar is now available on-demand.  Moreover, if you are interested in an instructor-led training for yourself or your team, then we can also provide a detailed training course covering fundamentals of root cause analysis, step-by-step approach, the cause and effect diagram (fish-bone analogy), 5-whys technique, relevant case studies and scenarios on root cause analysis. This course is typically conducted in a classroom setting but considering the needs of current constantly evolving times, it is now also available to be delivered online via interactive video-conferencing applications. The course is equipped with multiple exercises and activities based on microlearning principles to facilitate the accelerated learning and engagement of attending delegates. Feel free to drop your request at https://www.intertek.com/auditing/me-training-request/