This third edition since 2002 of the Root Cause Analysis Handbook along with its ancillary resources have become the gold standard in root cause analysis (RCA) for both practitioners and students worldwide.
It offers the unique breadth, depth, and practicality that can only come from six authors with a wellspring of 150+ years of combined consulting experience in the fields of risk/reliability engineering, risk management, incident investigation/root cause analysis, hazard analysis, process safety, environmental safety, loss prevention, asset integrity, and professional/ technical training.
This comprehensive, 600-page package (book + downloads + RCA 17″ x 22″ map + online resources) presents the field-tested SOURCE methodology, or Seeking Out the Underlying Causes of Events, from ABS Consulting, an international firm with 50+ years of experience in 35+ countries. This model customizes, combines, and encapsulates global best practices for investigating incidents following any loss, whether related to people, equipment, software, structural failure, or other factors. The methodology addresses (1) incident investigation and (2) corrective and preventive action requirements found in many regulations, industry standards, and guidance documents.
The SOURCE system enables businesses to generate specific, concrete recommendations for preventing incident recurrences. Using the factual data of any incident, this model can help you implement more reliable and cost-effective practices that result in major, long-term improvements. Such process improvements increase your business’ ability to recover from and prevent incidents with financial, legal, health, and safety risks.
Included are tips and tools for developing an ongoing incident investigation program and — importantly — successfully dealing with the resulting management, corporate culture, and process changes often required.
SCOPE AND ORGANIZATION OF THE ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS HANDBOOK
The six authors use their collective global experience to guide you step-by-step through every phase of conducting a root cause analysis, including investigating, categorizing, reporting and trending, and ultimately eliminating the root causes of incidents with quality, reliability, environmental, health, safety, and production-process impacts.
They focus on how to apply structured analysis techniques, including the use of ABS Consulting’s Root Cause Map, to two levels of analyses: apparent cause analyses (ACAs) and root cause analyses (RCAs). They provide instructions for performing these activities along with flow diagrams, forms, checklists, charts, and sample plans:
- Initiating the investigation: How to determine whether an incident has occurred, how to classify and categorize the incident, and how to decide whether to conduct an in-depth investigation.
- Data gathering: How to collect data related to people, processes, procedures, documents (both hard copy and electronic), position, and physical data associated with an incident.
- Data analysis: How to analyze incidents to determine causal factors using tools such as causal factor charts, timelines, and cause and effect trees. Guidance is also provided on identifying root causes using ABS Consulting’s Root Cause Map , which is also included as a convenient pull-out, color-coded, 17″ x22″ chart.
- Developing recommendations: How to document causal factors and root causes identified during an analysis, including how to identify what changes (i.e., recommendations) may be needed to enhance management systems and reduce risks.
- Reporting and trending: How to archive findings and recommendations to allow review and trending of incident patterns after some period of SOURCE use.
In addition to the 300 pages of downloads with forms, checklists, and sample plans, five detailed Appendices add to making this 600-page package the most comprehensive and real-world resource available for root cause analysis:
Appendix A: Glossary — clarifies terms often used differently by different groups.
Appendix B: Cause and Effect Tree Details (22 pages) provides in-depth information about the use, development, and construction of cause and effect trees. Example cause and effect trees are also included. This appendix supplements information provided in Section 4, “Analyzing Data.”
Appendix C: Timeline Details (28 pages) provides in-depth information about the use, development, and construction of timelines. Example timelines are also included. This appendix supplements information provided in Section 4, “Analyzing Data.”
Appendix D: Causal Factor Charting Details (26 pages) provides in-depth information about the use, development, and construction of causal factor charts. Example causal factor charts are also included. This appendix supplements information provided in Section 4, “Analyzing Data.”
Appendix E: Root Cause Map Guidance (8 pages) describes each segment of the Root Cause Map and presents detailed descriptions of the individual nodes (or items) on the map. The Root Cause Map(tm) itself is included as part of the SOURCE Investigator’s Toolkit in Appendix F.
Appendix F: SOURCE Investigator’s Toolkit (51 pages) provides summary guidance and resources (such as checklists and forms) that can be used to document incident investigation activities. This same material, as well as other investigation resources, can be obtained from the ABS Consulting Web site.
Root Cause Analysis Handbook is widely used in corporate training programs and college courses all over the world. If you’re responsible for quality, reliability, safety, and/or risk management, you’ll want this comprehensive and practical resource at your fingertips.