# Transitional Root Cause Analysis

## Discussing Root Cause Analysis (RCA) can be made easier using Shon Isenhour's tree diagram.

09/14/2017

When I discuss RCA I use a method called Transitional Root Cause Analysis or TRCA for short.

It is made up of 10 tools that can be explained and understood in a very short period of time.

In the next few minutes I will demonstrate both the simplicity and rules for use for 3 of the 10 and explain why we consider them transitional in nature.

In this blog we will use what I categorize as the tree methods. These are three tools that build out into a tree root like structure. So let's take a look: the first one is called the "5 why"  method. It is very common in industry today and is a very basic root cause tool. It is created simply by asking the question why multiple times to create one causal chain. It creates a simple main tap root to build off of.

Now, if we take the 5 why diagram and branch it out by adding more elements at each level then we get a better representation of all of the causes that come together to create an effect. This transition of the 5 why is known as a fault tree. This method allows us to easily see all factors that led to a failure, but sometimes we need to show a bit more information to make the graphic more meaningful.

If for instance, an effect can only occur when all of its causes exist at the same place and in the same moment in time then we use the word "and" at that junction of the roots. If we eliminate either one of the cause then we can eliminate the effect. On the flip side, if either of the causes could precipitate the effect then the word "or" would be placed at the junction. This would be read as this or that could cause the effect above. This allows you to see that both possibilities must be addressed to prevent the cause.

These three tree methods transition from one to the next by adding one simple new feature as needed during the root cause process. First, we take a "5 why" and branch it to get the fault tree then we add in the "and and" or "or" to get logic tree. Three powerful tools that build on each other to get you to the lowest cost solution that mitigates the risk.The other Transitional tools work very much in the same way and allow us to use the right tool for the job instead of trying to use a screwdriver as a hammer.

Shon Isenhour, content marketing, Eruditio LLC. This article originally appeared on Eruditio's website. Eruditio is a CFE Media content partner.

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
A new approach to the Skills Gap; Community colleges may hold the key for manufacturing; 2017 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Doubling down on digital manufacturing; Data driving predictive maintenance; Electric motors and generators; Rewarding operational improvement
2017 Lubrication Guide; Software tools; Microgrids and energy strategies; Use robots effectively
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
Research team developing Tesla coil designs; Implementing wireless process sensing
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems

### Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.