Root Cause Analysis: Touching Bottom and Advanced Maneuvers

A root cause analysis involves figuring out why something occurred but often there are many causes. Thus, the critical inquiry is about the root cause – what is the precipitating factor that ultimately set things in motion? In this final part of our series exploring root cause analyses, we provide some insights on how to discern when an investigation has touched bottom and it is time to move on to fixing the problem. In the first part, we pinned down what a root cause analysis is and why a company should do one (because enforcers expect it, high on the list) and, in the second article, we suggested how to gather information to aid in the analysis. Here we come to what looks like the end of the process but what, in reality, may be the beginning because, as the experts explained to us, a root cause analysis in an iterative process without a finite end. We also take a brief peek into the future of what root cause analysis can look like when a company fully commits with planning and resources. See the ACR’s Guide to Mastering Internal Investigation Interviews: “Logistics” (Feb. 5, 2020); “Warming Up” (Sep. 30, 2020); and “Getting to the Truth and Adapting to the Pandemic” (Oct. 14, 2020).

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