Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA) or Troubleshooting for the Frontline
You may have been through a Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA) training at some point in your career. If not, you probably are aware of the basic concept and that there are many Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA) classes available to your plant.
Often, we teach our operators, craftspeople, and supervisors the full Root Cause Failure Analysis process, but there are no work processes (data collection, triggers, reporting structure, meeting structure etc) to support the RCFA in the plant. In some cases there aren’t even time to spend on RCFA because we are too busy working on break-downs.
If there isn’t much time to work on Root Cause Failure Analysis, but we want our people to do a better job finding the true cause of the problems, what do we do?
Our suggestion is to teach your “frontline” (operators, craftspeople and supervision) basic trouble shooting. You may argue that troubleshooting doesn’t always get to the true root cause and that troubleshooting doesn’t cover all bases. You are right. Structured troubleshooting will get to the true root cause 80% of the time with 10% of the effort a root cause failure analysis (RCFA) takes. Sounds like a good deal, it is!