RCA Resources

Here’s a comprehensive list of verified links to freely-available Root Cause Analysis resources all across the web.

Root Cause

A root cause, at the most basic level, is a fundamental reason for the occurrence of a problem or event. The appellation “root” is meant to differentiate a root cause from a more immediate or proximate cause; in other words, it can be considered an ultimate cause. There are many definitions for root cause in […]


  A barrier is a construct intended to protect a target from a force or agent that could affect it in a manner that is not wanted. It may totally prevent the possibility of the unwanted effect, reduce the probability or potential magnitude of the effect, alter the nature of the effect, or initiate some […]

Recent Changes

Recent changes to this Root Cause Analysis wiki are logged below. 2014-10-04 :: topic pages Barrier and Root Cause created 2014-10-02 :: topic pages Event and Problem created 2014-10-01 :: topic pages Causal Factor and Necessary and Sufficient created  


  In the practice of Root Cause Analysis, a problem is a state that occurs when there is an apparently uncorrectable mismatch between what exists and what is required or desired. In other words, we want w but we have h, and we don’t know how to close the gap. This state can arise in several ways. At […]

Necessary and Sufficient

  Causes and Causal Factors can usually be characterized as having two distinct but related qualities, termed Necessary and Sufficient. Necessary: If x is required for y to occur, then y cannot occur unless x is present; x is a necessary cause of y. If evidence that y occurred is found, then x must have […]

Causal Factor

A causal factor is a condition or action that did (or can) affect an entity by causing, contributing, influencing, or permitting a change to that entity. In other words, it is a factor that is causal to a change. Example: there is an unlit candle in a holder on the table. You strike a match, […]

RCA Wiki

  This page is the root for the new Root Cause Analysis wiki. Only the topic pages listed below have been completed. As more pages are created, some kind of directory will be added. The latest changes will be logged to Recent Changes. Barrier Causal Factor Event Necessary and Sufficient Problem Root Cause  

Causal Factor Tree Analysis

Description Causal factor tree analysis is a Root Cause Analysis technique used to record and display, in a logical, tree-structured hierarchy, all the actions and conditions (or Causal Factors) that were Necessary and Sufficient for a given consequence to have occurred. Pros and Cons Pros Provides structure for the recording of evidence and display of […]

Change Analysis

Description Change analysis is a Root Cause Analysis technique that uses the precise specification of a single deviation (problem or adverse event) so that changes and/or differences (potential causal factors) can be found by comparison to closely related un-deviated situations. Pros and Cons Pros Conceptually simple, easy to grasp. Works well in combination with other methods. Results translate […]