Why you need repair and maintenance services: find the root cause

Oftentimes, maintenance issues may cause you to ask, "Why has this happened?"

We've heard this many times from clients with things like water damage for example. Water damage may begin to develop as water pours in from the roof during and after heavy rainfall. In this case, maintenance services should include a process to identify and address the root cause to properly repair the damage. To determine what the main issue is, root cause analysis is a helpful process. It can not only identify a core issue but also help prevent the issue from occurring in the future.

What is root cause analysis?

Root cause analysis, or RCA, entails pinpointing the root cause of a problem to determine how the issue developed. In the process, you can find out:

  • What happened
  • Why it occurred
  • How to keep it from happening again in the future with the proper maintenance services

The RCA process involves a thorough analysis of a situation to gather helpful data that can help develop a specific action plan. This plan would then be able to help look for the signs of a specific cause if an issue begins to develop, enabling you to keep it from growing into a bigger problem.

RCA actually begins as a reactive process that takes place after an event occurs. After performing that initial analysis, it becomes a proactive process that can assist with the prediction and mitigation of similar problems.

As an example of RCA, consider the previous situation of roof damage. If you fix the ceiling when water damage is present without addressing the primary problem, this could lead to a continuation of the issue. As a result, the roof will eventually require a complete replacement due to the addition of new holes and continuous failure. When you fix a symptom instead of the problem itself, there's a high chance of the failure reoccurring.

The RCA process isn't always straightforward. It requires a sufficient amount of data collection, testing, and review. It also requires specialised knowledge and in-the-field experience, which is why a maintenance company is ideal for completing this process.

Industry applications for RCA

There are multiple potential applications for root cause analysis beyond maintenance services. RCA also applies to:

  • Manufacturing
  • Engineering
  • IT (including software testing, cybersecurity analysis, and incident management)
  • Change management
  • Risk management
  • Medicine

The 5 Steps of RCA

Generally, the RCA process works as follows:

  1. Defining the issue — The start of the process entails an analysis of the apparent issue and the symptoms exhibited to help define the problem.
  2. Data collection — The next step is to gather enough data about the issue to help better understand the issue and potential cause. This could involve case studies and incident investigation, among other steps.
  3. Identifying contributing factors — After collecting enough data, you can then begin looking for some of the causal factors that may have contributed to the issue.
  4. Figuring out the root cause — Using the appropriate method, you can determine what specifically caused the issue, which could include one or more root causes.
  5. Incorporating the right solution — With the root cause in mind, you can put a plan in place to properly fix the issue. You can also prevent the same or similar occurrences from taking place in the future.

Turn to professionals for RCA in the event of maintenance issues

In many cases, the root cause of a maintenance issue can be difficult to pin down. So it's important to work with professional maintenance contractors when possible. Experienced maintenance teams will be able to apply the appropriate analysis methods and figure out what's causing a particular issue. These experts will then be able to make the best recommendations to address the issue and implement it. They'll also help minimise the risk of the same problem taking place again.

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