Apollo Root Cause Analysis methodology
The Apollo Root
Cause Analysis methodology is a 4-stage process that provides a new
way of thinking and goes far beyond the traditional root cause
analysis problem solving processes.
It facilitates the creation of a common reality,
using input from all stakeholders to produce an
evidence-based understanding of the problem and ensures your
solutions address proven causes and prevents recurrence. It makes
problem solving easy and gives those who have been trained the
skills to solve real world problems faster, more efficiently and
effectively at any time.
"It is effective solutions we seek, not
the root cause."
- Dean L. Gano, Creator of the Apollo Root
Cause Analysis methodology
Ground Rules of the Apollo Root Cause Analysis
- Fix the problem, do not place blame
- Everyone contributes
- Open dialouge, no judging
- Not looking for the right answer, but the best
1. Define the Problem
Understanding the true problem is imperative, as it will clarify
exactly what information needs to be gathered during the root cause
investigation. It also determines what your corrective actions will
be and helps ensure that the solution you select to implement is
the most effective one. The Apollo Root Cause Analysis methodology
facilitates 'creating a common reality' in which everyone who
participates agrees on the problem definition statement including
the significance reflected by the consequences or impacts.
Outline the what, when, where, and significance (safety,
environmental, cost, revenue, frequency, etc) with as much detail
EXAMPLE PROBLEM DEFINITION STATEMENT
2. Determine the Causal Relationships
Consistently challenging cause and effect relationships allows
you to think more critically and understand that problems are
rarely as simple as they may seem. A guiding principle of the
Apollo Root Cause Analysis methodology states that each effect has
at least two causes in the forms of actions and conditions.
Conditions exist over time, actions are motions or changes in state
in relation to the incident. The Apollo Root Cause Analysis
methodology demands an exhaustive search for both condition causes
and action causes the guides the process in the form of a cause and
effect chart known as a RealityChart.
This is a simple causal process whereby one asks "why" of a
defined problem, answers with at least two causes in the form of an
action and condition, then asks "why" of each answer and continues
asking "why" of each stated cause until there are no more
3. Identify Effective Solutions
Solutions act on one or more causes in the cause-and-effect
chain without regard for position, so the notion of one "root"
cause or magic bullet at the end of the chain becomes meaningless.
Any given problem has an infinite number of causes, which also
means that there are an infinite number of possible solutions. The
Apollo Root Cause Analysis method has established 'Solution
Criteria' to uncover the best solutions. All causes must be
examined to find a way to change them with a solution that
- Within your control
- Prevents recurrence
- Meets your goals and objectives
- Does not cause other problems
This approach shows clear causal connections between your
solution and the defined problem. All stakeholders can insert their
causal relationships into the RealityChart, so that buy-in of the
most effective solutions is readily attained.
4. Implement and Track Solutions
If after all the work of finding effective solutions we do not
implement them and track them to verify their effectiveness, all
our work is for naught, yet that is exactly what most organizations
do. Success is not coming up with a good idea, it is bringing it to
fruition in a way that provides the value. The Apollo Root Cause
Analysis methodology facilitates creating a final report, assigning
corrective actions, and tracking those actions to
Training in Root Cause Analysis
We offer a variety of training courses in the Apollo Root Cause
Analysis methodology which can be delivered at your site, or
trainees can attend one of the many public courses we hold in
cities throughout the world.
LEARN MORE ABOUT
The Apollo Root Cause Analysis
methodology was created by Dean L. Gano and Apollonian
Publications. ARMS Reliability are licensed to use and distribute
Apollo Root Cause Analysis methodology materials.