Industry Data & Market Research

Strategic Planning with the Root Cause Analysis Framework

Root Cause Analysis is a technique that enables better strategic planning in business.

Root cause analysis is a problem-solving method based on the belief that problems are best solved by attempting to correct or eliminate root causes, as opposed to merely addressing the immediately obvious symptoms. By directing corrective measures at root causes, it is hoped that the likelihood of problem recurrence will be minimized.

General Principles

  • Aiming performance improvement measures at root causes is more effective than merely treating the symptoms of a problem.
  • There is usually more than one potential root cause for any given problem.
  • To be effective, RCA must be performed systematically, with conclusions and causes backed up by documented evidence.
  • To be effective the analysis must establish all known causal relationships between the root cause(s) and the defined problem.
  • Root cause analysis transforms an old culture that reacts to problems to a new culture that solves problems before they escalate, creating a variability reduction and risk avoidance mindset.


  • Define the problem.
  • Gather data/evidence.
  • Identify the causal relationships associated with the problem.
  • Identify the causes that, if changed, will prevent recurrence.
  • Determine which causes can be solved with available resources and do not cause other problems.
  • Implement the recommendations.
  • Observe the recommended solutions to ensure effectiveness.

Other Strategic Planning Frameworks

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