IPPD618 - Problem-solving for Engineers: Root Cause Analysis Fundamentals has been added to your cart.

Problem-solving for Engineers: Root Cause Analysis Fundamentals

Learn root cause analysis (RCA) fundamentals, explore RCA tools' purpose and application, and perform RCA on real-world problems to find solutions.

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  • Scottsdale, AZ May 13-15th, 2024



Welcome Back!

The ability to interact with ASME instructors who bring real world experience, examples, and best practices to life in our learning experiences is a major reason learners choose face to face training. Networking with peers is also a valuable part of the time spent together during a course. We are excited to start offering these important courses again in person.

Schedule: ​This course commences at 8:30 AM and ends at 5:30 PM local time, each day, with breaks scheduled throughout. 

May Session: This course will be held at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, AZ in conjunction with ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code Week.  Please follow this link for hotel reservations.


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Even with the best quality systems and training, problems can happen. Root cause analysis (RCA) describes a wide range of approaches, tools, and techniques used to uncover causes of problems. For engineers, this could be applied to failure analysis in engineering and maintenance, quality control problems, safety performance, and computer systems or software analysis. The goal of RCA is to identify the origin of a problem using a systematic approach and determine:

  1. What happened
  2. Why it happened
  3. How to reduce the likelihood that it happens again
  4. How to launch a solution implementation plan

This three-day course provides a collaborative and dynamic learning environment that affords the participant the ability to perform RCA on real-world problems and overlay solutions to the problems. Each RCA tool is presented in an easy-to-follow structure: a general description of the tool, its purpose and typical applications, the procedure when using it, an example of its use, a checklist to help you make sure it is applied properly, and different forms and templates.

The examples used can be tailored to many different industries and markets, including manufacturing, robotics, bioengineering, energy, and pressure technology. The layout of this course has been designed to help speed participants’ learning through short videos depicting well-known scenarios for analysis in class.

Course Materials (included in purchase of course): 
Digital course notes via ASME’s Learning Platform 

By participating in this course, you will learn how to successfully:

  • Explain the concept of root cause analysis
  • Describe how to use tools for problem cause brainstorming
  • Ask the right questions; establish triggers that drive you to the RCA process
  • Develop strategies for problem cause data collection and analysis
  • Deploy tools for root cause identification and elimination
  • Perform a cost-benefit analysis
  • Practice ways of implementation solutions

Who should attend?
This course is intended for engineers and technical professionals involved in flow of complex processes, materials and equipment, or those who serve in a project or product management function.


Day One

  • Overview of Root Cause Analysis Concepts and Practices
    • Introduction to Root Cause Analysis (RCA)
    • The need and the practice
  • Practical Problem Solving
    • Defining a Problem
    • Strategies to Solve Problems
    • Understanding Causes and Its Levels
    • Finding Root Causes
    • Eliminating Root Causes
    • Proactive Problem Solving
  • Case Studies & Hands-on Activity
  • Root Cause Analysis
    • Defining Root Cause Analysis
    • Conducting Root Cause Analysis
  • Case Study & Group Activity
  • Tools for Problem Understanding
    • Problem Understanding
    • The Purpose and Applications of Flowcharts
    • Using Flowcharts
    • Checklists
    • Using Critical Incidents
    • Using Performance Matrices

Day Two

  • Tools for Problem Cause Brainstorming
    • Problem Cause Brainstorming
    • The Purpose and Application of Brainstorming
    • Brainstorming Recording Templates
  • Tools for Problem Cause Data Collection
    • Problem Cause Data Collection
    • Taking Advantage of Samplings
    • Steps in Using Samplings
    • Taking Advantage of SurveysUsing Check Sheets
    • Problem Cause Data Collection Checklist
  • Case Studies & Hands-on Activity
  • Tools for Problem Cause Data Analysis
    • Understanding Problem Cause Data Analysis
    • The Purpose and Application of Histograms
    • Using and Interpreting Histograms
    • Using Relations Diagram
  • Case Study & Hands-on Activity
  • Tools for Root Cause Identification
    • Fundamentals of Root Cause Identification
    • Using Cause-and-Effect Diagrams
    • Using the Five Whys Method
    • Using the Fault Tree Analysis Technique

Day Three

  • Tools for Root Cause Elimination
    • An Overview of Root Cause Elimination
    • Using DeBono’s Six Hats
  • Tools for Solution Implementation
    • Overview of Solution Implementation
    • Organizing the Implementation
    • Developing an Implementation Plan
    • Using Tree Diagrams
    • Creating Change Acceptance
    • The Purpose and Application of Force-Field Analysis
  • Case Study & Hands-on Activity
  • Selecting the Right Tool
    • What to Watch for When Using Tools and Techniques
    • Selecting the Right Tool  
  • Case Study & Hands-on Activity
  • Example Cases and Practice

Jim Willey, P.E.

Hydro Plant Engineering Manager for the Chelan County PUD

Jim Willey, P.E., is currently the Engineering Manager for Chelan PUD in Washington State.

More Information



Conducted in a physical classroom or lab with an instructor and peers.  

Note: ASME in-person activities will follow the state and local laws, regulations and guidelines regarding COVID-19 applicable to the location of the event.  Learn more here
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