What is the 5 whys technique?

The 5 Whys technique offers a simple, effective way to uncover the root of an issue. It is best used in troubleshooting and quality-improvement initiatives.

The consequences of poor maintenance planning and scheduling

Proper maintenance planning and scheduling is key in keeping component wear-out manageable and predictable. Let's explore what can go wrong if we ignore it.

How important is management of change?

Let's discuss the issues that can be caused when a management of change procedure is not followed (or in this case, does not exist).

Covered in slurry: the importance of proper root cause...

Stopping a root cause analysis at human error, or at the obvious component failure level, is unlikely to prevent future failures.

The importance of a no-blame culture for safety and...

It seems to be a common human reaction to any major adverse event that one of the first, emotional responses is to try to find someone that we can...

Creating the environment for successful root cause analysis

Experience tells us that, in practice, there are several barriers that inhibit the success of implementation of Root Cause Analysis (RCA) practices.

Why you don’t need software to perform root cause...

A growing number of root cause analysis processes are being supported by software. We need to be careful not to oversell the benefits of software in effective RCA.

Why team-based approaches to root cause analysis are more...

There is a school of thought, particularly among more highly qualified engineering personnel, that problem solving and root cause analysis is best performed by “experts” in their fields.

Why root cause analysis is not just ‘common sense’

Let's discuss some of the practical issues surrounding root cause analysis implementation within organisations, and how to obtain success from these processes.

Big data, predictive analytics and reliability: moving beyond better...

In this article, we continue our exploration by considering how developments such as big data and predictive analytics are contributing to reliability improvement.

4 essential tools and techniques for improving equipment reliability

Let's discuss some of the key tools and techniques that can be used to contribute to sound equipment reliability, and where these may be applicable.

4 things supply can do to assure asset reliability

Being at the tail end of the operational chain, supply can often bear the brunt of poor decisions made by asset designers, or during operations and maintenance.

4 ways maintenance managers can impact on equipment reliability

Let's explore some ways in which maintainers and maintenance management can impact on equipment reliability, and some suggestions to improve reliability via better maintenance.

How operations management can impact equipment reliability

Let's explore the key ways in which operations management can impact on equipment reliability, and offer some practical suggestions to improve reliability.

Design your asset life cycles for reliability

Let's explore the communal accountabilities that should be considered in the design phase of an asset life cycle, and the roles that different parts of an organisation play to...

Reliability is everybody’s responsibility

We are fascinated by disasters, yet everyday in our workplaces, mini-disasters occur with monotonous regularity. Why should we accept that failure is the norm?

5 tips for successful root cause analysis

Most organisations have some sort of investigation process, ranging from a basic incident report form through to a mature root cause analysis (RCA) process.

Defect elimination: was the problem really solved?

Yes, the issue was a problem and, yes, the issue got 'cleaned up', which is the proper initial action. However, the true problem likely still remains.

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