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Difference between RCM and RCA

Last Updated : 07 Oct, 2020
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RCA and RCM, both are equally important and very effective if implemented properly. Both of them have different functions, but when they are implemented together than they both compliment each other and increases overall benefit of system.

1. Root Cause Analysis (RCA) :
RCA is a process that is used to determine main root causes of defects or problems so that one can take preventive measures and steps to eliminate or reduce problems.

2. Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) :
RCM is a process that is used to determine which type of maintenance strategy is best to be implemented.

Difference between RCM and RCA :

It identifies “What could cause a problem?”. It identifies “What did cause a problem?”.
It is generally required to identify maintenance requirement of any system. It is generally required determine root cause of problem so that essential steps can be taken to reduce problem.
It is proactive in nature. It is reactive in nature.
RCM is more costly and requires more time as compared to RCA. RCA is less costly and requires less time as compared to RCM.
It is driven by preventive maintenance strategies. It is driven by maintenance prevention strategies.
RCM basically treats symptoms of problems. RCA basically identifies root cause of problem and then corrects it.
It is a proactive tool that is used to prevent problem or failures before their occurrence. It is a reactive tool that is used to prevent problems after its occurrence.
It determines different ways in which a software might fail. It determines why software has failed.
RCM is highly used as compared to RCA because of proactive nature. RCA is less used as compared to RCM because of its reactive nature.
It starts with reliability initiative. It starts when an incident occurs.

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