Different Levels of Causes in RCA

In Root Cause Analysis (RCA), it’s not necessary that there will be only the root cause of problem. There can be more than one root cause or real cause of defect or problem. It is a very rare condition where a problem has only a single cause.

However, the main focus in only one major cause that leads to problems or defects. Causes can be present at different levels. There are many causes that affect other causes that lead to problems or defects. Causes can be classified as follows –



  • Symptoms :
    Symptoms are physical features that can be considered as indications of a defect or problem. It can also be regarded as evidence of a problem. In simple words, it is a characteristic sign of existing problems. Different causes have different impacts and symptoms. One can determine the problem by checking the symptoms. But some of the causes of similar symptoms.

  • Problems :
    A problem is generally considered as a situation that is harmful and causes various difficulties. Such situations are needed to be deal with, resolved, and overcome. It is usually a difference between how the process performs and how it should actually perform. These different basically arises due to problems that are needed to be resolved.



  • First-Level Causes :
    First level causes are considered to cause that leads to problems or defects. This causes directly lead to occurring of problems. It does not require any intermediate cause to initiate the problem. It can itself lead to a problem.

  • Higher-Level Causes :
    Higher-level causes can be considered as intermediate causes as they do not directly lead to or cause a problem. These causes lead to first-level causes that further lead to defects or problems. This causes simply form a link or connection in the chain of causes and effect relationships that further cause a problem or defect.

  • Highest-Level Causes :
    The highest-Level Causes are considered as the root cause of the problem that are real or true causes of the problem. These causes are needed to resolve as soon as possible so that changes in the reoccurrence of a particular problem can be minimized or reduced.

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