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The Apollo Root Cause Analysis™ Methodology

Simplifying The Complexity Of Causation

The principles of cause & effect can be followed by everyone in the organization to solve existing problems and prevent new ones.

 

Event-Based Problem Solving

In rule-based problems we agree to a convention and thus a “single solution” is usually available. For example, 2 + 2 = 4 or if we violate a procedure something may go wrong. In each case, the answer is predefined by a set of rules. 

However, our world is event-based, and things seldom follow the rules. Event-based problems are the endless day-to-day type that challenge our knowledge and skills and occur from an interaction of conditions and actions that exist in the same space and time frame.

In event-based problems the only rules we can be sure of are the cause and effect principles which help us conclude there will always be "multiple solutions" available.

 

First Principle

Cause and Effect Are the Same Thing

A "cause" and an "effect" are the same thing, or stated another way, a single thing may be both a cause and an effect. They differ only by how we perceive them in time. When we start with an effect and ask why it occurred, we find a cause; but if we ask why again, what was previously considered a cause becomes an effect.

 

Second Principle

Each Effect Has at Least Two Causes in the Form of an Action and Condition

Every time we ask why we need to find at least two causes in the form of an action and one or more conditions.

 

Third Principle

Causes and Effects Are Part of an Infinite Continuum of Causes

As stated with the second principle, causes are not linear. They branch out into at least two causes each time we ask why of an effect and if we ask why of each of those causes we find an ever-expanding and infinite set of causes.

 

Fourth Principle

An Effect Exists Only if Its Causes Exist in the Same Space and Time Frame

Every causal relationship is made up of conditional causes existing over time combining with an action cause in the same space and time frame to create an effect.