Root Cause Analysis History

Knowledge Center > Learn About Quality > Root Cause Analysis Overview > The Roots of Root Cause Analysis

The history of root cause analysis (RCA) can be traced to the broader field of total quality management, or TQM.

TQM has developed in different directions more or less simultaneously. One of these directions is the development of a number of problem analysis, problem solving, and improvement tools. Today, TQM possesses a large toolbox of such techniques; root cause analysis is an integral part of this toolbox.

Root cause analysis is part of a more general problem-solving process. Further, problem solving is an integral part of continuous improvement. Thus, root cause analysis is one of the core building blocks in an organization’s continuous improvement efforts.

Keep in mind that root cause analysis in itself will not produce any results. It must be made part of a larger problem-solving effort, part of a conscious attitude that embraces a relentless pursuit of improvement at every level and in every department or business process of the organization.

Root Cause Analysis

Excerpted from Root Cause Analysis: Simplified Tools and Techniques, pages 4–5.

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Organization-Wide Approaches