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70 Types of Root Cause

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Root cause is the initial, fundamental or underlying cause of an incident, problem or outcome. This addresses the tendency for failures to have both obvious causes and deeper causes that require analysis to uncover. It is common for problem solving and root cause analysis to determine both a direct cause and a root cause for each problem. These can be one-and-the-same but often analysis determines a unique root cause. The following are common types of root cause.
Insufficient training
Insufficient maintenance
Incorrect maintenance procedures
Poor communication
Insufficient tools
Inadequate supervision
Human error
Latent human error
Equipment failure
Design flaws
Data quality issues
System failure
Integration failure
Misinterpretation of data
Procedural errors
Lack of procedures
Lack of process
Process flaws
Software defects
Inadequate documentation
Environmental factors
Unclear roles
Lack of authority
Lack of accountability
Poor user interfaces
Lack of planning
Workflow flaws
Inaccurate measurements
Incorrect configuration
Cultural factors
Inadequate feedback mechanisms
Incorrect analysis
Lack of precision and accuracy
Lack of testing
Test scripts flawed or insufficient
Change control failures
Supply failures
Infrastructure failures
Disasters and other major disruptions
Inadequate inspection
Inadequate logging
Insufficient monitoring
Lack of notifications
Lack of ownership
Insufficient capacity
Insufficient durability
Management failure
Quality assurance failure
Insufficient quality control
Improper installation
Improper calibration
Process was not followed
Procedures were not followed
Issues were not escalated
Inadequate troubleshooting
Equipment unfit for purpose
Equipment operated beyond service life
Software operated beyond end-of-support
Failure to recognize warning signs
Failure to investigate notifications
Wrong parts or components used
Wear and tear
Insufficient error handling
Poor architectural design
Ineffective version control
Flawed deployment practices
Over-automation – human checks required
Lack of automation
Unmanaged risk
Insufficient risk controls
It is important not to confuse human error and latent human error such as insufficient processes that would reasonably catch error that are likely to occur.
Next: Examples of Root Cause
More root causes:
Bugs & Defects
Cascading Failure
Data Corruption
Data Quality
Design Failure
Human Error
Human Error
Human Error
Knowledge Loss
Quality Control
Resistance To Change
Types Of Error
Unintended Consequences
Unmanaged Risk
More ...
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