Simplifying Cause Analysis

Simplifying Cause Analysis

A Structured Approach

Chester D. Rowe, Kristen Noakes-Fry, ABCI


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When the challenge is to get to the heart of a problem, you need a simple and efficient cause investigation methodology. And what would make a real difference would be an interactive map to lead you to the answer every time. Chester Rowe’s Simplifying Cause Analysis: A Structured Approach is your instruction book combined with the included downloadable Interactive Cause Analysis Tool you have been looking for.

The author intends this book for professionals like you, who have some familiarity with cause analysis projects and are looking for a simple and efficient cause investigation methodology –is a more effective and insightful way of asking “why?”

Introducing his multi-function event investigation tool, Chester Rowe says, “There are already many scientific tools to help us understand the physical causes for machine failures; the challenge now is to find a way of investigating human performance failure modes…humans are often a major source of slips, lapses, and mistakes.”

Supporting his instructions with diagrams, charts, and real-world examples from companies like yours, the author takes you step-by-step through planning, completing, and documenting your investigation:

  • Chapter 1 gives you a process to determine the level of effort that your investigation should encompass, assess the level of effort needed, and determine the rigor needed. Your investigation needs to be as risk-informed as possible.
  • Chapters 2 through 5 presents a new and innovative structure –rigorous yet intuitively easy to remember – to identify the underlying causes for the event (Cause Road Maps) and conduct the investigation.
  • Chapter 6 introduces conceptual human performance models and tells you how to begin focusing on the human behaviors involved.
  • Chapters 7 and 8 present you with methods, tools, and techniques for carefully interviewing personnel.
  • Chapters 9 through 13 “put the pieces together,” showing you how to analyze and model the event, determine corrective action, and document the investigations and findings.

Chester Rowe developed the Cause Road Map over many years to provide a comprehensive taxonomy for every cause investigation. However, fully implementing the Cause Road Map requires the use of other tools to organize, analyze, and present the final results of your investigation. To get you started, Rowe includes his downloadable Interactive Cause Analysis Tool – an easy-to-use tool in familiar spreadsheet format – free with your verified purchase of the book.


Chester D. Rowe:

Chester D. Rowe’s self-reliance and problem-solving abilities emerged early when, at age 14, he was given some parts for a ham radio receiver. To complete this project, he taught himself calculus and electronics. By the time his father died, when he was 16, Chet had designed the circuits for and then built this receiver using parts from discarded TVs. His father’s death pushed Chet into early adulthood and responsibilities to help his raise his siblings.

After overcoming 16 years of financial and other obstacles, Chet earned a BS in Nuclear Engineering and an AS in Physics/General Studies. In addition, Chet has completed training equivalent to a degree in Electrical Engineering. Chet recently retired after over 40 years in the commercial nuclear industry. Chet is the creator of the Cause Road Map© Taxonomy and trained in Kepner-Tregoe, TapRoot®, PII, MORT, and other cause investigation and problem-solving techniques. As a result, he has been involved in more cause investigations than he can remember.

Kristen Noakes-Fry, ABCI, is Executive Editor at Rothstein Publishing. Previously, she was a Research Director, Information Security and Risk Group, for Gartner, Inc.; Associate Editor at Datapro (McGraw- Hill); and Associate Professor of English at Atlantic Cape College in New Jersey. She holds an M.A. from New York University and a B.A. from Russell Sage College.