“The directed application of knowledge and skills”,
In areas where judgment is required in investigations, and planning the development of strategic initiatives, people start looking for the answer to that question shortly after an incident, disaster, or whatever the news heasdline maybe. Most businesses call this quest for information their ‘root cause analysis process’.
The utilistaion of of research techniques and methods used by researchers (including journalists, social scientists and others), is intended to unearth secrets, hidden or obscure information that can build a more comprehensive picture of the issue under investigation.
Every process likely contains multiple steps, and a good process will be tailored to fit the business in which it is being used. Most incident investigation processes contain the following basic elements:
• Notification. You can’t investigate and correct what you don’t know needs to be fixed. Most incidents are self-disclosing. Some require employees, management, auditors or consultants to recognise what needs to be investigated.
• Collecting information. All of the information about an incident rarely ever immediately available. In mature safety cultures and systems, it is rarely one measure that is needed, which makes it necessary to collect more information. The information gathering process must be comprehensive to ensure that all of the potential factors and conditions under which the incident occurred are considered.
• Analysis. In this part of the investigation process, the gathered information is organized into a logical sequence and causes can be objectively determined. Many large companies utilize one or more of a number of commercially available products
• Correction. Continuous improvement is the goal of decision making process, or operation, and improvement initiatives must be based on reasonable actions.