Systemic Root Cause Analysis
In late 2006, SSE/AS identified formal root cause terminology that provides a structure in which to perform analyses. In 2007, SSE/AS piloted the root cause structure on 44 major acquisition programs and subsequently revised the structure based on program feedback and lessons learned during the pilot effort. Using this approach, SSE/AS analyzed more than 1,500 negative findings from 44 program reviews and identified 48 systemic issues (see Appendix B).
SSE/AS formed a partnership across government and industry to ensure the analysis incorporated a wide variety of stakeholder perspectives. With participation from these partners, SSE/AS conducted a series of SRCA workshops to focus on the systemic issues and to develop recommendations that address acquisition challenges; workshop participants included recognized acquisition subject matter experts from government, industry, and academia. The workshop series focused on the data sample that consisted of approximately 1,500 findings from 44 program reviews and 48 systemic issues. The workshops generated 95 acquisition-related recommendations, spanning the areas of planning, staffing, cost/schedule/performance realism, and program decision making.
More than 50% of the recommendations pertained to early planning, specifically
program initiation and acquisition strategy development. A significant percentage of the remaining recommendations were related to enhancements needed in the gate review process. Both have a systems engineering relationship for the same reasons.