Root cause analysis

The what, how and why of a crisis

Understanding the origin and catalysts of a crisis is key to your ability to recover — and to help you mitigate future disruptions of the same nature.

A root cause analysis is grounded in fact-finding: What sparked the crisis? How did it unfold? Why did it happen?

The assessment begins at the start of your crisis response and continues as you move into the recovery phase. Delving beyond surface-level facts, the investigation focuses on root causes and actionable analysis — not merely treating symptoms of the crisis.

The root cause analysis process has the potential to help you emerge stronger, as you apply what you’ve learned in order to prevent the same damage from occurring again.

Revealing risks, mitigating harm

At its most basic level, a root cause analysis reveals what caused a crisis. But there are additional layers of benefits you’ll experience by conducting the assessment. Among them, you will:

  • Uncover risks and have the ability to mitigate further harm. For instance, your root cause analysis of a corruption scandal exposes a gap in your compliance processes and governance.

  • Have the potential to apply the analytical process of the root cause analysis to your everyday business, as part of a forward-thinking strategy that emphasises continuous improvement.

  • Be better prepared for the next crisis.

Deep analysis to determine root causes

Compared to a high-level assessment that simply identifies a reason for a crisis, a root cause analysis digs deep to determine whether systemic failures or other underlying issues are in play.

Highly skilled technical specialists trained in sectors or areas of expertise, particularly various forensics investigations, fully analyse a crisis to help your organisation solve the challenges it presents and mitigate future risks.

Supporting clients through the crisis lifecycle

PwC takes a holistic approach to guiding your organisation through root cause analysis as part of a thorough after action review. We’ll analyse how you performed during your response, gathering data and insights to identify and prioritise areas for improvement during your crisis recovery and beyond.

We’ll explore the origins of the crisis and help you lay the groundwork for crafting an effective strategy.

With fact-finding and technology-enabled root cause analysis tools, our team of specialists across the globe will guide you through the response lifecycle, from the initial investigation through your recovery, to help you emerge stronger from crisis.

Pillar 2 - Safe Harbours

Delivering value

PwC’s Global Centre for Crisis and Resilience has been at the forefront of crisis recovery for decades, applying deep, practical expertise to help our clients regain their footing after a crisis, drill down to identify its cause, and recommend solutions.

With PwC, you’ll gain:

  • Highly skilled specialists with hands-on experience guiding clients through substantial crises, from the initial response through recovery and building resilience

  • Innovative tools to extract meaningful insights from data

  • Fact-finding expertise that digs beyond surface details to identify root causes

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Contact us

Dave Stainback

Dave Stainback

Global Crisis & Resilience Co-Leader, PwC United States

Tel: +1 678 419 1355

Bobbie Ramsden-Knowles

Bobbie Ramsden-Knowles

Global Crisis & Resilience Co-Leader, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7483 422701