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Hyper-Integrated Causal Analysis 
Light Years Ahead of the Competition

Spend More Time and Resources on the Mission

Accurately Identify What's Actually Causing Your Problems

Prevent Events from Recurring and Reduce Your Backlogs


Many of the traditional RCA tools and methodologies in use today have been around since the 1970s and have not evolved with modern times.  The Fishbone was introduced in the 1940's. The Five Why's was developed at Toyota in the 1970s. Traditional methods have proven to be less than effective at quickly and accurately identifying the deepest-seated causes and prevent recurring events.  As a result, organizations are spending too much time and money on recurring (human-centric) problems and managing a growing list of corrective actions, and not on their mission critical tasks.  We no longer have to use out--of--date methodologies. 


A Lean, Agile, Accurate and Scalable Approach That Changes

Paradigms in Place for Over 50 Years! 

HCA is a modern, innovative methodology for solving complex, human-centric problems caused by a combination of human errors, equipment failures, and organizational & programmatic weaknesses. 

Traditional methods are not equipped to handle such complex issues simultaneously, efficiently and seamlessly in one chart.  

HCA combines the best features of many traditional tools and techniques into one scalable, lean and agile approach that identifies the deepest-seated causes with amazing speed and accuracy.  On average, investigations for most complex human-centric problems can be completed in 5 to 10 days, rather than the usual 2 to 6 months.

HCA "quick-hit" investigations can be completed in 2 to 3 hours and is an ideal format for fact-finding sessions and critiques. 

HCA's two-phased approach has revolutionized the way assessments, investigations and root cause analyses are performed, and can be applied in many industries such as Energy, Aerospace, Healthcare and Pharma. 

Phase 1 is the evaluation of all available data to develop focused, evidence-based lines of inquiry. Phase 2 is the identification of the deepest-seated causes. 

Case Studies 


At a Federal Government site, a non-electrical worker received a shock when he cut into a live wire with a current of 20 amps and 208 volts.  The area was being torn down in preparation for renovation...read more

Construction workers on work site


The Procurement Program at a Federal Government site (part of the nuclear weapons complex) was analyzed to determine why there were recurring issues...read more 

Image by Daria Nepriakhina


A Department of Defense Chemical Weapons Destruction Plant experienced seven consecutive failures of 4160v motors supplying three trains of vital breathing air...read more 

Image by Hoover Tung


At a Federal Government construction site (part of the nuclear weapons complex), a negative trend of dropped objects from two cranes was proactively investigated before there were any major incidents...read more  

Image by david carballar

If your Organization is still using the Fishbone, the Five Why's and Events & Causal Factors Charts, you're not getting the best results. 

2007 Fishbone2.jpg

The BlueDragon Framework is the Architecture; a Single Chart to Capture Our Hyper-Integrated Causal Analysis (HCA)

The HCA Framework Combines:

  • Critical Thinking 

  • Analysis of Defenses (Barrier Analysis)

  • Data Analysis

  • Comparative Timeline Analysis

  • Task & Change Analysis

  • Human Performance Evaluations

  • Themes from Anatomy of an Event

  • Bones from the Fishbone (Ishikawa)

  • Lines of Inquiry

  • Socratic Questioning 

  • Cause and Effect Analysis

  • Common Cause Analysis

  • Why Staircases

  • Events & Causal Factors Charts

Download the BlueDragon HCA Framework PDF

BlueDragon templates are free - there is no special software or licenses to buy. Download and print your own copy of the BlueDragon HCA Framework. You may also print a copy on a poster for ready reference. 



BlueDragon Hyper-Integrated Causal Analysis (HCA)

BlueDragon'S HCA is arguably the leanest method on the market.  [Lean is the elimination of waste in a process]. After three decades of development, BlueDragon's creator has eliminated many of the wasted time and energy in getting to the root causes.  For example: subject matter experts are used sparingly (usually one to two hours); interviews are done in small groups; there is little or no note taking (answers are posted on the chart); results are validated as we go so there is no lengthy validation process; and, there is no lengthy report. See what our clients have to say.


The BlueDragon Framework provides the end product for the Hyper-integrated Causal Analysis. To increase its efficiency, we incorporated the four values of the Agile Manifesto into the methodology. For example: root causes are developed through interactions with subject experts and not through proprietary software; results are captures in their final format; end-users and process owners are brought in to collaborate in the root cause; and, there is great flexibility built in to the BlueDragon Framework in that any input or information can be processed any time it comes in.  See what our clients have to say.


The BlueDragon Framework and HCA are scalable enough to be used to investigate any issue of any level of significance and complexity, making for a truly graded approach to causal analysis. There is a great benefit in using one scalable model for different levels of causal analysis: the more it is used, the more proficient the analysts become in identifying the deepest-seated causes for the event. Which, in turn, leads to better corrective actions. See what our clients have to say.


When investigating a complex problem, new information and inputs are coming in on a daily (and sometimes hourly) basis.  This requires adjusting timelines, researching requirements, generating new lines of inquiries and engaging different parts of the organization.  Hyper-integrated Causal Analysis is flexible enough to take any new information in stride at any time in the process (even at the final briefing of the executives), providing for a more comprehensive and rigorous investigation with better results. See what our clients have to say.


Hyper-integrated Casual Analysis allows us to identify the deepest-seated causes of an event, issue or negative performance trend with amazing speed and accuracy. The method's accuracy comes from attacking the problem from multiple perspectives as outlined in the "Anatomy of an Event," from developing a great understanding of common causes, and by using an improved BlueDragon definition of a "root cause" that comes from three decades of complex problem solving. HCA guides the causal analysts through the comprehensive process of data analysis, the development of evidence-based lines of inquiry, and the cause and effect analysis using the subject matter expertise of applicable staff, vendors, suppliers, consultants, regulators and any other party that can help solve the problem. The overall results are outstanding.  Using BlueDragon's HCA, our clients identified the root causes for issues that plagued them for months and years.  See what our clients have to say.


BlueDragon's Hyper-integrated Causal Analysis combines many tools into a single framework and is the most lean, agile, scalable, flexible and accurate method in use at the Department of Energy's National Laboratories and the Nuclear Weapons Complex. BlueDragon is being adopted as quickly as clients can send their staff through one of our workshops.  The net benefits are clear; significant cost savings can be realized once BlueDragon has been incorporated into your organization's Corrective Action Program and Contractor Assurance Systems.  See what our clients have to say.    



“Rob has done for cause analysis what Motorla did for Six Sigma, clearly and concisely bundled proven RCA tools into an effective method encompassing critical thinking, visual information, and succinct communication of a problem and its deepest seated causes."

- Mark Anderson,

Sandia National Laboratory 

(April 2021)

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