Root cause analysis


The goal of the Root Cause Analysis effort is to mobilize members of the MIT community to work together to resolve or prevent events that could have a negative impact on the wellbeing of our community.  We hope to minimize the risk for serious damage to personnel, property, and reputation by identifying fundamental factors that increase that risk. Our team is working to establish a procedure for determining why a negative event has occurred, how to mitigate its outcomes, and how to ensure that any information or lessons learned are shared across departments to prevent future incidents.

“We are working to establish a collaborative process that safeguards the people, property, and reputation of MIT.”

The kinds of events our team is working to prevent are diverse and range from accidents, personal injury, and property damage to situations that compromise MIT’s reputation or breach security or computer systems. The process we are developing will be equally useful in determining the root causes of beneficial events so that MIT can understand what makes them successful and how their positive outcomes can be replicated.

The Root Cause Analysis Committee oversees and maintains the integrity of our process, acting to determine the level of analysis of events; prioritize, fund, and implement mitigation efforts; measure the effectiveness of the process; and make revisions to the process. Together we are establishing systems and procedures that inspire members of the community to look past quick fixes, address the root cause of problems, and work to understand what makes a given event problematic—or successful.

The team

Kevin Connolly, Department of Facilities
Lou DiBerardinis, Environment, Health & Safety
Marty Dugal, Department of Facilities
Ruth Fishbein, MIT Medical
Joe Gifun, Department of Facilities
Pam Greenley, Environment, Health & Safety
Eamon Kearns, Information Services & Technology
Allison Parisi, Office of Budget and Financial Planning
Bill VanSchalkwyk, Environment, Health & Safety (team lead)
James Walsh, Office of the Vice President for Finance


Lou DiBerardinis
Director, Environment, Health & Safety
(617) 253-9389