Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is a set of analyzing and problem-solving techniques targeted at identifying the actual root cause or the reason for the nonconformity.
The idea here is if you solve a problem at this root level, it is highly probable that you can prevent its recurrence.
Root cause identification is an expectation of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory agencies, and is one of the most frequently cited problems during regulatory inspections.
Many companies do not understand the difference between direct causes and root causes of issues, which lead to weak, inappropriate, or ineffective corrective and preventative actions (CAPAs). Even more companies understand the differences, but are not using an effective process that enables success.
When looking for the root cause of a problem, it’s important to understand not just how individual components of a system work but also how they interact with each other; this means understanding how your service interacts with other services.
This allows teams to start with a big picture and follow connections progressively as they look for indications of where a root cause is coming from. Contextual information is critical in identifying how services behave and provide everyone with a better mental map of how they communicate and depend on one another.
Context is critical. Root cause analysis tools need to not only capture and present data, but surface meaningful insights and correlations that help developers understand exactly why a change in performance occurred.
Experts in RCA insist it’s critical to look for connections between seemingly unrelated events. The dependencies in modern applications are complicated, and engineers often don’t understand them all. This is especially true in large organizations where teams are responsible for one service and have little overlap with the teams responsible for other services. This process can involve:
- Looking for alerts and/or errors that happened in succession
- Looking for outside factors, like changes in customer usage or announcements from your cloud provider
- Using tools to get an accurate dependencies map
Finding connections and putting the problem into the correct context is key to building a more accurate mental map of how the application behaves in the real world.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers Root Cause Analysis | RCA Implementation, a comprehensive and dynamic three-day program that offers new ways to view and address challenges such as root cause analysis, prioritizing issues, effective problem-solving methods, corrective actions, implementing solutions, increasing success in a virtual environment, honing practical communication skills, properly dealing with conflict and change, and process improvements.
Additionally, Tonex offers nearly three dozen other courses in Root Cause Analysis Training. Some of our classes include:
For more information, questions, comments, contact us.