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Basic Elements of Barrier Analysis

  • Last Updated : 24 Sep, 2020

Prerequisite – Barrier Analysis

Whenever a problem arises, then fixing problem is only part of solution. One needs to eliminate or resolve main root cause of particular problem in order for particular problem not to reoccur again. For resolving problem permanently, identification of root cause is important. This analysis of root cause is known as root cause analysis. There are several RCA techniques available nowadays. Barrier analysis is one of RCA techniques.

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In barrier analysis, pathways are generally analyzed through which problems can affect main target. It simply identifies both pathways, one through which problem can have an impact on quality of software and the second through which quality of software can be maintained. Barrier analysis is also known as Target-Hazard- Barrier Analysis.



Different Elements in Barrier Analysis :
In barrier analysis, there are basically four different elements as given below –

Elements in Barrier Analysis



  • Target :
    Target is basically something that is being selected as an aim which is needed to be fulfilled. In software engineering, main target is to achieve the highest quality of software. It is an aim that is needed to protected and needs to be maintained in specific set of conditions.
  • Hazard/Threat :
    Hazard or thread is simply considered as harm or problem that has negative impact on software products and organizations. In can decrease software quality as it adversely affects software quality. Hazard can include electricity, improper work, failure in function, etc. Hazards can also be more than one type.
  • Barrier :
    Barriers are considered as prevention method that controls hazards or threats by simply preventing it to reach target. The barrier can be physical, procedural, or individual actions that someone performs. In simple words, barriers prevent effects that are not wanted as well as effect that has negative impact on quality of software. There can be more than one barrier to barrier analysis. If one barrier is present, then it provides only one-layer protection to target.
  • Pathway :
    A pathway is simply considered as path through which hazard can affect the target. It is simply route or mechanism that provides path to hazard for adversely affecting target and reducing quality of software.



Advantages :

  • Barrier analysis is not complex method. It is very easy to use and deal with.
  • Barrier analysis is one of best methods that require very less amount of resources for successful completion.
  • It also determines safety system elements that usually failed.
  • In barrier analysis, results can be represented graphically which makes it easy for someone to understand energy flows and failed barriers that led to an accident.
  • It is one of best methods that work well and much better when combining with other various methods.
  • It helps experts simply to analyze problems and risks related to it.
  • It basically provides shield to anything that is part of target from hazards.
  • It usually provides reliable, detailed, and independent findings regarding various problems or hazards and barrier controls.
  • It is one of simplest techniques to learn that does not require any training.
  • It provides systematic and better approach.

Disadvantages :

  • One of main disadvantages of barrier analysis is that it sometimes behaves subjective in nature and dependent on knowledge of members and views.
  • It sometimes makes it difficult to understand and make confusion between causes and countermeasures so it should not be used along for identifying root causes. It should be used with other methods.
  • It requires familiarity with process to be more effective.
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