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Types of Root Causes and Benefits of RCA

  • Last Updated : 25 Sep, 2020

Defects are considered to be a part of developing and improving the software. Root Cause Analysis is a technique that prevents reoccurrence of same problem or defect in future. RCA is considered to be a part of the problem-solving process. RCA is considered to be one of the best tools and core building blocks in the continuous improvement of an organization.

RCA should be considered and included in problem-solving effort and techniques because RCA is the best way to lead towards quality improvement. RCA does not only analyze or determine one type of root cause, in fact, it analyzes and determines more than one type of root cause.

Types of Root Causes :
One needs to keep track of what was the root cause of the defect or problem. During RCA, there are several types of root causes that lead to defects in the system. These root causes are given below –



  1. Physical Causes :
    Physical cause, as name suggests, is a cause that arises by problems with any physical component of system. Physical causes are not human-made mistakes. This causes can be occurred due to following reasons –



    • Hardware failure is one of the most occurring failures with a 42% occurrence frequency.
    • Some tools stopped working due to any reason then it might cause problems.
    • Server is not booting up i.e. it is not starting or system is not functioning as expected.
    • Tangible, or material items failure due to some reasons.


  2. Human Causes :
    Human cause, as the name suggests, is a cause that arises by human-made mistakes and it leads to physical causes. Human beings tend to make mistakes. Human-made mistakes lead to a total of 30% defect or problem in the system. Human cause or error is the key to understand and prevent software defects or problems. Most defects are caused by human errors. If a person did something wrong or did not do things that were required, then it leads to human errors or causes. This causes can be occurred due to the following reasons –
    • Person does not have the desired skill that is required to perform any task.
    • Person does not have enough knowledge and understanding regarding tools and techniques.
    • Person does not know that exactly steps and instructions are needed to be followed.
    • Person performed a task that was not required at tool.
    • Programming errors caused by person.


  3. Organizational Causes :
    Organizational cause, as the name suggests, is a cause that arises by organizations. Sometimes, organizations are also responsible for problems in the system. It is not necessary that all decisions taken by the organization are correct. A decision can be wrong or not proper. This causes can be occurred due to the following reasons –
    • Team lead gives wrong instructions to team members who perform tasks.
    • Wrong decision regarding selecting a person for performing task.
    • Unavailability of tools that are required.
    • Not maintaining and handling staff properly.
    • Does not encourage and provide support to team members.



Goals and Benefits of RCA :
With the help of the Cause Mapping Method, root cause analysis consists of three steps that are major goals of RCA. These are given below –



  1. Define :
    The first goal of RCA is simply to determine or identify problems or defects. One needs to determine what exactly happened. Yes, it is not easy to figure out problems or defects but its also not impossible to do so. One can determine and define defects or problems by simply focusing on its impact and effect on goal of system or organization.
  2. Analyze :
    The second goal of RCA is simply to analyze and identify what actually triggered the defect to cause and how it triggered the defect or problem. One needs to determine how and why exactly it happened. If we do not analyze the root cause of the problem or defect, then we will see the same problem again and again in the future. Thatswhy, it is better to eliminate the root cause that triggered the defect so that its future chances of occurrence can be prevented and reduced.
  3. Solve :
    The third goal of RCA is simply to identify the tools and measures required to solve the problem. One need to find out the best solutions and tools that are required to resolve or eliminate defect in a very effective way. Measures and action required should be correct and more effective as an effective solution also affects people’s way to perform or execute the work process. An effective solution will lead to better results. Therefore, it is very essential to figure out solutions required simply to reduce and prevent defects that might occur again in the future.

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