Dig Out the Root Cause

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    Spot on Steph!!!

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • Gail Wanabee

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 8223

    I don't have a lot of good stories in my career about companies' dedication to performing root cause analysis and problem resolution.

    So many companies and CIO's I've worked for had a "good enough" is good enough attitude that permeated their I.T. culture. Nobody even cared about best practices but me. If root cause solutions were implemented, it was usually because I persisted at them, even in the face of other priorities assigned to me by management.

    If things seemed like smooth sailing and I talked about the rocks barely under the surface, I was viewed as negative and a worrier.

    Then, when the corporate ships hits those rocks, root cause analysis and solutions were rarely considered.

    Most companies I've worked for had a:

    > "all hands on deck" approach to any problem until the fire was (temporarily) put out,

    > "fighting fires from the top" mentality.

    The first rule of fire fighting is to fight fires from the bottom, never the top. It's much more effective and resource efficient.

  • Stephanie J Brown

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3866

    Gail Wanabee (4/28/2015)


    ...

    So many companies and CIO's I've worked for had a "good enough" is good enough attitude that permeated their I.T. culture. Nobody even cared about best practices but me. If root cause solutions were implemented, it was usually because I persisted at them, even in the face of other priorities assigned to me by management.

    If things seemed like smooth sailing and I talked about the rocks barely under the surface, I was viewed as negative and a worrier.

    ...

    The first rule of fire fighting is to fight fires from the bottom, never the top. It's much more effective and resource efficient.

    +100 for sure.

    I'm fortunate that my current upper management understands the value of root cause analysis and wants us to do MORE of it. 😀


    Here there be dragons...,

    Steph Brown

  • Ed Wagner

    SSC Guru

    Points: 286955

    Gary Varga (4/28/2015)


    I am certain that as an industry that we reduce our productivity over the longer term due to ignoring root cause analysis or, sometimes more frustrating, ignoring the results of root cause analysis.

    Yeah, I'm sure this is true everywhere, but it's sad. There's never time to do a root cause and if there is, there's never time to act on it. :crazy:

  • larry.blake

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 128

    As Eric Russell observes, root cause analysis is often a political issue.  In an organization where mistakes are punished, no RCA will be productive.  Everyone will be too busy avoiding discussion and claiming that their part works.  Similarly if IT has a lower status than (for example) Sales, pointing out that bad data came from Sales may be politically difficult.  The best approach in a siloed organization is finding a way to show a rival silo that improving their data (or changing a process somehow) helps them.

    When there are no other teams involved, it's easier.  However, it should still be done on a quiet day when people aren't feeling that they should be doing something more important.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by  larry.blake.
  • skeleton567

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4941

    Unfortunately, "good enough" is often good enough, even if it does result in a bit of downtime.

    This attitude was always the most disappointing aspect of my years in IT.  It was especially rampant in the last large shop I worked in.  On the other hand, downtime was taboo.  The so-called Project Managers were too timid to allow updates to fix issues that hindered getting things done and produced invalid data.  If it ran, didn't matter if it was valid.

     

    My inclination was always to first fix the problem,  then, if it was possible, fix the bad data.  I always considered bad data to be worse than no data at all.  If data was not 'fixable',  at least you could inform users that it was unreliable.

     

    Rick
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
    - L. DaVinci

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