Learning from mistakes – root cause analysis in practice

In the Agile methodology, the role of retrospectives in the team’s improvement process is always emphasized. These retrospectives allow the team to draw conclusions from previous iterations, find weaknesses and areas necessary to improve the stability of the team. Every iteration the team finds the time to summarize what has happened and determine the direction in which it will develop in the next one.
However, what usually happens when an incident occurs in a product?
Often the team limits the actions to submit the fix. The testers add more tests to detect the recurrence of this error, but we still do not know what caused the problem and what actions should be implemented to address the cause, so that a similar class of incidents do not happen to us anymore. This source can be discovered by using Root Cause Analysis. This analysis can be used by quality teams in the same way that development teams use retrospectives.

During this presentation I would like to:

  • Tell how root cause analysis may look like for a sample defect.
  • Why it is worthwhile to create time axes for an incident.
  • What are the benefits of root cause analysis.
  • What information we can get from the analysis.
  • What conclusions, and on their basis – actions, we can propose to avoid a problem in the future.

Katarzyna Balcerzak

Katarzyna Balcerzak

Trained archaeologist who specializes in discovering history of applications. Always willing to learn and discover secrets of legacy products. Kasia is currently a Quality Engineer at Spartez, where she assists Atlassian developers making the right products right.

Wherever Kasia can get involved in quality and testing you will see her there. Always looking to learn something new everyday. Improves to help others as speaker and trainer.