Understanding root cause analysis will future proof your business

Understanding root cause analysis will future proof your business

Without doubt, the internet (Google in particular) has made the task of fixing an IT issue much easier for engineers.

However, if the proper diagnostic procedures are not taken, the ‘fix’, which was applied, may only be temporary or just a workaround and the issue could well re-appear.

This is where root cause analysis comes in – This is the ability to diagnose the issue by understanding the symptoms, recreating the symptoms, research and investigate the solution, build a plan to resolve the issue, test the plan, release the fix and monitor for successes.

Root cause analysis is a skill, which can be taught, and something Fifosys always look for when hiring engineers at any level.

Root Cause Analysis or RCA is a formal problem solving process, which plays a vital role in maintaining the monitored IT environment, to ensure the highest level of availability. It helps to improve productivity by eliminating recurring incidents.

RCA’s goal is to understand what went wrong and to accurately report the impact of the incident so that the results and corrective/preventive actions taken are understood - and the risk of recurrence can be reduced to an acceptable level.

We only offer RCA for the NOC Services being monitored through our default monitoring templates. If the identified corrective/preventive action is within scope, we will take the necessary action to eliminate the problem. Prior to making any changes to the system or environment in question, however, our NOC engineer must get authorisation from your Primary Technical Contact (as defined during the on-boarding process) - unless the change has been pre-approved.

You can agree a list of pre-approved changes with us as part of the on-boarding process.

Unless you understand what originally caused the issue - how will you ever know if the fix you put in place will permanently resolve it? This is especially important in an MSP industry like ours where quick fixes and workarounds often lead to re-occurring incidents and therefore more time being spent. However, these troubleshooting techniques apply to many other sectors and not just IT.

The most famous methodology for root cause analysis is ‘Kepner-Tregoe’ and there are several courses and information available around this topic.

James Moss

Technical Director

James Moss