Background Half Wave

What is root cause analysis?

What is root cause analysis?

Root-cause analysis is the process of investigating the source of a problem so that teams can identify a solution and take remedial action.

This analytical method is an essential part of incident management, enabling teams to delve deeper into the primary cause of an issue rather than simply addressing its effects or just correlating possible events with the failure. It's a critical tool for achieving continuous improvement and system stability for DevOps and CloudOps teams.

Cloud-based applications and systems can lack transparency when performance problems, security issues, or user experience problems arise. Root-cause analysis enables teams to identify the precise cause of a problem and prioritize tasks to remediate the issue(s). Teams can also identify and map dependencies so they can better capture which systems, applications, or entities are affected by a particular issue.

Root-cause analysis facilitates understanding of the circumstances and processes that cause an issue, shifting the emphasis from trying to identify blameworthy team members to focus on system-wide analysis. In turn, root-cause analysis encourages transparency and collaboration across development and operations teams, fostering a blameless culture conducive to more effective problem-solving.

Upon identifying the root cause, teams can implement corrective measures, which may include code changes, configuration updates, deployment practice improvements, or infrastructure enhancements. Moreover, root cause analysis can strengthen the team's capabilities to manage similar situations more effectively, reinforcing automated testing or even refining the deployment pipeline. Lastly, teams can use the findings from this analysis to improve monitoring and alert systems and system stability.

To learn more about root cause analysis, see Root cause analysis.