I read a few interesting blog posts recently about the value of root cause analysis when investigating product defects. I myself am actually a fan of the principle, since there is nothing more infuriating for a user than having a problem fixed without understanding how to avoid it in future.
However, sometimes a root cause analysis simply doesn’t help in avoiding or even fixing the problem as Mike Cohn so beautifully describes in this post: http://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/blog/root-cause-analysis-of-the-failure-of-root-cause-analysis
This doesn’t exactly convince me to never do a root cause analysis again, but it certainly makes me wonder whether we sometimes spend too much time analyzing that could be better spent fixing the problems right in front of us…
Instead, it is a lovely reminder that one solution most definitely does not fit all – and that we have to be a little more creative in trying to figure out what went “wrong”.