Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Why oh Why oh Why oh Why oh Why ?

Why oh Why oh Why oh Why oh Why do I have a picture of Wallace and Grommit at the start of this post ?
Well, if you had been at the Root Cause Analysis event at Skills Matter last night you would understand why.

Douglas Squirrel, CTO at youDevise gave a very entertaining talk on Root Cause Analysis which in his view is one of the most important but often neglected part of agile.

He and his company are still learning to do it - following the Shu Ha Ri approach he classified themselves as getting into the Ha phase.
( a small gratifying moment for me as he asked how many knew about this and as I had blogged about it a while ago I was able to put my hand up. )

He then went on to describe the 9 important points of doing a RCA and how to do the 5 Why's

  • Target a specific event

  • Everyone affected attends

  • No Blame

  • Poll to identify problems

  • Write a lot

  • Move down, then across

  • Doesn't hurt ? You're not doing it right

  • Proportionate tasks

  • All tasks done in a week

Having described them, it was time to put them into action. he divided the room into 2 teams and then showed a Wallace and Grommit video. One team was assigned to be Wallace, the other Grommit and then we conducted an RCA session to find out the root cause of what went wrong.

The final outcome was that Wallace and Grommit needed to go to a Cheese and Biscuit therapy session to learn how to communicate with each other better.

Lots of questions afterwards - the sign of a good session - then off to the pub


Stephen said...

Good write-up Phil. I too enjoyed the session. I reckon it would take a lot of practice to get good at RCA because it seemed so easy to get distracted and also cause a riot by inadvertantly assigning blame to somone - maybe just by poor choice of words.

It was good to meet you - sorry I didn't get a chance to speak to you later - I got chatting to a couple of guys about their testing processes and things to watch out for.


Philk said...

agreed - could be easy for these sessions to descend into blame even though #3 is No Blame

the networking session afterwards is part of the attraction of such events, hope you got some good info and made some new contacts

Douglas Squirrel said...

Actually we find the distractions and blame are not that hard to avoid. Practise is really important though - need to repeat the process regularly to get the right cultural messages across.