Do startups have time to carry out Root cause analysis (RCA)? It is assumed that Root cause analysis and preventive maintenance are concepts used in big setups which have ample man power. Start-ups supposedly don’t have time and resources for detailed processes and procedures. Root Cause Analysis is a reactive method of problem detection and solving which implies that the analysis is done after an incident has occurred. One of the benefit for adopting Root Cause Analysis in your startup is you are able to forecast the possibility of an incident even before it could occur.
For a startup to be successful and keep up with the pace they need to maintain a disciplined approach to testing and evaluating new products, features, and ideas. As start-ups scale, there is a high probability of loosing this agility unless the founders maintain a consistent investment in that discipline. Lean startups can be part of innovation culture.
One such technique is called Five Whys, which has its origins in the Toyota Production System, and states that human problem is actually behind every technical problem. Following is the scenario when applied on startup:
- A new release broke a key feature for customers. Why? Because a particular server failed.
- Why did the server fail? Because an obscure subsystem was used in the wrong way.
- Why was it used in the wrong way? The engineer who used it didn’t know how to use it properly.
- Why didn’t he know? Because he was never trained.
- Why wasn’t he trained? Because his manager is too busy to train and believes that in a startup one has to learn on its own.