- Purpose of this article
- A3 Thinking - The Lean Problem Solving Approach
- How to Use Cause-Effect Diagrams
- Example 1: Long Release Cycle
- Example 2: Defects Released to Production
- Example 3: Lack of Pair Programming
- Example 4: Lots of Problems
- Practical Issues: How to Create and Maintain the Diagrams
Example 2: Defects Released to Production
Let’s say we are having problems with defective code being released to production.
Q: So what?
A: The defects make our customers angry
Q: Why are defects released to production?
A: Because they aren’t properly tested before release.
Q: Why not?
Here’s where we ended up:
Look at that, two reinforcing loops! Check out the red arrows.
Loop 1 (inner loop): Defects in product causes hot-fixes, which disrupts the team. Since they aren’t allowed to reduce scope, they are stressed and don’t have time to test new releases properly. Which, of course, leads to more defects in production.
Loop 2 (outer loop): Because they are stressed, they don’t have time to write automated test scripts either. This leads to an overall lack of test automation, making it harder and harder to regression-test new releases properly, which leads to defects in production and hot-fixes and ultimately more stress.
But wait, there’s more!
Teams hate being disrupted. This disturbs flow and, in the long run, ruins motivation. This might explain which the staff turnover rate has been high! So in solving the original problem (defects in production) we get the added bonus of reducing team turnover!
That’s the nice thing about addressing the root cause. Root causes are usually the cause of more than one problem (that’s why they are called “root”...).