Alten italia
Poste Italiane

Root Cause Analysis in Software Testing


In many cases, we pick solutions to problems without sufficient analysis. This results in implementing a cover-up of the symptom rather than a solution to the 'real problem underneath'. When this is done, the problem will most likely to surface again in one disguise or another, and we may mishandle it, just as we mishandled it initially.
Getting into the bottom of problems, is the right way to both save money (from things to happen again in the future) and to solve the problem (which we are facing now).
In this workshop, Alon Linetzki describes and identifies a few root cause analysis techniques that are widely used in the industry (manufacturing and software alike), gives examples on how to use them, run an exercise to demonstrate how to implement them, and discuss how to connect them to our day to day testing context. Alon illustrates this method with data from experience in real life projects.

  • Which common root cause analysis models/techniques are widely used (not necessarily in testing)
  • How to use these techniques in our day to day testing work
  • How to use the root cause analysis techniques and results as an effective tool for recommending prevention and corrective actions in the organization
Through presentation, discussion, debate, brainstorming and questioning, we shall go through terminology, methodology, concepts and methods to learn how to analyze underlying problems, and root causes.
Relevant exercises are integrated into the course in order to close the gap between methodology and actual field implementation and enable participants realize what they need to be doing in their designated projects as testers from now on.


Testers, testing team leaders and test managers, developers, development leaders and development managers who would like to use new RCA techniques to be able to investigate problems in their day to day test operation, and to direct and focus their improvement efforts to solve real problems.



Participants should have senior level knowledge about testing processes, lifecycle and defect management.

Workshop Outline

  • Workshop Introduction
    • Agenda
    • Introduction to participants and coach
    • Introduction to root cause analysis family of techniques
  • Root Cause analysis in defect management
    • Challenges and benefits
    • Technique description
    • Case study Example & discussion
    • Exercise
  • Fishbone technique
    • Technique description
    • Case study Example & discussion
    • Exercise
  • Cause & Effect Graphing (technique variation)
    • Technique description
    • Case study Example & discussion
    • Exercise
  • 5 Whys technique
    • Technique description
    • Case study Example & discussion
    • Exercise
  • Where can we use the techniques in the testing lifecycle?
  • Using RCA for prevention and corrective actions
  • Wrap up


1 day Workshop