April 3, 2014

How You Can Find and Correct Recurring Defects

Helix ALM
Embarasssed managerHave you ever had an embarrassing quality issue crop up in a recent release—one that you'd found and supposedly fixed in an earlier release? If so, you probably found yourself under the gun to not only make sure the issue was resolved, but also to prove to upper management that issues like it wouldn't happen in the future. You're not alone. As demands on product development teams increase and product complexity grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain quality while keeping costs down. This is especially true if the same types of defects keep occurring across several development cycles. So what action or processes can you use to help find and correct defects like this and ensure they stop recurring? Many product development teams employ root cause analysis (RCA) and root cause corrective action (RCCA) to identify the true origin of defects in their development processes and prevent them from recurring. RCA is a systematic process for categorizing and analyzing identified defects that have occurred pre-release, post-release, or both. When done properly, RCA reveals the points in the development process that are causing significant and recurring defects. Root Cause Corrective Action (RCCA) is where you look at the analysis of problems during RCA and put a corrective action in place, as far upstream in the process as possible. Catching failures upstream saves rework, time, and money. The basic idea is you don't simply put a bandage on a mortal wound: you attempt to remove the cause of the wound by putting some type of corrective action in place (like wearing armor, for example) to prevent the event from happening. A critical piece of implementing the corrective action is to also plan for how you will assess the effectivity of the correction. Without providing for this assessment, you won't know if your action corrected the underlying problem partially, completely, or not at all. TestTrack facilitates the RCA and RCCA processes by putting vital data just a few clicks away, and automating traceability matrices and other key reports. With TestTrack, managers can easily analyze the impact of corrective actions and continually evaluate their effectiveness as processes continue to change and grow in complexity. To learn more, download our  Using Root Cause Analysis and TestTrack for Powerful Defect Prevention white paper.