RCA discussion for koa.2?

A Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is a technique for discussing things that have gone wrong, with an eye toward improving processes to prevent similar problems in the future.

Koa.2 didn’t go as we wanted it to, so I thought it could be useful to hold an RCA for what happened. I started a wiki page with notes: RCA: koa.2

I don’t think we need the formality that edX sometimes applies to these discussions, with an impartial moderator, etc. We could do a slimmed-down RCA at the Feb 15th meeting if people want.

How RCAs work

Blamelessness: whatever happened, no one is to blame. The eventual goal is to fix processes, not fix people, and especially not to blame people.

Five Whys: we start with a question: “Why did we tag a release that didn’t install?” We start examining what lead to it, often by answering “why” questions. The answer to a why can lead to another why. The convention is to stop when you are five levels deep. Each level can have multiple causes (answers), so you end up with a tree of causes. This piece talks more about the Five Whys: How Asking 5 Questions Allowed Me to Eat Dinner With My Kids.

The Outcome: done right, the discussion will lead to ideas for improvements. Keep track of those, and put them into practice!