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The Down Part of Shift Left Shift Down – Root Cause Analysis


Date: October 4, 2022

Time: 1:00-2:00PM Central Time

Presented by Ed Weller

It is commonly understood that finding defects earlier – Shift Left – reduces total cost of a project by reducing rework. Eliminating mistakes that cause defects – Shift Down – is still a mystery to most organizations.

Whether we use the term Postmortem, Lessons Learned, or Retrospectives the correct application of Root Cause Analysis (RCA) solves the mystery. Depending on the discipline, complexity and frequency of problems one or more of the RCA methods can significantly reduce the mistakes that cause defects and subsequent failures in products. In software development the problem is adapting to the large numbers of defects injected into requirements, design, code and test work products, all of which cause failures in production. We never go beyond correcting the defect to the reasons why the defect was made = the mistake.

RCA Techniques include 5-Why, Taguchi (Fishbone), and Cause Effect analysis. Which of these is most effective for different classes of problems? Knowing the right technique will not help if organizations do not create the environment to make RCA successful.  How many retrospectives find similar problems across multiple sprints from multiple teams? Are we seeing the same failures over and over, or so many failures in test and production that maintenance costs consume a large part of our budget?

This webinar provides insight to why we have so many defects, the best RCA technique to use, and the critical need for resources to fix the root causes based on the authors experience with RCA internal to large companies and workshops at Fortune 100 companies.

Ed Weller had 25 years of experience in hardware, test, software, and systems engineering prior to focusing on process improvement in the early 1990s. He was a Senior Fellow at the Bull HN Information Systems Large Systems Division (formerly Honeywell). This position required a wide body of knowledge in design and test across multiple disciplines, which has enabled him to evaluate and understand problems and solutions from a system’s perspective, rather than viewing a problem one-dimensionally as a development or test problem. His experience also included large (400+) and small (3-5) person projects, enabling him to understand and evaluate development processes in large or small projects. This broad set of experiences has expanded over the years as he has worked with companies in the financial, medical, defense, service, and high technology fields with long-term, large projects to short-term, small projects and maintenance organizations. The insight gained from these companies is the basis for his application of RCA to software development.

Ed is a recognized expert in process improvement. He served on the SEI’s Measurement Steering Committee, the Embry-Riddle Industry Advisory Board, and the DoD Software Acquisition Best Practices Initiative. His IEEE Software article “Lessons Learned from Three Years of Inspection Data” was awarded Best Article of 1993 Honors. He has over 50 conference presentations and tutorials and contributed the chapter 40 “Applying Statistical Process Control to Software” in IT Measurement: Practical Advice from the Experts.

 He holds the ASTQB Certified Tester Foundation Level and Certified Tester Advanced Level –Test Manager and has taught 80+ classes for those seeking ISTQB/ASTQB certification. Ed was the Program Chair of the International Conference on the Applications of Software Measurement in 1996, 1999, 2000, and 2001, 2002.

There are no cancellations or registration transfers to another date within 30 days prior to the start of the webinar. You will be held responsible for 100% of the tuition if you cancel your registration within that time period. If the webinar is canceled by RBCS you will received a 100% refund or, upon your request, your tuition can be moved to another webinar.

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