Root cause analysis and Post-mortem meeting improvement opportunities.

Something that might be useful for the project post-mortem / retrospection meetings is the “Root cause analysis” that classify by cause the reported issues. The meeting facilitator could bring up the report for discussion and provoke healthy conversion that would surface improvement opportunities. To start collecting such data there will be a need of short JIRA configuration and following article will help you get there.

1. Identify common causes of issues

There is a need identify the common and most applicable root causes of issues that pop up within the team. Here are few ideas:

  • Missed during testing – the defect was missed during testing activities as part of Development, QA, Code Review.
  • Missed by impact assessment – the defect occurred because of incomplete impact assessment that missed to identify other impacted components of a change. Most common reason for regression issues.
  • Incomplete requirements – vague requirements that cause misinterpretation by team involved in developing and validating them.
  • Configuration issue – deployment or build issue that is caused by a configuration mistake e.g. wrong environment variable setup, wrong version control tag or some other meta data.
  • Insufficient test data – reason for missing validation of edge cases. The data on the test and local development environments might be not rich enough which cause the inability of Development and/or QA team to fully simulate and test certain feature.
  • Product knowledge gap – usually cause of inconsistencies in product implementation and good indicator that team needs to raise their cross component/feature awareness
  • 3rd party issue – usually caused by component out of the team control e.g. external code library, silently changed partner API, none backward compatible upgrade of framework, browser or operating system.
Root Cause JIRA Custom field on resolution screen

2. Add Custom field in JIRA and include it on Resolution screen.

Add “Root cause” custom field in JIRA and list the identified cause options. Configure it to appear on “Resolution” screen that popups usually on transition of “Bug” issue type to Closed/Done/Resolved.

Please check following recording with step by step configuration that might be in help for your JIRA setup.

Adding root cause JIRA custom field and placing it on resolution screen

3. Analyze data with “Performance Objectives” app for JIRA

Collect the “Root cause” data and build JIRA dashboard reports braked down and presented in most applicable way to your team.

Drive discussion on team post-mortem / retrospective meetings. Help the team to acknowledge the circumstances associated with certain classification and encourage them to discuss options how to improve in next cycle.

Learn more regarding recent features of the app and KPIs that might be tracked with it.