Evaluate a cause

Structured problem analysis is a process for investigating the cause of a problem. Evaluating causes is the second step in finding the cause for structured problem analysis.

About this task

After listing all causes, evaluate each one to determine the likelihood of it causing a deviation from an expected behavior: the problem. The evaluation should take this form: If <possible cause> is the true cause of <problem>, how does it explain the IS and the IS NOT?

For example:
  • If server upgrade is the true cause, how does it explain why the issue first started 7 days ago?
  • If server upgrade is the true cause, how does it explain why only London users are affected?

This process helps you remove any possible causes that do not explain the is and is not values and arrive at a list of one or more probable causes.

Procedure

  1. In the Causes related list, open a cause record.
  2. Click an entry listed in the Cause Evaluations section.
    Figure 1. Cause Evaluation Form
  3. The Evaluation Statement field is populated with a statement in this form: If <cause> is the true cause of <problem>, how does it explain the IS and the IS NOT?
  4. Fill in the fields, as appropriate (see table).
  5. Click Update.
    Field Description
    Explains because A description of why this cause explains the problem.
    Explains only if A set of conditions under which this explanation applies.
    Does not explain Any aspects of the problem which this possible cause does not address. If you add content here, this is unlikely to be a probable cause.
    This evaluation process should now have helped to identify one or more causes that are the most probable.
  6. Open each most probable cause record.
  7. Select the Most probable check box on that record.