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Test a cause

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Test a cause

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

About this task

Use an appropriate confirmation method to test each most probable cause to determine whether it is a confirmed cause of the problem. The confirmation method describes the specific testing to be performed on a particular cause, such as observing similar behavior.


  1. Open the appropriate cause record.
  2. In the Confirmation Method list, click New.
    Figure 1. Confirmation Method
  3. Select the Cause being confirmed and a Confirmation method:
    • Verify assumptions: check any assumptions made to see if they are correct.
    • Observe: observe the relevant behavior to see if the cause is correct.
    • Experiment: perform an experiment on the object. Describe the experiment in the Description field.
    • Try fix and monitor: apply a fix and see if this works.
  4. Fill in the other fields, as appropriate.
  5. Click Submit.
    A confirmation method is created for the associated cause, and is assigned to the specified user.
  6. Perform the test identified in the confirmation method to either confirm or reject that this as the cause of the problem.


When a most probable cause is confirmed in this way, it becomes a "confirmed cause".
Note: It is possible to have several confirmed causes for a problem.