A root-cause is a factor that causes an incident and should be permanently eliminated through process improvement. The root-cause can be defined as the core issue—the highest-level cause—that sets in motion the entire cause-and-effect reaction that ultimately leads to the incident. Root-cause analysis is a collective term that describes a wide range of strategies, tools, and techniques used to uncover the causes of issues.
There are several methodologies, approaches, and techniques for conducting root cause analysis, including event, change, and barrier analysis. Evidence is gathered quickly and methodically to establish a timeline for the activities leading up to the incident. Once the timetable has been set, the contributing and causal factors can be identified. The automated root-cause analysis explores changes made in systems, applications, and processes that may have contributed to the degradation of performance.