ITIL4 and the mystery of Root Cause

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We all know ITIL4 version of the ITIL framework is launching soon in first quarter of 2019.

A little background –  ITIL has become the defacto standard for anyone following the IT Service Management way. Till now we have had multiple versions of ITIL, with ITIL V2 being quite popular and post that ITIL V3 and ITIL 2011. After a gap of almost 7 years, Axleos is coming with a version ITIL4 which is as radical as V3 was.

Many have explained and went on to develop methods for Problem Solving with emphasis on Root Cause Analysis (RCA). Root Cause has been the prima focus of all Problem Management techniques by organizations following the practices.

As you would know, an Incident is never the outcome of a single cause, it is a combination of multiple reasons which might have been in dormancy till the trigger went off. While there could never be an agreement to the fact as to which reason is the root cause, many organizations conveniently address the cause they are comfortable with. This act ofcourse pushes a lot under the carpet and only exponents the recurrence of Incidents.

ITIL4 has taken a big leap on this and de-focused itself from the concept of “Root Cause”. ITIL4 now points towards interrelated causes and contributory causes that contribute to the impact of time duration, impact of incidents and one that triggers incidents. The concept of Problem control deals with problem analysis, and documenting workarounds and known errors.

With this technique Problem Managers and teams can keep investigating for causes and documenting them. And with Error control in place, these can be handled stage wise till all contributory interrelated causes are resolved.

The other change that ITIL4 has, is that now it more often refers to errors than unknown Incidents. (Next discussion)

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