Blog Post created by TMACUL Champion on Jan 1, 2016

Root Cause


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This article provides insight into using Root Cause and suggestions about its content.

Using Root Cause

When contemplating the initial content of your Root Cause listing, stay focused. Remember that Root Cause should identify WHY the ticket was created. Do not confuse it with Configuration Item, which identifies WHAT the ticket is regarding. For example, a ticket was created for user John D User with regards to Outlook. Outlook is the Configuration Item because it is the WHAT. During the course of troubleshooting you discover that the reason the user was experiencing problems with Outlook was because of a network outage. Network Outage is your Root Cause because it tells you WHY.

List of Root Causes

Communication ErrorFailure of one piece of hardware to communicate with another.
Depleted ConsumableEmpty/low/worn ink cartridges, toner cartridges, or ribbon.
Hardware FailureA failed piece of hardware.
Minimum Requirements Not FulfilledFailure to function properly due to minimum hardware requirements not being met.
Needs CleaningItem needing cleaning in order to function properly.
Paper JamPaper Jam in a printer or fax caused an error
User Induced DamageDamage caused by the user.
IP Address ConflictConflicting IP Addresses on the company network.
ISP IssueProblem's associated with Home user's Internet Service Provider.
LagA problem resulting from a slow network.
OutageNetwork unavailability experienced by two or more machines in close proximity.
Unavailable Function/FeatureThe function or feature desired is not available in the application.
Company PolicyCorporate or Department Policy dictates the functionality that is reported.
Works as DesignedThe reported problem actually works as designed.
Access RestrictedAccess has been intentionally restricted.
Backup OverageBackups exceeded the anticipated duration.
Change in Roles & ResponsibilitiesChanges in Roles and/or Responsibilities are the causes of the observed behavior.
Environmental ConditionsPrimary cause is the environment. For example, excessive moisture caused a circuit card to short circuit.
MisleadingObserved behavior is not necessarily wrong, but it is misleading and should be changed.
Misspelling/TypoProblem caused by a misspelling or a typo.
No Longer EmployedUser is no longer employed by the company and is the cause for the observed behavior.
Scheduled Server OutageHost Server is unavailable and was scheduled to be down.
Unscheduled Server OutageHost Server is unavailable and was not scheduled to be down.
Side-EffectSide-effect from making a previous change.
Unfamiliar with Product/ProcessUser is unfamiliar with a product or process and has requested assistance or HOW TO instructions.
Unknown CauseThe single root cause of the problem cannot be identified.
Unsupported SoftwareSoftware not supported by IT.
User ErrorUser mistake.
Vendor ErrorVendor is responsible for item failure.
Beyond Software CapabilitiesSoftware is not capable of producing the desired result.
DatabaseDatabase issue causing software problems.
Device Not MappedMissing Printer, Fax, or Scanner mapping results in error or inability to use device.
Failed InstallA failed, incomplete, or improperly installed application.
Incorrect PermissionsNeeded account permissions are incorrect.
LicensingLicensing issues causing software problems.
Minimum Requirements Not FulfilledFailure to function properly due to minimum software requirements not being met.
Missing DriversItem cannot be used due to missing software driver(s).
Missing FilesEssential files are missing.
Missing Function/FeatureA function or feature that should be present is missing from an application.
Missing PatchesRequired patches are missing.
Out of SyncDevices are unable to establish or maintain synchronization.
Outdated DriversOutdated software drivers.
Outdated SoftwareSoftware is not at the currently supported level.
Password (Administrative)Requiring a password reset that is NOT the result of a user error.
IT Design FlawProblem attributed to IT scripting error.
Service OutageAn outage of an individual service, not necessarily an entire server.
Software BugA defect in the software.
Software NeededSoftware needs to be installed in order for user to perform necessary function.
VirusA virus, worm or Trojan Horse.
Wrong Configuration/SettingProblems resulting from something being improperly configured or set wrong.

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