May 4, 2006 | Mark Paradies

Tech Support Thursday: Too Many X’s

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another installment of Tech Support Thursday!

We’ve been absent for a few weeks, but the tech support train rolls on unabated. Today we’re going to cover a best practice in terms of program functionality.

Ever wonder how many X’s are too many on the Root Cause Tree? Today I’ll answer that question.

When using the Root Cause Tree, on the back of the tree, there is the ability to cross off or “X” off root causes that don’t apply to the current Causal Factor.

Normally, when you try to X-off a root cause when the parent is X’d off, you get the following error message:


However, this programmed safeguard (see, they’re everywhere!) can be circumvented by crossing off the root causes first and then crossing off the entire Cause Category, like this:


Why this is bad: When you cross off all of the root causes instead of the category they’re tied to, you’re filling the database up with erroneous entries that do nothing but fill space (and tell the program—redudantly—that those root causes are not used).

Usually this isn’t a problem, but if you cross off every root cause on the whole back of the tree and then cross off the categories, performance of the program while editing/working on that incident can suffer as a result.

With that said, always cross off the parent category and don’t worry about the root causes listed below it. With the parent crossed off, the root causes below it are crossed off by proxy.

For example:


I hope we all learned something.

Until next week, keep those trees clean!

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