When I got into the DevOps field, I was exposed to The Five Whys — a popular analytical method used in incident postmortems. The Five Whys is one type of root cause analysis (RCA): “The primary goal of the technique is to determine the root cause of a defect or problem by repeating the question ‘Why?.’ Each answer forms the basis of the next question (link).” In a body of research about how systems really fail, I discovered a powerful critique of root cause analysis. The critique is known as “the new view of human error.” Any place where accidents…

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