Perform root cause analysis of selected issues to address deficiencies in achieving the project’s quality and process performance objectives.


Issues to address include deficiencies in subprocess stability and capability, and deficiencies in project performance relative to its objectives. Root cause analysis of selected issues is best performed shortly after the problem is first identified, while the event is still recent enough to be carefully investigated. The formality of and effort required for a root cause analysis can vary greatly and can be determined by such factors as the stakeholders who are involved; the risk or opportunity that is present; the complexity of the situation; the frequency with which the situation could recur; the availability of data, baselines, and models that can be used in the analysis; and how much time has passed since the events triggering the deficiency. In the case of a subprocess that exhibits too much variation, is performed rarely, and involves different stakeholders, it could take weeks or months to identify root causes. Likewise, the actions to take can range significantly in terms of effort and time needed to determine, plan, and implement them. It is often difficult to know how much time is needed unless an initial analysis of the deficiencies is undertaken. Refer to the Causal Analysis and Resolution process area for more information about identifying causes of selected outcomes and taking action to improve process performance. Refer to the Measurement and Analysis process area for more information about aligning measurement and analysis activities and providing measurement results.

Example Work Products

  1. Subprocess and project performance measurements and analyses (including statistical analyses) recorded in the organization’s measurement repository
  2. Graphical displays of data used to understand subprocess and project performance and performance trends
  3. Identified root causes and potential actions to take


1. Perform root cause analysis, as appropriate, to diagnose process performance deficiencies.

Process performance baselines and models are used in diagnosing deficiencies; identifying possible solutions; predicting future project and process performance; and evaluating potential actions as appropriate.

The use of process performance models in predicting future project and process performance is described in a subpractice of the previous specific practice.

2. Identify and analyze potential actions.

3. Implement selected actions.

4. Assess the impact of the actions on subprocess performance.

This assessment of impact can include an evaluation of the statistical significance of the impacts resulting from the actions taken to improve process performance.