In this ITIL article we take a look at Lost Cause Paralysis.
Much of the thinking around Incident Management and Problem Management is based on the concept of Root Cause Analysis (often abbreviated as RCA). This is “a method of problem solving used for identifying the root causes of faults or problems”.
A factor is considered a root cause if removal thereof from the problem-fault-sequence prevents the final undesirable outcome from recurring; whereas a causal factor is one that affects an event’s outcome, but is not a root cause. Though removing a causal factor can benefit an outcome, it does not prevent its recurrence with certainty.