May 2, 2013
Today, we are pleased to announce the Version 2.0 release of our root cause analysis software, Causelink. This major release includes the new features and improvements that many of you have been asking for -- making it easier to share details of your analysis, and allowing you to complete RCAs in less time and focus on implementing solutions. Specifically, you have the ability to view and print evidence and solutions on the chart, connect to other causes on the chart, brainstorm, and search by keyword.
Here are the new features and improvements now available in Causelink Version 2.0:
- Re-designed Home Screen – we adjusted the home screen layout in order to provide real estate for additional functionality. Part of this re-design involved moving “Deleted RCAs” into a separate tab displayed across the top of the RCA list.
- Connect To - when you need to connect a cause to one that is already on the chart, use this feature to document that relationship. Simply click on the right side of the cause box, choose "Connect To" and type into the text box to find the cause you would like to connect to.
- Find - on the chart or report, hit ctrl-F or click Edit > Find to search for keywords or phrases on the page you are viewing. Use the arrow keys to navigate when you have multiple results.
- View Cause Details - each cause on the chart can include one or more Evidence, Solution, Action, or Note records. Now you can display these cause details on a chart-wide basis or select them to display for individual causes. Once viewed on the chart, your printed document will display the same cause details.
- Terminating Pathways - when you terminate a causal path on the chart, the reason for ending the path is now displayed on screen and in the printout. If you choose "Causes Unknown," a question mark icon is displayed, indicating that more information is required to complete the causal path.
- Duplicate RCA – on the home screen, click the Duplicate icon in the Actions column to duplicate an RCA. Use this feature when you want to save the current state of an RCA and continue work on the investigation, perhaps from a different perspective.
- Printing Legend - you can now print the cause type legend on the chart by selecting "View Legend" in the toolbar before printing. The legend will appear in the upper left of the chart.
- One-click solution criteria approval - if you want to quickly approve solution criteria, simply open the criteria check and hit enter. The form will submit with all questions approved.
- Data Backup - we automatically store a backup of your data in a local folder. In addition, you can store a backup of your data in the location of your choosing by selecting Tools > Backup Database from the file menu.
- Brainstorm - accessed from the home screen or within an RCA record, this feature allows you to quickly add causes, evidence, actions or notes. As the name suggests, it is meant to provide a quick way to capture ideas during a brainstorm session.
- Evidence Improvements - we have added the option to link to files or enter URLs within Evidence records. You can also add evidence inline on the chart.
- Report Improvements - We have improved the report layout and made the printed report much more presentable.
- Chart Quality Improvement - actions no longer display for disproved causes.
- Performance Improvements - application response time while editing RCAs with more than 100 causes is now greatly improved.
- Silent Install - IT administrators have been asking us to provide an option to silently install the application across an enterprise. This option is now available upon request.
We would like to thank all of the end users and partners who participated in the Beta phase of Version 2.0. Your feedback is incredibly valuable in our ongoing effort to provide quality software to RCA practitioners worldwide. Every software-related comment sent to Sologic is logged by our team and reviewed as we plan for future software updates. Our goal with each update is to address the highest priority and most-frequently-requested items first.
We began planning for 2.0 in January 2012. After reviewing the comments and feature requests, it was clear that, in addition to more features, the application needed to be faster. I am happy to say that we’ve addressed these requests with Version 2.0.
Of course, there were a number of challenges along the way. We re-wrote the entire charting engine in order to increase response time and to allow for cause box height variations while viewing cause details. In turn, these changes impacted chart preview, print and PDF generation, all of which required significant updates for multi-page output. We also changed RCA storage methods; switching from local storage to SQLite. Changing these fundamentals of the application definitely caused bugs and regressions, which we had to fix before releasing a Beta. They also caused bugs that our Beta testers found during that review phase. However, our development team persevered and we are proud to have developed a high-quality Version 2.0 product with substantial improvements.
We hope that you enjoy the new features and improvements. As always, if you have an improvement suggestion for Causelink, please let us know. In the meantime, I'll be working with our development team as we introduce browser-based charting into Causelink Enterprise this year. Also, look for opportunities to join our Mobile RCA software planning sessions in late summer.
Jon Boisoneau, Product Manager