A Great Year for RCA Software

Jon Boisoneau, VP Products

Dec 16, 2015

I’ve been leading Sologic software development for just over five years and one of my favorite things about this position is talking with RCA practitioners about their software needs.  Whether it’s during structured focus groups or ad hoc discussions, I’ve been lucky enough to speak with  people from different countries, industries, disciplines and experience levels. These discussions help our team plan new features, prioritize a long list of improvement ideas, and are a trustworthy beacon as we develop software.  

This holiday season I want to say thank you to everyone who has provided feedback – you know who you are!  Thanks to you, we’ve focused our development team on the features that provide the most value, while also experimenting with new technologies that will drive future innovations in problem solving.  Here is a look back at the highlights from 2015.

January 2015 – Causelink Enterprise Version 2.0 Release
Although we officially released the product in late 2014, most of our clients were updated to the new version in early 2015.  There was a big difference between v1 and v2 and it was really fun to see how happy customers were to receive the update.  Although the biggest new feature was the improved cause and effect charting mechanism, people were also pretty excited about the new user interface.  The user-friendly nature of the updated v2 software made it much easier to train staff on how to use the system and they began using the software more often.  This product launch would not have been as successful if we didn’t have Beta test groups full of lively RCA practitioners.  To those involved - you helped shape the product in so many great ways – Thank You!

May 2015 - Software as a Service (SaaS)
Sologic hosts the On-Demand, SaaS version of Causelink Enterprise for companies looking for Enterprise root cause analysis software without the requirement of an internal network installation. Many customers had been asking for this delivery option, so it was nice to meet the requests early in the year.

July 2015 – Watson Prototype
We gained access to the IBM Watson API early in 2015 and did a crash course on the exciting capabilities with a focus on improving problem solving by integrating with Causelink Enterprise.  After a 3-week development sprint we released a prototype, proving that Watson can help make root cause analysis easier and can help managers see trends and patterns in their data.  Hearing the new ideas and excitement generated during the Watson/Causelink focus groups are some of my favorite memories from this year.  We will have more news about Watson in 2016.  In the meantime, read our previous blog post and watch the video.   

October 2015 – Mobile Beta Release
For a number of years, we have had our eye on the voice to text and photo/video capabilities that are available with modern smartphones.  This year we released a beta version of our mobile software which leverages these capabilities and makes data entry for RCA investigations quick and easy.  Our focus group participants were amazed at how well the voice to text function works and we received great feedback on the ability to attach photographs.  We’re working on a production version of this new feature, which will be released with an update to Causelink Enterprise in early 2016.

December 2015 – Causelink Enterprise Version 2.5
We are currently working on a release that is the direct result of a customer request.  This customer asked if Causelink could support 100,000 users in the system.  At the time 2 months ago, it could not.  However, we quickly went to school on better user management and Trie structures and will be releasing this powerful new update before the end of the year.

Focus Groups
Throughout the year we have held periodic focus groups, which have given us the opportunity to hear from RCA practitioners around the world.  Typically, these sessions are centered around an existing feature that we would like to improve or a new feature that we will be adding to the software.  I present design ideas and functionality options and hear feedback on the best way to approach the update.  It is so much fun to work on designs and/or wireframes one day, then turn around and show them to RCA experts and receive feedback shortly thereafter.  We started these focus groups in 2015 and, based upon their success this year, will be continuing them in 2016.  Look for invitations to get involved in an upcoming email newsletter. 

Looking ahead to 2016, we’ll do the same as we did last year; prioritize features based upon the input we’ve received from the RCA community.  So far, in addition to a mobile software release, its looking like an incident timeline and localization are at the top of the list.  Other features to watch for include a production version of the IBM Watson integration and a cause tagging/reporting mechanism.

Thank you again for the support and terrific feedback that we’ve received this year.  Happy Holidays!