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I recently wrote a SAP Certification Exam and got myself certified as a “SAP Certified E2E Application Management Expert – Root Cause Analysis”. The first thing I did after I got my certification was to check in SDN whether we have a Wiki page for Root Cause Analysis (RCA). But unfortunately I couldn’t find anything. This is very surprising considering the fact that most of the discussions which happen in the Forums are basically RCAs. If we can gather all these  practical information and give links to relevant help.sap.com links, then we have a pretty good information repository which can help someone find the cause of an issue. I strongly feel that we should have a RCA Wiki in SDN.

One of the popular modes of information sharing which is used in BPX very widely is the use of conversations to put a point across. This can be a very effective tool in RCA as well. Conversation is something which happens in the Forums as well – “Did you check this?” “Yes” “Then check this as well”. Isn’t this what happens in Forums and when you do a RCA? Why not make it more formal and have something like the following (the components, transactions and scenario used here are imaginary and are used just for illustration purpose) –

Support – Hi Expert, I have an issue and I need your support to find the cause of this.
Expert – Oh, sure…I can help you here. What is the issue like?
Support – When I create a new transaction document, I should not be getting error messages immediately on load. Right?
Expert – Yup..you are right.
Support – But in one of the Portals I am getting the error message.
Expert – Is this happening in all the create scenarios or only for a particular document?
Support – Does that make a difference?
Expert – It definitely does. If it is happening in all areas, then it could be a message framework issue and you might have to consult the colleagues looking into AP. But if it is specific to an area, then we need to do some more analysis.
Support – Hmmm…I think it is very specific to an area. I noticed this only when I tried to create one transaction.
Expert – Did you check in the backend?
Support – Yeah, I tried creating in SHOW_OBJECT and the messages are coming up there as well.
Expert – Then you have to check whether message mapping entries have been maintained.
Support – Message mapping? But I am not mapping any message, I am trying to suppress them on create!!!
Expert – Yeah, the same transaction MESSAGE_MAPPING is used to suppress messages as well.
Support – Ok, so what do I check in MESSAGE_MAPPING?
Expert – Check in the context of the Object, whether there is an entry maintained for this message with Sub-Context NEW. Also, you have to check whether the Business Object and Node are correct and whether the Full key flag is set for this entry.
Support – I will definitely do this check. If I find everything maintained as per your instructions, what do I do?
Expert – Just relax and forward the issue to the appropriate application component.
Support – Cool, thanks a lot for your support.
Expert – Anytime…

This conveys the information and at the same time does not bore the reader with a long list of to-dos and if-else loops. This explains in just the way something will be explained in real life.

I strongly suggest that we have a separate RCA Wiki page in SDN and also use the technique above to share information efficiently.

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