29 Free Root Cause Analysis Templates for Excel, Word and PDF

29 Free Root Cause Analysis Templates for Excel, Word and PDF

Featured Bonus Content: Get 29 Free Root Cause Analysis Templates! Click Here To Download It.

Organizations experience crises. This may be for many reasons. For instance, there could be a delay in inventory arrival or an unexpected increase in material costs. When these crises happen, the lasting way to resolve them is to find the root cause of the problem.

The management team has the responsibility to determine what happened. The best way to tackle this is to understand exactly what happened and the situations that led to it. Still, only the smart and strategic ones will recognize the best way to tackle this problem from the roots and proffer relevant solutions.  

By employing the root cause analysis, you can dig into the root cause of a problem and present guides to look for lasting solutions.

In this in-depth article, you’ll learn everything you must know about the root cause analysis template. We’ll also give you access to 29 free, editable, and downloadable root cause analysis templates for Word, Excel, and PDF. 

Let’s get started.

Chapter 1: What is a Root Cause Analysis and Why Do You Need One?

Chapter 2: What is a Root Cause Analysis Template and When Do You Need One?

Chapter 3: Root Cause Analysis Templates For Excel

Chapter 4: Root Cause Analysis Templates For Word

Chapter 5: Root Cause Analysis Templates For PDF

Chapter 6: Root Cause Analysis Tools, Approaches, Techniques, and Success Tips

Chapter 7: Root Cause Analysis Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Chapter 8: Manage Your Root Cause Analysis Templates With SweetProcess

Chapter 1: What is a Root Cause Analysis and Why Do You Need One?

What is a Root Cause Analysis and Why Do You Need One?

Root cause analysis is aimed at developing appropriate solutions for a business problem. This framework believes that you can find lasting solutions to your business problems by preventing and resolving core issues. 

Once you get the root cause analysis right, you’ll identify the source of a problem or occurrence and also comprehend how to resolve, adjust, or learn from the underlying root cause difficulties.

Root cause analysis can also provide further knowledge to investigate and prevent future problems or build on past accomplishments.

What is Root Cause Analysis?

Root cause analysis describes the underlying cause of every problem. 

For instance, if a machine breaks down in the production line, it is easy for the operator to fix and continue production quickly. However, informing the technician as soon as possible would be the appropriate step for optimum results. 

Without a professional look, there is a likelihood that the problem recurs, and when it does, the resulting crisis would be more expensive.

Root cause analysis can also be seen as an analytical process to discover, research, and analyze the cause of business problems and determine the relevant solution. 

Root cause analysis, like problem-solving and incident investigation, encourages you to ask as many questions as possible about a problem. While doing this, you will identify bottlenecks and clarify the issues.

Why Use a Root Cause Analysis?

When you identify flaws in your business process, you can take adequate steps to correct the issues and prevent them from recurring in the future. In addition, if you implement this in a production line, you’ll increase product units and reduce errors in the end product.

Root cause analysis is essential for the following reasons.

  1. Saves you money

No matter how much financial and physical investment you put in conducting root cause analysis, you’ll always have a profitable return on investment. This is because the damage and recurring expense that would arise from not fixing a problem permanently will always weigh much on your company.

  1. Improves reliability

With a practical root cause analysis, you can improve your company’s safety and reliability. It also helps in organizations where quality is critical. For example, when you reduce defect rates in your production area, your product will provide more reliability for your customers and improve their trust in you.

  1. Prevents losses

If, as an employer, you use root cause analysis to focus on prevention, your organization will earn public trust because the root cause analysis allows you to create a framework for creating standard operating procedures. In addition, once you determine the trustworthy source of an issue, it will encourage you to create a process to curb it.

What You Should Include in Your Root Cause Analysis

When developing a root cause analysis, you must include three critical themes to do an adequate job. In determining the underlying reasons for specific events, you need these points to implement the most effective solutions. 

The three fundamental questions to ask are:

  1. What’s the problem?

This is where you state what the problem is. It could be unpredictable because this might not be the exact problem at the end of the root cause analysis. So, always be willing to start from the best observable problem.

  1. Why did it happen?

Using surveys or interview guides for relevant stakeholders, you can ask questions that will lead you to why the problem happens. The simple yet effective approach is asking why five times. When this is done, there’s every likelihood that you’ll get a headway.

  1. What will be done to prevent it from happening again?

After you’ve figured out why the problem exists, proffering solutions is more straightforward. In this section, you’ll come up with as many impactful ideas as possible. Then, you carefully examine each of them until you’re able to pick the most effective solution that will save you the most time and resources without any form of compromise.

How to Perform a Root Cause Analysis 

There are several methods for performing a root cause analysis. Whichever approach you consider, what matters is that you identify the root cause of the problem through effective diagnoses. This guides you toward proffering solutions. 

To perform a root cause analysis, here are the steps to follow:

  1. Define the problem

This initial phase is when you form a team to devise a root cause analysis strategy. Then you’ll identify the problem and specify its scope. To reach the intended result, the team must also have a common knowledge of the problem.

This problem definition stage is crucial so encourage your team to collect precise details that will aid in a shared understanding of the problem. 

Below are the questions to ask in this stage: 

  • What went wrong?
  • Where did it happen?
  • Is it new?
  • Did something change?
  • What are the implications of the problem?
  • Who was involved in this?

If your team is honest about answering these questions, they will minimize ambiguities and deliver unbiased responses. Also, your team may go beyond the workplace to get help and understand the problem better. 

2. Find the causes

Identify the possible causes of the incident. Your objective is to find as many causal factors as possible. This forces you to delve further into the issues, allowing you to grasp the problem better.

Use exercises like brainstorming, process mapping, and fishbone diagrams for this purpose. Also, this is when you want to listen to as many people as possible because any idea can be worthy.

You should also encourage creativity and critical thinking. This will allow you to cast a wide enough net around the extent of the problem to identify and analyze all possible causes.

3. Find the root cause

Finding the cause is pretty different from finding the root cause. So at this stage, you look further to what’s likely to cause the problem.

Organizations employ several techniques to unearth the problem’s root cause. Here’s an example from using the five whys techniques. 

Let’s say an organization has trouble meeting its sales expectations. The problem statement would be: “The marketing team is not making sales as intended.” 

With the five whys techniques, here are the likely questions to ask:

  • Has the company made any recent investments in sales team education?
  • Why did they make such an investment? 
  • Was there an improvement in change after the training?
  • Did the company evaluate the marketing strategy before and after the training?
  • What does the course consist of?

This example simplifies the five whys approach. You can encounter a situation of two or more interconnected problems. When this happens, repeat this technique, and you’ll discover the root cause.

4. Find the solutions

Finding solutions to root cause problems involves a specific mental and cognitive strength level. You can employ brainstorming to identify potential answers to this root cause. 

This builds upon your identification of the underlying issues causing the primary problem—so bring your imaginations to devise every possible solution. 

It is essential to include your team members to access broader solution possibilities. You should also consider all viewpoints during the discussion.

Some tools to go through this section include interviewing, brainstorming, benchmarking, flow charts, and the “why not” method. Also, you can look for standard solutions to known problems on forums and message boards.

5. Take appropriate actions

You’ll begin to put the suggested solutions into action at this stage. You and your team will start to imagine the offered ideas into activities and ensure long-term transformation.

The force-field analysis offers a framework for evaluating the components that influence a circumstance. In addition, this technique will help the team detect if the problem has been solved prematurely.

However, taking action does not imply that the responsibilities are completed. Therefore, you need to double-check that everything is back to normal.

6. Evaluate the efficacy of the solutions

This step focuses on assessing the efficacy of the solution you implement. To validate if the remedy works, you must apply a critical and analytical eye. 

Just as you did earlier, you can build off the five whys technique to check the efficacy of the implemented solution. Ask those five whys again, and if you’re able to find adequate responses to them, then you’re on the right path.

You’ve effectively completed a root cause analysis of the problem if you discovered that the solutions presented perfectly solved the five whys.

Chapter 2: When Do You Need a Root Cause Analysis Template?

When Do You Need a Root Cause Analysis Template?

A root cause analysis template is a ready-made document that you can use to search for and solve the root causes of a recurring problem. Whenever you need to solve issues related to your business process and want to get it done quickly for a long-term impact, root cause analysis should always be your go-to tool. 

What is a Root Cause Analysis Template?

When time and effort become scarce resources, or you can’t think of an excellent place to start creating your root cause analysis, you should use a root cause analysis template.

Organizations can use a root cause analysis template to create a statement, evaluate a recurring problem, and eliminate the root causes. 

When a problem arises in an organization, simply asking for a solution isn’t enough. It is critical to ask “Why did this happen?” to determine the cause and avoid recurring problems. 

A root cause analysis is employed to execute solutions that have a long-term impact by teams to dive deeper into the root of the problem.

The root cause analysis template is a pre-built and industry-customized document that enables teams to resolve issues and foster a collaborative and accountable mindset. 

While each business’s root cause analysis template may differ, an effective root cause analysis template includes a description of the problem, a timeframe, individuals, the root cause, and techniques.

Why You Need a Root Cause Analysis Template

Companies need to find solutions to their problems quickly. Hence, you will always need a root cause analysis template, but a quick fix is insufficient. You also need to avoid recurrence, and to do this you need industry-tested tools that you can quickly adapt for your specific problem.

That said, a root cause analysis template helps you to save resources and guides you to carry out root cause analysis efficiently.

When selecting a root cause analysis template for your company, here are some things to consider.

  1. Match your industry 

Ensure that the root cause analysis template you want to use is related to your industry. This will let you stay abreast of your industry terms and keywords, and guide you to consider them when searching for the root cause problem.

  1. Be specific or related to the root cause template

Not only does it need to match your industry, but it should also be relevant to the department you’re solving for. So, for example, it won’t be adequate to use a root cause analysis template that belongs to the legal department for the sales department.   

  1. Include a section to identify corrective measures 

A root cause analysis template that doesn’t identify corrective measures will be a waste of your time. An effective root cause analysis template should have a section that identifies corrective actions. 

  1. Include a section that implements solutions 

The root cause analysis template should also provide you with a framework to track the solution’s impact properly. 

  1. Include a section that prevents future issues 

It should also include a section where you can review the problem and solutions and visualize if it will prevent future issues.

When to Use a Root Cause Analysis Template

You should use a root cause analysis template whenever problems arise in your company. 

Also, you can use it when there’s no time to start creating a root cause analysis document from scratch or there is no subject matter expert to create one in your company. 

In a crisis, look for faster ways to dissect, analyze, identify, and comprehend the root cause of any problem. This is when you should use the root cause analysis template. 

A problem will inevitably arise; therefore, you should always be proactive in resolving them as fast as possible. 

Here are examples of some company issues for which you should immediately employ a root cause analysis template:

  1. Client feedback or complaint
  2. Service delivery failure
  3. Unexpected downtime
  4. Loss of data
  5. Safety or regulatory issues
  6. Financial issues

Chapter 3: Root Cause Analysis Templates For Excel

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet tool that comes as part of the Microsoft

Office Suite of programs. Spreadsheets are rows and columns of numbers

that may be changed numerically using simple and advanced

arithmetic operations and functions.

In this chapter, we’ve compiled some free root cause analysis templates in Excel format, which you can download, tweak and use to achieve productivity.

  1. Root cause analysis report template 
Root cause analysis report template 

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The root cause analysis report template allows you to examine a problem in detail. It provides you with the framework to describe event occurrences, including timeline, the investigating team, and the methodologies employed to find the problem’s root cause. 

  1. Basic root cause analysis template
Basic root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The basic root cause analysis template offers a basic framework that you can use to find the root cause of problems in any industry. It allows you to write down a brief description of the issue, make a list of likely root causes and solutions, and report whether or not the solutions were effective.

  1. Six Sigma root cause analysis template
Six Sigma root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The Six Sigma root cause analysis template provides you with a strategy to reduce errors and improve business operations by finding the root cause of a problem. Its root cause analysis method involves investigation and resolution of factors that hinder success. 

Chapter 4: Root Cause Analysis Templates For Word

Microsoft Word is one of the most intuitive tools for making a root cause

analysis template.

Here are some free root cause analysis templates for Word, which you can download, tweak, and use for your organization.

  1. Five whys root cause analysis template
Five whys root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The five whys root cause analysis template allows you to carry out specific root cause investigations using the five whys methodology. In this methodology, you’re to ask the “why” question five times and build off that response to search for solutions. For instance, this could begin by asking why the incident happened, then why those sub-causes happened, until you find the underlying cause of the problem.

  1. Complaints root cause analysis template
Complaints root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The complaint root cause analysis template allows you to find the source of a customer complaint. For example, your customers could be dissatisfied with your organization, and during surveys, you may find different reasons for that. This template allows you to group customers’ pain points into themes to easily track customer complaints and find the root cause.

  1. Accident root cause analysis template
Accident root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The accident root cause template allows you to find the underlying reason why accidents are happening in a system. This is primarily employed in employee injury, property damage, or product failure.

  1. Joint commission root cause analysis template
Joint commission root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The joint commission root cause template is a systematic approach by the Joint Commission’s Framework for Root Cause Analysis and Action Plan. It allows you to use its 24 analysis questions to assess events and organize the stages and data in a root cause investigation.

  1. Human error root cause analysis template
Human error root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The human error root cause analysis template allows you to investigate what happens in human life events that led to an adverse incident or a human error. Human error is primarily popular as errors in procedure and human factor engineering.

  1. Project management root cause analysis template
Project management root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

A project management root cause analysis template helps project managers figure out what’s causing problems during project planning and execution. This template is broad and is classified into project integration, risk, quality, and stakeholder management. 

  1. 8D root cause analysis template
8D root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The eight disciplines’ (8D) root cause analysis allows you to identify the fundamental cause of a problem. It provides you with the framework to define your team based on their expertise, describe the problem, analyze the root cause, implement solutions, and avoid future occurrences. 

  1. Software defect root cause analysis template
Software defect root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The software defect root cause analysis template lets you better understand the root cause of the defect in your software program. It also reveals why the problem happens and steps you can take to fix the situation. 

  1. Safety incident root cause analysis template
Safety incident root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The safety incident root cause analysis template allows you to determine the root cause of an issue or incidents related to safety. This analysis is done at the end of an accident investigation. That way, you can establish why the accident occured and find solutions so that it won’t happen again. 

  1. Marketing strategy root cause template
Marketing strategy root cause template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The marketing strategy root cause analysis template provides you with an approach to find the problem happening in your marketing—for instance, if you’re investing a lot in paid ads but not seeing any return on investment. This tool allows you to find the primary cause of a problem in your product market. 

  1. Food industry root cause analysis template
Food industry root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The food industry root cause analysis template assists you in identifying and understanding the root causes of issues happening in the food industry. For example, is it the food quality, hygiene, or processing? This tool lets you find out the root cause. 

Chapter 5: Root Cause Analysis Templates For PDF

You can easily document your root cause analysis templates in PDF format. We’ve compiled some free root cause analysis templates for PDF, which you can download, tweak, and use for your organization.

  1. Medical root cause analysis template
Medical root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The medical root cause analysis template outlines the essential circumstances that lead to a typical medical condition. This template allows you to search for the medical needs of any patient. In addition, it includes the vital information that helps you diagnose patients’ health conditions. 

  1. Incident investigation root cause analysis template
Incident investigation root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The incident root cause analysis template allows you to find the fundamental system-related factors that cause an incident. With it, you can identify and correct system faults. 

  1. Medication error root cause analysis template
Medication error root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The medication error root cause analysis template is an approach to determine the elements that cause performance variances in the medical field. This template provides you with the guidance to seek performance results in the event of a medical mistake.

  1. Information security root cause analysis template
Information security root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The information security root cause analysis template provides you with the guide to identifying information security challenges and fixing principle-based systems and underlying risks. In addition, it erases the single vulnerability that threatens cybersecurity events.

  1. Healthcare root cause analysis template
Healthcare root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The healthcare root cause analysis template provides you with the approach to investigate a healthcare occurrence to support the identification of healthcare flaws. 

  1. Network outage root cause analysis template
Network outage root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The network outage root cause analysis template allows you to gather information that can aid in determining the source of a network outage. In addition, it provides direction to find where the mistake occurred and how to fix the connection errors between devices. 

  1. Business root cause analysis template
Business root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The business root cause analysis template provides you with the strategy to identify the unknown causes of your business problem. It also provides you with a tested process to propose a viable solution to resolve it.

  1. Safety root cause analysis template
Safety root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The safety root cause analysis template allows you to determine the cause of safety issues happening in your business. It guides you on the questions to ask, when, and how to ask them, and helps you establish the underlying cause of the problem. 

  1. Technical root cause analysis template
Technical root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The technical root cause analysis template allows you to identify the root causes of technical problems. It helps you to prevent and resolve core technical issues.

  1. IT incident root cause analysis template
IT incident root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The IT incident root cause analysis template lets you find the underlying problems causing IT incidents in your organization. With this template, you can conduct a root cause analysis to determine the IT incident systemic cause and proffer solutions.

  1. Sample root cause analysis template
Sample root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The sample root cause analysis template provides you with a sample document to find any root cause problem. Most maintenance departments use this template to figure out why something happened.

  1. Conflict root cause analysis template
Conflict root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The conflict root cause analysis template aids in the investigation of a dispute’s beginnings and the breakdown of huge, complicated problems into smaller sources of conflict. It helps you dig into why a crisis happened before it gravitates into a conflict.

  1. Economic root cause analysis template
Economic root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The economic root cause analysis template allows you to get to the root of a problem by identifying and resolving its causes. It provides you with a problem-solving strategy that focuses on examining the nation’s economic state.

  1. SAP root cause analysis template
SAP root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The SAP (systems application and products) root cause analysis template allows you to find the SAP system’s difficulties, performance concerns, and modification histories. It also gives you a guide to explore your technical know-how as a tool to undertake deep-dive troubleshooting for cause and solutions.

  1. Manufacturing root cause analysis template 
Manufacturing root cause analysis template

Click here to download the Root Cause Analysis Template

The manufacturing root cause analysis template lets you find the root causes of faults in a manufacturing process or its end product. It allows you to track down problems, prevent them, and solve them. 

Chapter 6: Root Cause Analysis Tools, Approaches, Techniques, and Success Tips 

Root Cause Analysis Tools, Approaches, Techniques, and Success Tips

You must be familiar with the root cause analysis tools, approaches, and techniques so that you can apply them to different situations.

In practice, you’ll realize that there is no single root cause to a problem, so having two to three tools in your root cause analysis kit will help you to experiment multiple times before you get a root cause right. 

Root Cause Analysis Tools

The first step to solving any problem is to identify the problem. That’s where the process of problem-solving begins.

You have to get to the root using the root cause analysis to identify the problem. These tools will guide you to find the problem and provide effective solutions.

Here are some root analysis tools that you can begin to explore.

  1. 8 Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D)
8 Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D)

The 8D problem-solving and root cause analysis method is a thorough, team-oriented approach to resolving key production issues. This strategy aims to identify the source of a problem, implement control measures to safeguard clients, and take corrective action to avoid future problems.

It also promotes systemic change by refining an entire process to avoid the current issue and additional difficulties due to a systemic failure. 

The 8D method has become one of the most widely utilized problem-solving approaches in the manufacturing, construction, and service industries worldwide.

  1. Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)

Failure mode and effect analysis is a technique for detecting process and product issues before they happen. It is concerned with how and when a system will collapse. Organizations use it for planning, design, execution, and inspection.

This tool entails determining the various ways in which a product can fail. The FMEA chart allows you to outline each failure mode’s severity, occurrence, and detection. 

This tool has combined failure modes to create a risk priority number (RPN). This lets you prioritize the problem that needs the most attention.

  1. Five Whys Analysis
Five Whys Analysis

The five whys analysis is a root cause analysis strategy that delves into specific issues’ root causes and effects. It lets you figure out the causes of a fault or problem by repeatedly asking, “Why?”. 

The psychological implication is that as you continue to question why, based on prior answers, the issues become more apparent until you reach the root of the problem.

  1. DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control)
DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control)

DMAIC is an acronym for define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. It is a data-driven analysis to enhance, optimize, and stabilize business processes and designs. 

The acronym details a five-phase process to solve problems.

  • D: Define the problem.
  • M: Measure the process effectiveness.
  • A: Analyze the process to determine what’s causing the variance and poor results.
  • I: Improve the process performance.
  • C: Control the new process and its long-term growth prospects.

Root Cause Analysis Approaches and Techniques

The root cause analysis approaches and techniques are steps to identify the root of any problem so appropriate measures can be taken in the future to prevent the problem from recurring. 

These techniques entail several processes, which include:

  • Identifying the current problem.
  • Gathering relevant data.
  • Factoring likely causes.
  • Identifying causes that must be addressed to prevent the problem from recurring.
  • Creating solutions.
  • Implementing changes.
  • Monitoring the changes.

That said, below are the root cause analysis approaches and techniques.

  1. Fishbone Diagram
Fishbone Diagram

The fishbone diagram is a practical root cause analysis approach that models the cause and effect diagram. It is a fish skeleton–like diagram that helps you visualize the various sources of a problem. 

It combines brainstorming with mind mapping to identify the cause and effect of an issue.

For instance, the fishbone diagram is sketched on a flipchart during board meetings. This guides the team to continue brainstorming on possible problems and solutions to a problem. 

  1. Tree Diagram
Tree Diagram

A tree diagram visualizes the sequence of tasks and each subtask required to fulfill an aim, solution, or duty. 

The tree diagram begins with a single item that divides into two or more other tasks, then each of which divides into another two or more, and so on. With a trunk and several branches, the finished diagram resembles a tree. 

Organizations use the system to shift their thinking from general to peculiar. 

The tree diagram also allows you to investigate the underlying cause of a problem and assess implementation challenges for multiple alternative solutions.

  1. Flow Charts
Flow Charts

Flowcharts are diagrams that show all of the steps in a process in an easy-to-understand format. They are essential to quality management in businesses and information gathering. 

Flow charts help detect and describe potential problems and solutions before they occur. 

Organizations use flow charts to discover inefficient operations in departments that hold the organization. Every effective flow chart must entail a series of processes that define the problem, brainstorm feasible method stages, and resolve the issue. 

  1. Pareto Analysis
Pareto Analysis

The Pareto chart is based on Pareto’s law, commonly known as the 80/20 rule, which states that 20% of input results in 80% of the outcome. 

In the root cause analysis, the Pareto principle allows you to identify the waste in processes and assists you to look more deeply by being ultra-specific about what the problem is likely to be. 

Top Tips for Root Cause Analysis Success

The root cause analysis is a handy tool for understanding and solving problems. But the importance defaults when things are not done the right way.

Below are the top tips for root cause analysis success.

  1. Collect the correct information.

First identify the issue by asking, “What happened?” 

Next is to ask, “How did this happen?” 

It’s important to understand that your analysis will only be as good as the data you collect. So compile complete, accurate, and consistent data on your experiences. 

You can leverage the root cause analysis templates shared above to create attractive form designs to capture appropriate data.

  1. Create a fear-free incident reporting environment.

Organizations view root cause analyses as a formal and intimidating procedure. You can’t investigate something that has never been reported. This is why you should create a fear-free incident reporting environment.

So make root cause analysis a non-threatening notion to your staff by allowing anyone to report incidents through anonymous complaints.

  1. Look beyond the incident report.

You’ll always need an incident report to identify occurrences that need investigation. However, you must go beyond what’s written on the form when you do this. 

Ask questions to know the entire sequence of events and relationships that caused the incident. The right people to talk to about the event could include the involved individuals, people knowledgeable about the specific procedures and systems, and a root cause analyst if available. 

  1. Ask questions.

When you ask questions, ensure that all your approaches are valid. The five whys is one of the most effective ways of making these inquiries. 

Always exhaust the why questions until you reach a point where you can’t go any further. Then, when you’re sure you’ve found the underlying reason and not another contributing component, you can test all of your theories by asking if the problem will ever recur. 

You can also include some yes/no questions to determine if you should revisit all approaches.

  1. Focus your attention where you can have the most significant impact.

Always focus your efforts where they’ll have the most impact. This is to avoid wasting your effort. Then, develop action plans for each of your significant issues. 

This action plan will help you specify the corrective items to perform, when, and who should be responsible. 

After fixing the problems, it’s crucial to evaluate your progress. Therefore, you will compare incident data over time to uncover and remedy the problem’s core cause. 

  1. Leverage technology.

You can bring a lot of improvement to your company if you leverage technology. For example, software implementation can do a better job than having employees handle all of the activities needed in root cause analysis. 

So, if your budget allows, you can use software programs to automate and accelerate the root cause analysis process by combining claim, incident, and cause data on one platform. 

Some root cause analysis models quickly get accurate, real-time data to swiftly discover the root cause and take corrective action to improve protection.

Chapter 7: Root Cause Analysis Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Root Cause Analysis Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are the answers to the FAQs about the root cause analysis templates. 

  1. Does Excel have a root cause analysis template?

Yes. This article has some free root cause analysis templates on Excel.

  1. How do I make a simple root cause analysis?

There are different tools and strategies to make a simple root cause analysis. To make one, always ensure that you follow these themes: 

  1. Define the problem.
  2. Collect data.
  3. Make a sequence of events.
  4. Solve the root cause.

To make the job easier, you can download free, editable root cause analysis templates and tweak them to suit your needs.

 3. Does Google Docs have a root cause analysis template?

No. But you can convert any of the root cause analysis templates in Word to Google Docs.

4. What is a good root cause analysis?

A good root cause analysis avoids assigning blame to your team. Instead, it emphasizes prevention. It allows you to dig deep into the source of an issue, find a solution, and prevent its recurrence. 

A good root cause analysis protects an organization against faults, enhancing its reputation.

  1. What is the main purpose of a root cause analysis?

The main purpose of a root cause analysis is to identify the root cause of a problem or occurrence. It is also used to comprehend how to correct, compensate for, or learn from underlying difficulties inside the root cause.

  1. What is the format of root cause analysis writing?

There is no specific format for writing a root cause analysis. What matters is to ensure that your writing is concise, factual, and is absent of generic language. Also, avoid the use of the phrase “caused by.”

  1. What is the importance of root cause analysis in the workplace?

Root cause analysis reduces development time and cost. It enhances customer contentment, reduces remedial effort, lowers costs, and improves product quality. 

Chapter 8: Manage Your Root Cause Analysis Templates With SweetProcess

Manage Your Root Cause Analysis Templates With SweetProcess

Many companies use SweetProcess to manage their workflow processes, policies, and procedures effectively. 

Here are some companies that have leveraged this tool for this purpose and many more.

TechQuarters is an IT company that helps businesses take advantage of cloud solutions to meet their IT needs.

They are the leading supplier of Microsoft Solutions. One of its core products is Microsoft Cloud Solutions. TechQuarters guides businesses on how to use each function of cloud technology to their benefit with well-crafted training solutions and a dedicated customer support team on the ground.

Rather than offering this service from a top-bottom position, the company levels up with businesses to better understand their services and works with them to achieve their goals.

They are based in London and currently have over 43 employees.

As the company grows, it becomes a pain in the neck without a strong system. Each process needs to be taught over and over again. The team at TechQuarters had first-hand experience of this. And as Mark O’Dell, the operations director, reveals, it was one of their biggest pain points.

“Scalability is something that we’ve had to deal with. And I suppose all small companies, as they grow, do. We’ve grown every year, year on year, you know, in terms of revenue and staff, and doing so brings challenges. From being a few people sitting next to each other with a few customers that you all know to one new person becoming ten new people.” 

TechQuarters found that documenting their processes and procedures manually became inadequate with more customers to cater to. They needed workflow software that would help them streamline their operations to enhance their employees’ efficiency in catering to more customers. 

After searching for different tools in the marketplace, they found SweetProcess as the best option.

The flexibility of SweetProcess was hard to ignore. It allowed them to bring several items all over the place together for better operations.

“It allowed us to bring different types of media and different bits and pieces into the system. It wasn’t just a simple checklist thing. It allowed us to nest inside it. This task needs to be done, and now you can build a down button, and here’s how to do it in a procedural way, which could then include further questioning or further information,” Mark said.

Employees had to look in different places to check the procedures for every task, which was tiring. It was more convenient for them to do things their way, so they abandoned the documents, and the outcomes weren’t always the best. 

An effective software shows results almost immediately. So with a pressing operational need at hand, the team at TechQuarters was eager to see positive results when they signed up for SweetProcess. 

Using SweetProcess for Effective Documentation

Documenting processes and procedures manually using spreadsheets and Microsoft Word documents was initially the standard at the organization. However, typical of manual documentation, the documents were hard to access and update.

SweetProcess helped the team document usable processes and procedures. With an array of documentation features in the system, they could create comprehensive and easy-to-use processes and procedures that employees were happy to use because they made their jobs easier.

“What you find is that something will go wrong, and we look back then, and one of the teams will say, could we add this to SweetProcess? Because if this had been done, I wouldn’t have had this problem further down the line, and each individual would look at it and go, ‘Oh yeah, great.’ And the next time around, problem solved, because we do this extra step in the process.”

Using SweetProcess for Centralized Knowledge Base

There is always the employee or group of employees who are very knowledgeable about the tasks in an organization. While this is great, it becomes a problem if their knowledge isn’t distributed to others.  

The organization suffered some setbacks when new employees had to work with clients who they hadn’t worked with previously. In addition, simple tasks seemed complex to them because they hadn’t executed such tasks before.

“This new person hasn’t worked for that customer before. So how do we get it inside their head? And the answer is you don’t get it inside their head. You get it inside a system that doesn’t have to be inside their head. So when that new person becomes another ten new people, they just follow the same process.”

Thanks to SweetProcess, all processes and procedures are now documented in the system. As a result, both new and established employees can access any work instruction that they need to be efficient at their jobs.

Another company, The Dentist Off Main, is a dental clinic committed to improving patients’ dental experience. Driven by the mission of love, health, and connection, The Dentist Off Main team prioritizes the customer’s well-being via a customer-centric approach in its service delivery.

Based in Molalla, OR, the organization has strong ties with its community members and has established itself as the go-to dental clinic in the area. The Dentist Off Main holds its employees in high esteem and creates a conducive work environment to thrive personally and professionally.

Dr. Olesya Salathe and Alex Jacks, both co-founders of the company, had a prior interest in systematization and following the entrepreneurial operating system (EOS) business model for over two years. They were fascinated with the idea of streamlining their operations but did not want to undergo any new struggles. So, in a bid to simplify the process, they engaged the services of Adi Klevit, a business process consultant, and she recommended SweetProcess to them.

Adi had a track record of successfully helping several businesses to streamline their operations with SweetProcess, and she was going to replicate her success at their organization.

The team had started streamlining their operations, but they had not done much until the pandemic emerged. Resuming operations without standard operating procedures was not an option because both staff and patients could be exposed to the virus and were determined to fix it.

“We started the process with her but didn’t dive in so deep until the pandemic hit, and then we were shut down. The idea of coming back without clear processes when the scary virus is out there really solidified that we literally cannot work without systems and processes. We needed our whole team to be on board,” she continued.

They had to change a lot of things in their operations to ensure the safety of their patients and employees, and SweetProcess helped to achieve that seamless employee training and onboarding.

The employee training and onboarding process, which used to be a lot of work, has been simplified with SweetProcess. It has been a booster for established staff—they can now work better and faster by accessing the procedures and processes outlined in the system at any time. However, the most impact has been on new employees. The burden of learning so much about their roles under pressure has been taken away. They simply study all the procedures and processes documented in the system to learn all they need to know.

“Prior to the shutdown, I had this intern. She was on an assisting program, and it was slow getting her in the chair. Explaining everything verbally was just time-consuming. Once we came back, there were some changes in a couple of positions, and I really needed this intern to jump in, and we had SweetProcess. Here was the same person, same intern pre-COVID, same intern post-COVID shutdown. Within a month, she got the systems and processes. It’s not that she changed, and it’s not that I changed; we just used a different tool to help her learn.”

Having an Accessible Knowledge Base Using SweetProcess

Providing employees with all the information they need on their jobs helps them be more efficient than when they suffer a lack of knowledge. It is common practice for employees with limited information to seek help from others who are more informed, which slows down the workflow. 

It gets even worse when the go-to persons are indisposed—everyone is left stranded. The team now has all the information they need at their fingertips in SweetProcess. In addition, the system’s cloud-based storage allows for authorized remote access, allowing team members to work remotely.

“With our staff, who’s had experience, I think most of them have found it very helpful especially with some of the changes, but with new staff that we brought on since we’ve come back from COVID, they have said how much they have loved being able to have a tool that they can access easily. It’s readily available. They can repeat tasks, and I can assign them tasks to review things,” Alex concluded.

You too can get started with a 14-day free trial of SweetProcess to create

and manage all your organization procedures and processes. The best part? You do not need to add your credit card details to use the software for free.

Conclusion 

The root cause analysis templates bring ease when determining the root cause of an issue. Also used in social and behavior change communication, you can find out why there is a disparity between the ideal state of a business or social issue, and what is currently occurring.

Companies that adopt the root cause analysis can monitor the underlying cause that sparks a chain of events in their business process and better focus processes rather than individuals. 

With this, you can correct the underlying issues, eliminate the root of the problem, and the chain of general and immediate causes that may arise in the future. 

In this post, you’ve learned what root cause analyses are and why it’s important to use templates instead of creating them from scratch.

We also showed you 29 free root cause analysis templates which you can download, tweak, and use for your organization.

Using SweetProcess, you can manage your company’s policies, procedures, and processes. That way, you can easily find out the root cause of any problems in your organization as they occur and avoid a repeat.

Want to choose the root cause templates that are best to use for your company?

Click here to download the templates relevant to your industry and get ahead of thousands of businesses that must build them from scratch.

Get 29 Free Root Cause Analysis Templates!

Get Your Free Systemization Checklist

Systemize Checklist
5 Essential Steps To Getting a Task Out of Your Head and Into a System So You Can Scale and Grow Your Business!
Stop being the bottleneck in your company

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.