Root Cause Analysis Template

Analyze and eliminate the root cause of the problem using mobile-ready root cause analysis templates & tools

Published November 24th, 2020

What is Root Cause Analysis?

Root cause analysis (RCA) is a methodical approach in analyzing a problem and eliminating its root cause to solve counterproductive issues or events. Root cause analyses can help ensure the prevention of recurring problems, validating that RCA-recommended actions can improve business processes and boost productivity.

This article features:

  1. What is a root cause analysis template?
  2. What are the different types of root cause analysis tools?
  3. What are examples of root cause analysis questions?
  4. How to efficiently perform RCA with a digital root cause analysis tool
  5. Free root cause analysis templates you can download, customize and use

What is a Root Cause Analysis Template?

A root cause analysis template is used by cross-functional teams of subject matter experts to construct a good problem statement, collect relevant data, effectively identify the root cause, and implement lasting solutions. Utilizing mobile-ready root cause analysis templates can help teams take immediate action to resolve issues and cultivate a culture of collaboration and accountability.

Root Cause Analysis Tools: Which One?

Various tools are used to facilitate root cause analysis better, so it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the organization and its context to be able to pick the right one. Moreover, different business problems entail a specific approach to reach the accurate conclusion of the root cause, formulate correct solutions, and achieve optimum results. Here are 4 of the best RCA tools to help you determine the right approach for your problem.

  • Root Cause Analysis Tool #1: 5 Whys Analysis (The Five Whys)
    One of the most widely used problem-solving techniques is the 5 whys analysis. It is applied to universal problems across various industries due to its simple but practical nature, especially when implementing kaizen in your organization.
    As a rule of thumb, the root cause is discovered by asking, “Why did this problem occur?” five times. Use a 5 whys analysis template for initial root cause analysis and easily build a culture of collaboration and accountability among employees.

  • Root Cause Analysis Tool #2: Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
    An FMEA aims to anticipate potential problems before they happen so that their adverse effects on customers can be mitigated. Product design and process improvement professionals perform failure modes and effects analysis to prevent costly manufacturing failures and increase customer satisfaction. A highly functional FMEA template is crucial for success in implementing FMEAs.

  • Root Cause Analysis Tool #3: 8 Disciplines of Problem-Solving (8D)
    Quality engineers in the automotive industry first developed 8D for comprehensive RCAs of critical problems in the production process. Applying the 8D approach in healthcare, retail, and manufacturing has also been proven to drive effective system changes.
    Conduct an 8D root cause analysis when safety or regulatory issues have been discovered in your business and repetitive customer complaints about your product/service are received. Permanent corrective actions based on data and information related to the problem can be established using an 8D template.

  • Root Cause Analysis Tool #4: Six Sigma Methodology (DMAIC)
    For any project that needs improvement, follow the DMAIC process (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) and focus efforts on the analyze phase. As the most recognized Six Sigma methodology, its strength lies in the structure and rigor from quantifying the problem to implementing long-term solutions.
    Use a digital DMAIC template to breakdown the root cause analysis by defining performance objectives, identifying value/non-value added process steps and specifying the sources of variation.

Root Cause Analysis Questions

Following one of the framework of one of the most comprehensive root cause analysis techniques, listed below are sample questions team leaders can ask when performing root cause analysis:

  • Root Cause Analysis Question #1:
    Is my problem-solving team trained enough and aware of their respective functions?
  • Root Cause Analysis Question #2:
    Does our problem statement answer the 5 Ws and 2 Hs for greater clarity and accuracy?
  • Root Cause Analysis Question #3:
    Can these actions temporarily isolate the problem from our customers in the future?
  • Root Cause Analysis Question #4:
    Does the root cause reveal non conformance or hidden flaws in the system?
  • Root Cause Analysis Question #5:
    Can these possible solutions change the product and/or process conditions to permanently solve the problem?
  • Root Cause Analysis Question #6:
    Were the corrective actions communicated to all stakeholders and measured for improvements?
  • Root Cause Analysis Question #7:
    Were similar products and/or processes reviewed and work procedures updated for problem prevention?
  • Root Cause Analysis Question #8:
    Have I provided relevant feedback and recognized both team and individual efforts?

Streamline Root Cause Analysis with iAuditor Templates & Tools

Root cause analysis with your team can achieve optimum results when integrated with digital root cause analysis tools such as iAuditor by SafetyCulture. Empower your RCA team with iAuditor and take advantage of:

  1. Streamlined data collection

    • Perform RCAs anytime, anywhere from any iOS, Android, or Windows smartphone or tablet!
    • Capture and store unlimited photos as proof of verified root causes.
    • Validate data and information using digital signatures.
    • All data is automatically saved and secured in the cloud!
  2. Instant root cause analysis reports

    • As your team completes a root-cause analysis, an RCA report is automatically produced!
    • Share RCA templates to all stakeholders with just the tap of a finger!
    • You can also export your RCA report in various formats such as PDF, DOC, CSV, etc. View sample report of a Root Cause Analysis PDF here.
    • Customize your RCA template to generate reports that fulfill your business needs.
    • Enhanced team administration
  3. Enhanced team administration

    • Manage teams easily with structured groups.
    • Assign and track corrective actions to team members.
    • Update actions from your mobile device and receive notifications in real-time!
    • Your RCA team is also backed up by world-class 24/5 customer support!
SafetyCulture Staff Writer

Shine Colcol

Shine has been professionally writing about virtually anything since her internship for a digital publisher of niche blogazines. She is passionate about building a culture of continuous improvement in the environmental, health, safety, and quality space through well-researched, engaging, and impactful content.

Shine has been professionally writing about virtually anything since her internship for a digital publisher of niche blogazines. She is passionate about building a culture of continuous improvement in the environmental, health, safety, and quality space through well-researched, engaging, and impactful content.

SafetyCulture Staff Writer

Shine Colcol

Shine has been professionally writing about virtually anything since her internship for a digital publisher of niche blogazines. She is passionate about building a culture of continuous improvement in the environmental, health, safety, and quality space through well-researched, engaging, and impactful content.

Shine has been professionally writing about virtually anything since her internship for a digital publisher of niche blogazines. She is passionate about building a culture of continuous improvement in the environmental, health, safety, and quality space through well-researched, engaging, and impactful content.