Practical Application: Root Cause Analysis Template

Instructor: Amanda Robb

Amanda holds a Masters in Science from Tufts Medical School in Cellular and Molecular Physiology. She has taught high school Biology and Physics for 8 years.

If you've ever struggled to get to the bottom of a problem at work, this template can help. The template will assist you in conducting a root cause analysis to get to the true cause of problems you might encounter in the workplace.

What Is Root Cause Analysis?

Have you ever had a problem to solve, but weren't sure how to start. It might seem like the problem is too big to even get started, or there are so many contributing factors that it seems impossible to pick just one. In a situation like this, a root cause analysis can be very helpful.

Like you read in the lesson, 5 Whys Analysis: Template & Overview, root cause analysis can help you get to the bottom of just about any problem. Through a series of questions, the ultimate cause of the problem will become apparent.

When you run into a problem that needs a root cause analysis, you can print the template below to easily follow the five whys protocol to find the cause of your problem.

Five Whys Root Cause Analysis Template


Five whys analysis template
five whys analysis template


Using the Template

To use the template shown above, start by identifying the problem that occurred. This is called the problem statement. Write a short description of the problem in the pink section.

Then, consider why the problem happened. Write down the answer in the first blue section. If the answer does not fully explain the root cause of the problem circle the N and move to the next blue section. Repeat the process until you have identified the root cause of the problem that occurred.

Write the root cause in the green section. Then, identify potential solutions to address the root cause in the light blue section.

Example

Let's look at an example.

Problem Statement
Customer is unhappy with pizza delivery service.

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