You can perform a root cause analysis not only in the medical field but also in the world of business. This is a process of analyzing a recurring issue and helping get rid of the root causes. As such, you can improve your business procedures and increase productivity by using a root cause analysis template.
Root Cause Analysis Templates
What is a root cause analysis?
As aforementioned, a root cause analysis involves identifying the root cause of problems then formulating the most effective solutions to them. The methodology takes a proactive stand as it gives emphasis to the significance of taking corrective and preventive solutions rather than simply dealing with the symptoms of the problem.
Apart from using an RCA template, you can also use various principles and techniques to perform RCA to pinpoint underlying issues. As part of the process, RCA tries to look beyond what might seem like the “obvious” cause and effect.
This way, your team can find precisely where the system in question failed to start. As you will see, most root cause analysis examples have the following main goals:
- To identify the root cause of a problem.
- To gain a complete understanding of how you can fix the problem.
- To implement what you learned to deal with the problem and to prevent it from occurring in the future.
You can use a successful RCA to effectively maximize company processes then set proactive measures to decrease the risk of future issues. For instance, rather than having to constantly respond to support tickets, you may directly ask your clients who make those requests directly.
Although treating the signs of deeper problems might seem effective and quick, this isn’t a long-term solution. Expect the issue to recur in the future. If you proactively deal with the root cause, you will save more effort and time in the long run.
What are the 5 Whys of root cause analysis?
If this is your first time to conduct an RCA or use a root cause analysis template, you should know that there are various methods to use. Some of these methods solve problems, some pin-point issues, and some designed to simply provide support.
One of the most popular RCA techniques is the “5 Whys” analysis. Because of its practical but simple nature, many industries use it to solve problems along with a root cause analysis form.
As a general rule, you can easily determine the root cause by asking a simple but relevant question 5 times. For instance, “Why did this problem occur?” Use the “5 Whys” method for the initial RCA.
How do you write a root cause analysis?
Before you perform a root cause analysis, there needs to be an occurrence of a problem, the cause of which you must discover. A root cause analysis template documents the list of steps taken to pinpoint the problem, uncover the cause, and describe the method that you plan to use to deal with the issue and prevent it from occurring again.
You can use diagrams to illustrate cause-and-effect relationships in your RCA template. When making a root cause analysis report, include the following elements:
- A description of the problem
This refers to the problem you’re investigating. You should describe this using as many details as possible and it should include the time and date when the problem occurred, what happened exactly, who discovered the issue, and the people affected by it.
- A timeline
This part of the analysis encompasses a comprehensive description of all of the events before, during, and after the occurrence of the problem. This information helps reveal potential underlying causes. It should include times, dates, and the names of everyone involved.
- The investigative team and the method to use
This section is where you identify the team that takes charge of the investigation of the problem, the methods they plan to use in data collection and analysis, and how they plan to report their findings.
- The root cause (findings)
This section is where the team shares their findings including a description of the identified root cause.
- Corrective action
It is here where you write the action to take to fix the issue and make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
Root Cause Analysis Examples
Performing a root cause analysis
One of the main objectives of using a root cause analysis template is to enhance the quality of your services or products. To ensure that you regain a better workflow, you must conduct the RCA step-by-step. The structure of the RCA makes sure that you will never get ahead of yourself.
To achieve this, it is very important to follow the correct hierarchy for each of the techniques. Together with your team, you should make sure to stay on each step until you have completely exhausted the possibilities before proceeding to the next step.
This will make your root cause analysis form more organized too. While you may use different techniques to identify the main problem, the hierarchy won’t change, it stays the same.
If this is your first time to conduct an RCA, it would help a lot to look at different root cause analysis examples. The previous sections gave you an idea of how to go about this process to help you in choosing the appropriate methodology to use when conducting the RCA.
Keep in mind that the end result of the analysis should gear towards the elimination or reduction of the source of the root cause or primary problem. Your RCA should be a dynamic process instead of a static one.
This means that you should not get too involved in the problem and as such, might cause you to bypass factors that caused the issue. Just focus on the goal and that is to deal with the issue at hand and the possibility that some factors which were previously bypassed might come up.
When conducting an RCA, you should also be very vigilant. For instance, you might start off with a single main problem and two contributing factors initially. As you progress with your Root Cause Analysis, you might end up with ten contributing factors or more.
Remember that if you missed just a single factor, you would risk the issues caused by the main problem to get reduced, continue but not get eliminated.