How to Perform Root Cause Analysis (+5 Free Templates)

When you face any problem, it is advisable to get to the base of it as promptly as possible. In this business ecosystem, Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is a method that allows individuals to ascertain the motives why a specific problem has occurred. To identify the basis of the issue utilizing precise steps so that essential steps can be taken, a root cause analysis template can do wonders!

It includes different aspects such as collecting the necessary data linked with the problem, describing the existing situation, identifying causes that need to be addressed to prevent the problem from recurring, identifying possible causes, identifying solutions, applying the changes, and examining the differences.

Let’s understand in-depth how this analysis template can help you create a compelling and repeatable problem-solving arrangement.

What is Root Cause Analysis (RCA)?

Root cause analysis is the procedure of identifying the actual root causes of problems to detect correct solutions. RCA presumes that it is more effective to methodically prevent and resolve fundamental issues instead of treating unpremeditated symptoms.

Root cause analysis can be accomplished with a compilation of techniques, methodologies, and principles that all can be used to recognize the root causes of a trend or event. Such analysis aims at identifying the issue by mining into its sources and then taking the necessary steps to eradicate the underlying problem.

What is a Root Cause Analysis Template?

Understanding how to execute an RCA utilizing a root cause analysis template can help your project team stay on the same path and dig out project issues in real-time.

A root cause analysis template is exercised by a cross-functional team of subject matter experts to create reports of the problem, gather relevant data, discover the root cause effectively, and execute enduring solutions. Employing mobile-ready root cause analysis templates can assist teams in taking instant actions to solve underlying issues and promote a culture of accountability and collaboration.


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Why Perform a Root Cause Analysis?

Generally, there are three main goals to achieve while performing a root cause analysis:

  • Find out the root cause of an event or problem.
  • Understand how to compensate, learn, or fix any basic issues contained in the root cause.
  • Apply the learnings from such analysis to analytically prevent future concerns or to repeat victories.

Free Root Cause Analysis Templates

A root cause analysis is executed when an accident or problem has arisen, and its cause must be discovered. This root-cause analysis documentation files the necessary steps taken to pinpoint the issue and establish the cause.

Also, it describes the methodology that will be utilized to tackle the problem and avert it moving forward. Diagrams and templates illustrating such a cause-and-effect relationship are mentioned below:

  1. ‘5 Whys’ Root Cause Analysis Template

    ‘5 Why’ root cause analysis template is utilized to function a specific kind of root cause examination. When investigating an accident or problem, ‘why’ questions often occur. The ‘5 Why’ procedure includes a series of such questions – why that episode occurred and why those sub-causes took place, till the root cause of the problem is finally uncovered.

    Here, the template offers a framework for asking the ‘why’ type of questions and ascertaining its root cause. You can also make a note of corrective action that will be undertaken to avert the problem from being repeated.

  2. Simple Root Cause Analysis Template

    This analysis is a leaner edition amongst the templates presented here. Make use of this template to investigate simpler matters that do not require comprehensive analysis. Instead, it lets you track a short description of the problem, list possible root causes and potential solutions, and report whether these solutions were profitable or not.

  3. Root Cause Analysis Report Template

    The root cause analysis report template permits a thorough inspection of the episode. Utilize it to record data on the event’s background and contributing factors, findings related to the identified root cause, other notable results that are not directly linked to the problem, and actions are taken to reduce future risk. It also allows you to record a depiction of the incident itself, the investigation team, the methods used, and the timeline.

  4. Cause Mapping Template

    Here, the cause mapping template blends Six Sigma DMAIC, 5 Whys root cause analysis, and the root cause analysis templates. It contains a detailed problem outline, a ‘why’ question analysis, a timeline, sections for proposing and evaluating possible solutions, creating an action plan, and diagrams to help illustrate the process.

  5. Six Sigma Methodology Root Cause Analysis Template

    Six Sigma – Define and Measure – Analyze – Implement, and Control (DMAIC) is used to slash out errors and improve business processes. It specifies its methodology to investigate and analyze root causes.

    The DMAIC abbreviation denotes the steps involved in this dynamic process. This method’s most universally used cause-and-effect analysis tool is the fishbone or cause-and-effect or Fishikawa or Ishikawa diagram. It is employed to cluster causes into separate sub-categories like measurements, methods, materials, and several others to simplify the reason.

5 Steps of Executing Root Cause Analysis

Steps to Do a Root Cause Analysis

Based on the scope, complexity, and nature of the applicable problem, your team members can select from the available root cause analysis processes. Taking off the root cause analysis with step-by-step methodology applying ready-made templates lets you distinguish the problem and recognize it well before progressing towards its solution.

  1. Gather Your Team Around

    Before commencing the RCA method, identify the most experienced members and offer them the supplies or resources required to start the analysis. Consider individual team members’ strengths and the scope and nature of the challenge before forming the final RCA team.

  2. Determine the Issue

    After having your RCA team ready with the apt resources, it is the moment to put the limelight on the main problem. For example, a flooded underground store destroying the products is the problem. To discover the real issue, you ought to unearth deeper. Ask doubts and questions to find out what and how exactly it happened.

  3. Uncover the Root-cause

    On evaluating the problem carefully, your team will crop up with the root cause or the real reason why that problem occurred. By utilizing popular root cause analysis templates and different techniques like a Fishbone diagram or the 5 Whys, they will be capable of discovering the real cause for the prevailing problem.

  4. Imply the Solution

    By employing a root cause analysis template, the real cause comes into the picture. Now, it is the time to answer the matter by picking the best potential plan of action. Certify that you have a problem-solving worksheet that includes the timelines, participants, parameters, and steps to successfully implement a solution.

  5. Validate the Consequences

    Verify whether the corrective measure for the problem is taken or scheduled for execution later. Post that, it is time to halt and examine that the problem has been entirely fixed or it will be resolved soon. Track and record the actions taken along with their positive results for future reference.

    Also, let the team know if the resolution was a perfect fix or solved partly. In this situation, your team needs to keep tabs on if the partly solved problem can influence other team deliverables or interconnected projects.

Tips to Conduct a Successful Root Cause Analysis

RCA can be employed to optimize organizational methods and set precautionary measures to alleviate future issues. For example, in place of incessantly replying to support tickets, you could inquire why your consumers are making such requests in the first place. Below are some tips that help you gain root cause analysis success.

  1. Practice To Get Perfection

    When you are organizing your root cause analysis, do not just dive in and pass through it instinctively. It is essential to be conscious of the procedure as you are scanning through it. Consider what could be adjusted and improved. Doing so will make your RCAs more effective and efficient every time.

  2. Work in Teams

    At times it is easy to skip something vital even if it’s apparent. If you operate with a team or a colleague, it will help in identifying solutions faster because you have full access to a fresh viewpoint. The team members can also present alternative resolutions that you may not have thought of.


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  3. Execute Root Cause Analysis for Successes Too

    Though the RCA process is usually utilized to identify the root cause of the pertinent problems, it can also be utilized to detect the root cause of a company’s successes. This supplies you the tools needed to be able to deliberately repeat such successes in upcoming times or incorporate them into other parts of your organization where improvement is the need of the hour.

  4. Ask More Questions

    The more queries you ask, the more probable you are to find the root cause. You may continue to ask questions even if you feel that you have landed at the core problem. For instance, you can ask, ‘How can we be certain that this is the only root cause? How can we avert this issue from occurring in the future again?’ Use such questions to develop a better awareness of the prevailing problem.


Some of the best root cause analysis methods are The 5 Whys, Pareto Chart, Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), scatter diagram, and fishbone diagram.

The steps of a root cause analysis include describing the incident, discovering the root cause, determining solutions, taking corrective action, and authenticating solution usefulness.

Within a company, incident investigation, root cause analysis, and problem-solving all are basically connected by three fundamental questions:

  • What is the problem?
  • Why did it occur?
  • What measures will be taken to avert it from occurring again?


Each root cause analysis template mentioned here will offer priceless and reliable additions to your business approach. If these templates are used consistently and correctly, they will bring you longstanding and significant company results.

CloudTutorial platform makes it easy to capture, plan, report, and manage work remotely, assisting your team to be more efficient and get more vital tasks done. For example, you may conduct a root cause analysis to solve a prevailing problem thoroughly.

As soon as the cause is detected, you can implement the solution and conduct regular inspections to confirm that you are attaining continuous sustainable improvement. When it comes to creating a tactical plan for your business, you can refer to top strategic plan templates so that you can save your time and effort for other essential tasks to do.

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