Root Cause Analysis Template
This section highlights the purpose and importance of the Root Cause Analysis (RCA). It provides a discussion of the approach taken to identify and document the root cause of a particular problem. The RCA also includes the follow-up actions necessary to properly address the root cause. It also highlights what root causes should/should not consist of.
This section provides a description of the event that is being analyzed. It provides a clear and concise description of the problem that triggered this Root Cause Analysis. It should state the date, time, detailed description of the event/problem, who detected the problem, who it affected, and how it affected them. It is important that the descriptions are as detailed as possible since this problem is the source of the entire RCA.
Chronology of Events/Timeline
In this section of the Root Casue Analysis you are to provide a detailed chronology of the events leading up to, and following, the problem. This is an important piece of the RCA as the chronology of events may lead to clues in determining how or why the problem occurred. Be sure to include names, times and detailed descriptions of all activities.
Investigative Team and Method
This section of the Root Cause Analysis should describe how the investigative team is assembled, who it consists of, and how it gathers the data to be used in the analysis. As with any process, it is important in the RCA that clear roles and methodologies be established in order to allow for the process to move in a controlled and deliberate manner. This is also an important part of the RCA because a majority of time spent in RCA is gathering data about the event/problem.
Findings and Root Cause
This part of the Root Cause Analysis should describe the findings of the investigation and explain the root cause(s) based on these findings. It is possible that a RCA results in findings that are not directly related to the root cause of the problem. These should also be captured as product/process improvement steps in an effort to improve the product/project. It is important to note that this section does not describe the corrective actions to be taken as a result of identifying root cause. Corrective action will be discussed separately in the next paragraph. All findings must be formally communicated with the project team in order to ensure any project changes can be made in accordance with the project’s change management process.
As the purpose of the Root Cause Analysis is to determine the root cause of a problem, it should result in some corrective actions that may be taken to ensure the same problem is not repeated. Often, these corrective actions will result in changes to a project’s scope, schedule, or cost. It is imperative that all of the findings and corrective actions are detailed and formally communicated with the project team so changes can go through the change management process and be implemented in the project plan upon approval.