Root Cause Analysis
and test drive
the special feature
For the same reasons that you use any software
Your fishbone diagram template
makes it easy to:
Why use tools?
I'm paid by the hour.
And when the cause and effect analysis session is over...
everyone can get right back to work
because everything is perfectly organized in your fishbone diagram,
Bookmark = Training
How to use your
Root Cause Analysis template
Find and open your template
Find and open your fishbone template (RootCause.xlsx)
Save your working document, following the usual
If English is not your native language
Switch to your language, just like every Systems2win Excel template.
Open a Blank Sheet
When you're ready to start doing your own real work...
click the button to 'Open a Blank Sheet'
Excel Ribbon bar > Systems2win tab > Open a Blank Sheet
This blank sheet is where you will do your real work
(not on the Sample sheet)
Rename your new sheet
Quickly expand your fishbone template workspace
by simply unhiding pre-formatted rows and columns
The most important thing to know about the Systems2win fishbone template is that it is FAST to use.
In the heat of a group brainstorming session,
there is no time for complex or temperamental root cause analysis software.
With your Systems2win fishbone diagram template (RootCause.xlsx),
you can quickly copy similar cells, quickly
drag n drop, quickly move things around, quickly resize boxes —
and still have time to join the rest of your team for lunch.
Sample root cause analysis example
Download free trial root cause analysis template
Notice that you can easily connect multiple arrows in multiple directions
to depict causes that have multiple effects and effects that have multiple causes.
Because that's the way the real world works... right?
Things are rarely as linear and rigid as the thinking of most computer programmers.
How to copy shapes
Master the teachings found in:
- The training videos: How to use Excel as a drawing tool
- The written online training: Tips for using Microsoft Office Drawings.
- It's easier to copy & paste an entire cell (containing a text box and arrow)
rather than copying text boxes and arrows separately.
- Use your snap-to grid.
- You can quickly expand your workspace by simply unhiding pre-formatted rows and columns.
- Notice that you can easily connect multiple arrows in multiple directions to depict causes that have multiple effects and effects that have multiple causes. (Because that's the way the real world works... right?)
- Use colors to communicate!!!
- Use the stencil of shapes to highlight, circle, and call attention to important things.
- Use bursts and clouds to identify problems and solutions.
There two popular ways to
use your Root Cause Analysis template
You can either:
1) Use a projector
and make the changes where everyone can see them.
2) Use sticky notes on the wall
while an assistant transcribes the results into a more legible version that can then be used for easier editing and Affinity Grouping, and can be electronically archived and emailed to participants after the meeting.
Months or years from now — when a similar problem arises...
it's easy for your team leaders to retrieve
your electronically stored fishbone diagram and pick up where you left off.
Easily answer the question
"What were our thoughts when we last considered a similar problem?"
There two popular ways to do
You can either:
- Do all of your brainstorming right on the Root Cause Analysis template (RootCause.xlsx)
Once you know how to use Excel as a drawing tool,
then the learning curve for this root cause template takes only a few minutes
(because it is so similar to all of your other Systems2win Excel drawing tools for continuous improvement).
- Or do your initial brainstorming using your Brainstorming template (brainstorming.docx)
that makes it so easy to re-arrange your ideas into Affinity Groups
- Follow the instructions for brainstorming
- Continue asking "why" until root causes are found
- When you archive your results —
Unless there is some reason to clean it up, you can usually just archive it the messy "way it is".
That's the beauty of human beings. They will "get the picture" —
and your people can quickly move on toward actually solving your root problems.
"A relentless barrage of 'why’s' is the best way to prepare your mind
~ Shigeo Shingo
Huge bonus feature of your
Systems2win Fishbone Diagram template
You can even import data into text boxes on your fishbone template...
- From a Systems2win FMEA workbook
- From a Systems2win brainstorming template (Tip: copy from Word to Excel, then import)
- From any Excel worksheet containing any data that you want to quickly import into root cause text boxes
Instructions for how to Import Data to your Fishbone Template
Optional Step 1) Format the 'Import Master Textbox'
Use everything you know about how to format Excel shapes
to format the 'Import Master Textbox' with the desired fonts, colors, or patterns
that you want for the boxes that will contain your imported data.
(to visually differentiate your imported data from the new ideas that your team will soon generate)
Important: Do not move, copy, or delete the Import Master Text Box.
It should remain snapped to the upper left corner of the cell with the dotted border.
Tip: Even if you don't format the Import Master Textbox,
you can still identify imported text boxes by viewing their Alt Text.
Step 2) Import Data
In the Systems2win menu, select 'Import Data'
then browse to select the data range(s) to import
(which might be in another Excel workbook)
Bookmark = methods
Root Cause Analysis Tools
for additional root cause analysis methods
The classic common denominator for any approach to root cause problem solving
is to keep asking repeatedly "why"
until you unearth your root problems.
Thought Map Relations Diagram
Another approach to root cause analysis
is to use your Relations Diagram template (RelationsDiagram.xlsx)
While the Cause and Effect Fishbone Diagram is the right tool
to identify root causes of less complex, linear problems...
the Thought Map Relations Diagram is the right tool
to identify root causes of a complex, nonlinear problem.
8D Problem Solving
Your 8D Problem Solving template (8D.xlsx)
has yet another approach to root cause analysis.
The 8D Report provides a very thorough system for analyzing mission-critical problems
with root causes that are not immediately obvious —
and is especially effective for processes that span multiple organizations
and teams within the supply chain.
See your Systems2win online training for multiple problem solving approaches and problem-solving tools.
This fishbone diagram template for Root Cause Analysis
Own them all for one low price