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Root Cause Analysis Template

Root Cause Analysis Template
Root cause analysis, or RCA is a process by which one can get to the root cause of the problem. It aims to look at the issue with deeper thought and analysis, so that a permanent solution is achieved.
Rahul Pandita
Root cause analysis is often used in large scaled organizations to know the root cause of a problem. As, these large organizations have thousands of employees, services etc. it becomes difficult to know what exactly is going wrong. It helps organizations to look at a problem in a better way than adopting a knee-jerk attitude to every problem. Let us take a look at some of the benefits of root cause analysis.

  • Root cause analysis can help an organization in technical analysis of many problems. Timely observation can save the organization from potentially catastrophic failures.
  • Rather than being content with a temporary solution, it focuses on a permanent solution to a problem. For example, the auditors are responsible for checking the errors made by the employees, but if employees repeat the same mistakes again and again, a lot of time and effort would be wasted. Instead, the auditors can get to the reason that is making the employees commit that mistake and look for ways of addressing it.
  • This analysis has shown many organizations that they have still got a long way to go before they can claim that every department in their organization is working in a structured and efficient way. It ensures that the shortcomings are addressed while they are in their initial stages rather than letting them snowball into major issues.
  • If out of ten thousand employees in an organization, a group of 10 employees is responsible for a particular problem, the analysis becomes tedious and the levels of detail that a root cause analysis demands would be exhaustive.
  • It can be beneficial only if the problem has a unique origin source. There are a lot of factors that are interconnected to a problem, so in these scenarios, its use becomes a bit difficult.
  • It can reflect poorly on a specific department and make the employees feel as if they are the source of all the problems of the organization. This may affect the environment of your workplace.
Sample Template

Description of the Incident
This section is used to report the incident in its original form, by using facts and avoiding assumptions.

"Around 5,600 customers have reported that the mobile phones that they order from the contact center are sent to the wrong addresses. Customers claim that they specifically tell the customer service agents that they are at work on weekdays and would want the packages to be delivered at their workplace as there would be no one at home to receive it."

Modus Operandi
Use this section to write down the methods you are going to employ to conduct the investigation. These can be interviews, fishbone diagrams, 5 Why's etc.

For example, the team can call a select group of affected customers and ask for their feedback. It can thus listen to the recordings available in the contact center to know exactly what transpired between the agent and the customer. It can also have a word with some agents to understand any difficulties they face in their work.

Use this section to describe the findings of your investigation.

An example can be, "the investigation revealed that the agents are very courteous with the costumers and do their level best to ensure that customers have a great customer experience. However, it has been realized that after dealing with customers for the most part of the day, the agents feel fatigued and exhausted in the last couple of hours. This makes them commit some errors and one of the most common errors is not updating the workplace address that the customer has provided them with.

Also, the tool that the agents are using to update the delivery address is not very responsive and agents need to save the data in the notepads, so that they can update it later. Many times, due to heavy call flow, the agents forget to update the address from the notepad to the customer's details page. This results in the mobile phones being dispatched to the billing address of the customer and as there is no one there to sign for it, it is eventually returned to the warehouse. This whole process has led to a loss in labor, capital and time, besides marring the reputation of the organization.

This section should be used to provide the organization with some ideas and recommendations about how to work on the shortcomings.

In this scenario, the recommendation can be, "the members of the team agree with the fact that sometimes the job of the customer service agents becomes too strenuous and they become vulnerable to commit mistakes. So, it is recommended that the agents been given a short break in the last segment of the day so that they can refresh themselves and speak to customers with enthusiasm and energy. Also, it is recommended that the software be updated so that the data is saved on a real-time basis.

Compiled by:

(Name and signature of each member)

Many thinkers believe that a root cause analysis is often inconclusive as any single cause of an issue is interconnected with many other causes. But, a lot of organizations are using various root cause analysis to understand the basic cause and develop strategies accordingly.