Items to include on a root-cause analysis chart, also known as a cause map, are the initial problem that brought about the analysis, the various causes that lead to the issue and the final contributing factor to the matter, which is the root cause. The chart may also include evidence for the different causes as well as explanations or side notes clarifying certain points within the chart.
The process of root cause analysis involves identifying a current issue or problem and treating it as a symptom of a larger matter. It also involves investigating the reasons why the problem took place to discover the actual source of the situation, also known as the root cause. This process features the use of a flow chart to help illustrate the ways in which the causes affect each other as well as to track the entire network of issues. These charts begin with a section for the main problem under analysis, which can include special color or shape coding to signify it as such.
Moving out to the right of the problem are one or more sections that represent the causes. If the chart includes multiple causes, the creator needs to determine if they have any direct connection. If they do, they should extend further to the right in the order of relation. If they do not, they should branch out and hold the same positions in the vertical order.