How to use Cause and Effect Analysis to Easily Solve any Problem

Recent Blogs

Cause and effect analysis is a powerful technique to find the causes of a particular problem. Every business or organization will face some problems whether it’s a small problem or big so this technique will help to find the root cause of the problem.

In this blog,So, I’ll discuss about how to do cause and effect analysis and what are the steps involved in it

What’s in it for me?

Cause and effect analysis involves two major steps

Looking Backward

This involves all the past mistakes and problems and analyzing it. Analyzing where it came from and what’s it’s a solution so it will not be repeated in future

Looking Forward

So, This step involves about the future problems and analyzing it. In future what problems may occur so preparing in advance

When To Use Cause And Effect Analysis

Cause and effect analysis can be used in many ways but its primary purpose is to help you solve problems the problem is the effect whatever brings about that effect is the cause, the cause and effect technique will speed the identification of the true cause or causes so the corrective action can be taken

  • Root cause analysis
  • Problem exploration
  • Identifying possible data requirements
  • Developing objectives for solutions
  • Narrowing down causes 
  • Also, Identifying the root causes of any problem
  • Meanwhile, Relationship between the causes of a problem

What is a Cause And Effect Diagram

Cause And Effect Diagram

A cause and effect diagram also known as a fishbone diagram or Ishikawa diagram to identify all of the contributing root causes likely to be causing a problem. It is also a Fishbone diagram as it’s shape looks similar to a fish

It typically displays major generic categories such as people methods materials and equipment that cause an effect that’s often perceive as a problem it was first applied by a picture of the guy here as Carol Ishikawa in 1950 and it can use to systematically analyze cause and effect relationships and to identify potential root causes of a problem

First of all, define a problem that will be head of the fish then decide major causes and effects leading to a problem. These causes can be grouped in categories and sub-categories also like Machine, Material, Method and People


So, This category includes all the potential causes caused by the machine. So, It should capable to meet production requirements 

The Process doesn’t interrupt due to machine failure 


hence, This category includes all the potential causes caused by the material.

  • Is there any waste in material
  • The Quality standard is good or not 


Hence, This category includes all the potential causes contributed by human actions 


So, This category involves all the potential causes caused by the method 

  • Are the work standards adequate
  • Is the method safe

The other categories are 

8 Ms used in manufacturing

Material, Machine, Method, Man, Measurement, Milieu, Management and money, Maintenance 

So, 5s used in service industries 

Suppliers, Surrounding Systems, Scope of skills, Standard documentation

Hence, The 8 Ps used in marketing

Product, Price, Promotion, Place, People, Process, Packaging, Physical evidence

5 Steps To Do Cause And Effect Analysis

  1. Step 1: Define The Problem

    First, write in the quality problem on the right-hand side and draw an arrow pointing to it. The problem which needs analysis should be written

  2. Step 2: Decide Major Causes And Effects Leading To A Problem

    Determine the major categories for grouping possible causes the most popular examples of major causes are the four M’s machines materials manpower and methods you can use more or fewer major causes and you do not have to use any of the four M’s if they do not apply it is just an easy way to get started if the four M’s are not appropriate there are numerous other choices these are some examples the number of major causes can vary and can be more or less than four

  3. Step 3: Brainstorm And Analyze

    You’ve to gather a team and do a brainstorming activity. In your team 3-4 or more than that people will be discussing what the problem is and they will come with their idea so we can take the best idea. Brainstorm and analyze will be happening on problem and major causes detail. Brainstorming is a very important activity in cause and effect analysis tool
    Meanwhile, When brainstorming it is important to remember that Clues may surround us but a less our mental blindfold is removed we may miss seeing or thinking of those causes that are important as the ideas are written down. The chart should not look like the top diagram.
    Also, The purpose of the cause-and-effect chart is to group like ideas together with a big help to the leader is for a member.

  4. Step 4: Categorize Causes 

    Find possible causes leading to a problem. You’ve to see what exact cause is leading to a problem. You’ve to continue till you’ve found the root cause of the problem

  5. Step 5: Action Plan

    After you have analyzed the problem and find its causes, the last step is to develop an action plan so that you would not repeat the same mistake again

5 Why Analysis

Why-Why analysis is used for root cause identification. Why-Why analysis is also known as 5 why analysis in which we ask why for the 5 times so that we get to know about the root cause of a problem. Root cause means the cause of a problem and by eliminating it we will not repeat the same mistake again. 

Root cause analysis in 5 why technique is used by many industries and businesses. It’s not necessary in why-why analysis that we should ask why for only 5 times for finding out the root cause.
Sometimes the root cause can be found on the 3rd, 4th why or it can go up to 6th,7th or more. It’s not a hard and fast rule that we will find the root cause at the 5th why. 

Minimum at 3rd why the root cause can be found and if it’s less than 3rd then it’s the indication that we have not done the why-why analysis properly. Why-Why analysis can be used in any field like our own personal problem, business, home, office work or anything.

Example: Ac is not working

Why? 1. A.C does not work!

Why? 2. The Power supply does not Reach! 

Why? 3. The Wire is cut off! 

Why? 4. Torn out by mouse! 

Why? 5. Pocket for mouse entrance!

5 Why Analysis

So we have found that the root cause was the pocket from where the mouse was entering and we will take the corrective actions. In why-why analysis it’s not necessary that we should take actions on the last why. We can take actions on above the why also.


  • Focus on the causes of the problem instead of symptoms
  • Focus on the problem instead of the symptom
  • Encourage each person of the team to participate in the brainstorming activity
  • Focus on one cause and effect of a problem at a time
  • In five why technique keep asking why until you get to the root cause


Cause and effect analysis is one of the powerful tools to solve any problem whether it’s personal or business-related. By doing a brainstorming activity you’ll find the root cause of the problem so use it for root cause analysis

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between cause and effect?

The Cause can be anything or a person which makes something happen while the effect is the result of human action or any other cause

2. Is cause and effect analysis effective?

Cause and effect diagram is an effective way of exploring a problem or opportunity

3. When to use cause and effect analysis technique?

Cause and effect analysis should be used when you’ve to find the root causes of a problem

4. What is the purpose of a cause and effect diagram?

The purpose of the cause and effect diagram is to identify the possible cause affecting or
creating a problem.

5. Is there any alternate tool for fishbone diagram?

Yes there is an alternate tool for fishbone diagram and that is why-why analysis or 5 why technique which involves asking why for the 5 times till you’ve found the root cause of a problem

Tags :
cause,Cause and Effect,Cause and Effect Analysis,effect
Share This :

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *