Best Root Cause Analysis software...you didn't know you had
Most people think of Excel software as only an application for creating spreadsheets, but it's an excellent tool for capturing each element of a complete root cause analysis. By changing the way details are documented, a facilitator can improve the entire investigation process. The drawing tools are simple, flexible and Excel is probably already on your computer. Learn to take advantage of Excel's capabilities to change the way you investigate and prevent problems within your company.
Software for the Cause Mapping template is available for Excel 2003 and Excel 2007-2010. There are several different worksheets within the Cause Mapping template that organize each element of the root cause analysis. We've put together summary pages for the 16 best tips using the drawing tool in Excel 2003
and Excel 2007-2010
Learn more about using Excel 2007 & 2010 with our short, single topic videos. Each video (approximately a minute in length) will show you how to perform a new function with Microsoft Excel 2007 & 2010. Start improving your Excel skills today!
Register today to reserve your seat in one of our Free LIVE Webinars. Each session is approximately 45 minutes and packed full of useful information and tips for facilitating better investigations.
Advantages of using Microsoft Excel
1. No additional software to buy
Most people already have Excel software on their computers. Even Apple users typically have Excel. It can be used right now by simply opening the drawing tool and downloading our Cause Mapping template. Use the button at the top of this page.
2. Email and share files easily
Because Microsoft Excel is so widely used, Cause Map files in Excel can easily be emailed to anyone else in the organization.
3. Simple to use - once you know where the tools are
The drawing tools within Excel are intuitive. Capturing a cause-and-effect relationship within Excel requires only a box and a connector. Boxes for causes, evidence and solutions are already built within the Cause Mapping template. Users only have to copy an existing box to add detail.
A cause-and-effect analysis can be built very quickly using the Cause Mapping template (see video clip). When a facilitator learns both the shortcuts within Excel and the Cause Mapping facilitation method, documenting the details a problem can be done very quickly. A person's ability to facilitate an effective investigation is a valuable career skill.
5. Worksheets organize the entire investigation - All information is collected in one Excel file
The multiple worksheets with an Excel workbook allow each element of a comprehensive investigation to be captured on its own worksheet. A table of contents in the beginning of the Cause Mapping template organizes the entire investigation.
6. Extremely flexible (unlimited capability)
The drawing tools in Excel and the structure of the workbook allow people an incredible amount of flexibility. There are literally an unlimited number of ways to explain the details of an incident using the Excel tools.
7. Manages photos easily
Photos can be added directly into Excel which also has the ability to crop and size the pictures. Large file size photos can be compressed within Excel and labels can be placed directly on the photos. Typically people store photos in a separate folder. Excel allows all photos to be organized within the same Excel file.
8. Process Maps can be documented in the same file
Action items from an investigation are implemented within the work processes upstream of the problem. A detailed Process Map can be captured within the same Cause Mapping workbook. It makes it easy to collect information in one place.
9. Calculation Capability of Excel
All of Excel's spreadsheet functions are still available in the Cause Mapping workbook. Data files, pivot tables and charts can be built within the Cause Mapping template to provide a more complete investigation.
10. Excel is compatible with other platforms
An Excel file can be attached to a record within SAP, an Oracle database or other enterprise wide software systems. The Cause Mapping template also works well with all web conferencing tools such as Go To Meeting, WebEx, Sametime, NetMeeting, etc.
Attend a workshop to learn how to facilitate and document both problems and proceses using the Excel template.