Problem analysis template - Mind Map

Use this template

Researching and describing a problem is the foundation for solving it. This mind map takes you through a range of techniques for constructively and comprehensively describing a problem, before searching for solutions.

Keywords: problem-solving, communication, researching problems, describing problems

Problem analysis template

Problem analysis template

Enter your problem's name and categorize it, whether you want to sort something out, create or just change something. Identify all the information you know as well as the one you don't know about it: include measurements, statistics, surveys or any known data together with uncertain or missing information, anything that will help you frame the entire difficulty.

Specify the suppositions you make and think of results in case your presumptions are not valid. Give at least as much importance to the final outcome of a problem, as to the problem state itself.

Try out the impersonation technique and be the problem as if it were a person. Once you do this, observe if anything changes, how things are perceived from this perspective, what are the opportunities and obstacles from this approach?

Apply the problem analysis method 'Six serving men' and answer openly to each of the six essential questions, both positive and negative to better track the triggers and the situations when the problem manifests itself.

The problem description toolbox goes hand in hand with the 5 Whys approach, so include it in the problem's final assessment and go to the root cause of the original issue.

Where to next?

Where to next?

When you have a comprehensive description of the problem, you can move towards finding solutions.

Consider brainstorming as a next step or Share the mind map with your colleagues.

Problem Name

Name the problem

Identify the problem or issue in a few words and press Enter. This will become the title of your map.

Be the problem


Add a statement describing the problem as if it were a person.


What is it like?

What is 'Problem Name' like?

For example, how would the problem behave at a wedding, at a concert, in a supermarket, or underwater?

Six serving men

Who not?

Who does not cause 'Problem Name'?

Who causes 'Problem Name'?

Where not?

Where does 'Problem Name' not happen?

Where does 'Problem Name' happen?

How not?

How does 'Problem Name' not happen?

How does 'Problem Name' happen?

When not?

When does 'Problem Name' not happen?

When does 'Problem Name' happen?

Why not?

Why is 'Problem Name' not a problem?

Why is 'Problem Name' a problem?

What not?

What does not cause 'Problem Name'?

What causes 'Problem Name'?

Impact analysis


Who is affected?

Type in a name or role of someone who is affected by 'Problem Name'


How is Person affected by 'Problem Name'?

Rate the impact by clicking an icon:

High impact - significant consequences

Medium impact - annoying but tolerable

Low impact - negligible effect

Root cause analysis

Root Cause analysis

For analytical problems, root cause analysis can help to unravel indirect causes of problems, leading to more effective solutions. One way to do this is to keep asking 'Why?' down to five levels, to understand the reasons behind the reasons.


Why does 'Problem Name' happen?

Enter a reason that 'Problem Name' happens.

Why does 'Cause' happen?

Enter a reason that 'Cause' happens.
(Level 2 of 5)

Why does 'Cause' happen?

Enter a reason that 'Cause' happens.
(Level 3 of 5)

Why does 'Cause' happen?

Enter a reason that 'Cause' happens.
(Level 4 of 5)

Why does 'Cause' happen?

Enter a reason that 'Cause' happens.
(Level 5 of 5)

Solution criteria


Add solution criteria

Make sure you consider:

What assumptions are you making?


Add an assumption

Identify an assumption you are making in both the description of the problem and the logical solution.

What don't you know?


Add an unknown factor

Identify information or data that is not known or not reliable, and what you can do to find it. Think about:

What do you know?


Add a piece of data

Add data or a reference to the problem. Think about:

Problem type

Describe the problem type

Select the problem type or enter your own description.

Create something newChange somethingFix something broken

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