Vault QMS supports the ability for a user to perform and document a 5 Whys root cause analysis of a Quality Event or Complaint.

A 5 Whys analysis is a common cause-effect technique used to perform root cause analysis. The general approach is to start with your problem statement and ask “why” after each answer, forming the basis of the new “why” until you clearly identify the root cause.

Configuration Overview

To use root cause analysis, such as a 5 Whys analysis, you must perform the following setup steps:

  • Add the Related Root Cause Analysis Item object field to the Root Cause object page layout.
  • Add the Root Cause Analysis Tool section to the Root Cause Analysis object page layout.
  • Add a Root Cause Analysis and a Root Cause related object section to the page layout of any object for which you want to perform root cause analyses, for example, Quality Event object type page layouts.
  • Configure the Root Cause Analysis Lifecycle according to your organization processes. Optionally, you can create one or more workflows to progress the analysis through the lifecycle.

Root Cause Analysis Tool

Add this section to the Root Cause Analysis object page layout to make it visible to users. The special Root Cause Analysis Tool section allows users to perform 5 Whys analyses in a friendly interface, directly from a Root Cause Analysis object record details page.

Root Cause Analysis Lifecycle

Configure your Root Cause Analysis Lifecycle to fit your business processes. When a Root Cause Analysis record enters the Completed lifecycle state type, Vault automatically creates Root Cause records for each root cause identified in the Root Cause Analysis Tool. This process supports Root Cause objects that have object types enabled,and if so, users select the object type of the created Root Cause records during their analysis.

Field Data Transfer

During automated Root Cause creation, Vault transfers Root Cause Analysis Item field data to resulting Root Cause records. Any required standard or custom fields which share the same Name will have their data carried over to the resulting Root Causes. This data transfer does not support Formula or Lookup fields, and fields of these types will not appear in the tool, however they may be configured on the Root Cause Analysis Item object, as needed.


The following limitation applies to the root cause analysis feature:

Root cause analysis supports static VQL constraints on object reference fields on the Root Cause or Root Cause Analysis Item objects. If VQL constraints apply to a field on the Root Cause object, they do not need to be added to the Root Cause Analysis Item object reference field, and adding a constraint to the Root Cause Analysis Item field that is different than the constraint on the Root Cause reference field may result in an error.

To allow users to create and perform a 5 Whys analysis, update or create the appropriate permission sets to provide, at a minimum:

  • Read, Create, and Edit permissions for the Root Cause Analysis object and 5 Whys analysis object type
  • Read permissions to the Root Cause Analysis Item object and Why object type
  • View permissions on the Root Cause Analysis Tool object control within the Root Cause Analysis object permission settings