Problem Tree Analysis

This analysis tool helps the project team get a quick glance of how a range of complex issues contributes toward a problem and how this problem branches out into a set of consequences.

  • Easy to use, just fill-in the blanks
  • Flexible, add or delete content
  • Illustrative example included
  • Available – Instant download



A problem tree analysis is a pictorial representation of a problem, its causes and its consequences. Both causes and consequences are fitted into the diagram on a hierarchical preference basis.

Like any other problem analysis technique, this technique requires a collaborative effort from the entire project team.
1. Begin with a brainstorming session to identify the major problems affecting the project. For each problem, you will have to carry out a separate problem tree analysis.
2. Discuss with the team the possible causes that can be held responsible for the problem situation. From this, list and identify the ones that have a direct relationship with the problem.
3. When you are done with the causes, move on to the consequences.

Advantages of a problem tree analysis

– Provides in-depth information on the problem in question, leading to a better understanding of all the interconnected issues, and providing a solid platform for strategizing and initiating problem solving measures.

– The analysis helps closely examine the problem by dissecting it into manageable pieces and establishing links between these pieces. With a clear idea of how and how much each cause contributes toward the problem and what and how severe will be the consequences, the project team is in a better capacity to organize and prioritize the remedial actions.

– The shared technique, used to generate information during a problem tree analysis, ensures that every aspect of the problem is taken into consideration, irrespective of its relative importance. This means the chances of the problem solving plan falling back are nearly negligible.

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