Prep Time:
Time to run:
30 min

Problem tree analysis template

A way of exploring the causes and effects of a particular issue

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WHEN YOU FIRST glance at a tree in a forest, you rarely focus on its distinct parts. It’s uncommon to consider the invisible roots that sustain it, or spend time scrutinizing every limb and leaf. The same is often true of the design problems you are asked to address; you grasp the general situation but don’t immediately separate out the problem from its causes and effects. If you study the root of a problem and recognize its branching effects, you set the conditions for effectively framing the issues and finding meaningful solutions.

Problem Tree Analysis provides a template for mapping causes and effects in order to better understand the chain of connected circumstances that led to the current situation. Using the tree as a metaphor, you separate the causes (roots) from the effects (branches) of a central issue (trunk). It provides a structured way for your team to reveal concerns, discern causes from symptoms, and potentially frame problem statements in a new and better way.

How to create a Problem tree analysis template

Problem tree analysis template frequently asked questions

LUMA Institute

Template by LUMA Institute


LUMA offers acclaimed in-person training, custom innovation programs, and a unique digital platform (LUMA Workplace), used by innovators in over 70 countries. Leading organizations around the globe rely on the LUMA System of Innovation — a practical, flexible, and scalable approach to Human-Centered Design.