Root Cause Analysis Templates and Example Problems

These root cause analysis (RCA) templates and example problems are provided to inspire RCA program champions and facilitators' ability to thoroughly pinpoint causes, organize them in a logical fashion, and identify effective solutions.  The following examples are based on real situations and some have been altered slightly to protect confidentiality and anonymity. 


Featured Example - Flint Water Crisis

Flint Water Crisis Example Problem

This compelling report shows the interaction of many different causes, including public policy, negligence, and poor infrastructure, which resulted in a disturbing health concern. See how this situation can be prevented in the future with a wide variety of creative solutions.

Download the Flint RCA Report



Example Root Cause Analysis Videos

RCA Example - Near Miss

Near Miss, Potential Explosion
PDF  |  Video

RCA Example - Hubble Space Telescope

Hubble Space Telescope
PDF  |  Video

RCA Example - Dale Earnhardt Crash

Dale Earnhardt NASCAR
PDF  |  Video


All Root Cause Analysis Examples

Safety Examples

  PDF icon Flint Water Crisis
  PDF icon Dust Explosion
  PDF icon Near Miss Asphalt Drop
  PDF icon Dale Earnhardt Fatal NASCAR Crash - Watch the video
  PDF icon Near Miss Risk of Explosion - Watch the video

Quality Examples

  PDF icon Hubble Space Telescope - Watch the video
  PDF icon Customer Perception of Quality Problem
  PDF icon Pipeline weld non-conformance 

Reliability Examples

  PDF icon Unplanned downtime, lost profit: Slurry Pump Seal Leakage
  PDF icon Customer Perception of Quality Problem
  PDF icon Manufacturing Non-Conformance

IT Examples

  PDF icon Online Learning Course Completion Status Not Saved
  PDF icon Loss of Productivity - Virus Software
  PDF icon IT - Customer Complaints
  PDF icon Project Management: Delivered Late, Over Budget, Profit Lost
  PDF icon Shipments Missed - Supply Chain Problems

Production Examples

  PDF icon Unplanned Shutdown of Plastics Production Line
  PDF  Line Down - Vacuum Pump Smoking

Environmental Examples

  PDF icon Flint Water Crisis
  PDF icon Multiple Leaks in Newly Installed Pipeline
  PDF icon Unplanned downtime, lost profit: Slurry Pump Seal Leakage 
  PDF icon Mass Fish & Turtle Die-Off in Peconic River

Healthcare Examples

  PDF icon Clinical Healthcare
  PDF icon Healthcare Crisis
  PDF icon Cylinder Pulled Into MRI 

Contact us if you would like to see an example problem in your industry or if you have a unique problem that you would like to share.