Root Cause Analysis – RCA

Game 1: Root Cause Puzzle Challenge

Game Description: The Root Cause Puzzle Challenge is an interactive game designed to test participants’ understanding of differentiating between symptoms and root causes in the context of root cause analysis. Participants will engage in a puzzle-solving activity where they must identify and match the root causes with their corresponding symptoms.

Tools and Materials:

  • Root cause and symptom cards: Prepare a set of cards with various symptoms and corresponding root causes. Each symptom card should have a corresponding root cause card.


  1. Create a set of root cause cards and symptom cards based on real or hypothetical scenarios relevant to the course content.
  2. Ensure that each symptom card has a corresponding root cause card and vice versa.
  3. Shuffle the cards and ensure they are well-mixed.

Game Steps:

  1. Introduce the game to the participants, explaining that it aims to test their ability to distinguish between symptoms and root causes.
  2. Divide participants into small teams or pairs, depending on the number of participants.
  3. Distribute the shuffled root cause and symptom cards among the teams or pairs.
  4. Instruct the participants to work together to match the symptom cards with their corresponding root cause cards.
  5. Set a time limit for completing the puzzle challenge.
  6. Encourage participants to discuss and debate their choices, collaborating to identify the correct matches.
  7. After the time limit, ask each team or pair to present their matches and provide a brief explanation of their reasoning.
  8. Review the correct matches as a group and facilitate a discussion to clarify any misconceptions or questions.

Purpose of the Game:

  • Test participants’ understanding of distinguishing between symptoms and root causes.
  • Reinforce the importance of correctly identifying root causes in root cause analysis.
  • Encourage teamwork, collaboration, and critical thinking among participants.
  • Provide a hands-on and engaging activity to enhance learning and retention of key concepts related to root cause analysis.


Here are some examples of symptoms and corresponding root causes that can be used on the cards for the Root Cause Puzzle Challenge:


  1. Decreased productivity in a specific department
  2. High customer complaint rates
  3. Equipment breakdowns
  4. Delays in project completion
  5. Inaccurate financial reporting
  6. Excessive employee turnover
  7. Quality issues in product/service delivery
  8. Safety incidents in the workplace
  9. Low employee morale
  10. Declining sales revenue

Root Causes:

  1. Lack of training and development opportunities
  2. Inadequate communication channels
  3. Insufficient maintenance and equipment upkeep
  4. Poor project planning and scheduling
  5. Inadequate data entry and record-keeping practices
  6. Ineffective recruitment and onboarding processes
  7. Lack of quality control measures
  8. Inadequate safety protocols and training
  9. Absence of employee recognition and rewards
  10. Changing market trends and competition

These examples can serve as a starting point for creating the root cause and symptom cards. You can tailor them to specific industry or organizational scenarios relevant to the participants’ context. Additionally, feel free to add more symptoms and root causes based on the specific focus of your course or the needs of your participants.


Game 2: Data Collection Scavenger Hunt

Game Description: The Data Collection Scavenger Hunt is an interactive game that challenges participants to collect specific data related to a given scenario. Participants will be divided into teams and compete against each other to gather the required information using effective data collection methods and techniques.

Tools and Materials:

  • Scenario descriptions: Prepare a set of scenario descriptions that outline the data participants need to collect. Each scenario should include specific details and data requirements.
  • Data collection tools: Provide participants with tools such as notepads, pens, cameras, or smartphones for collecting data.
  • Timer or stopwatch: Use a timer or stopwatch to set a time limit for the scavenger hunt.


  1. Create scenario descriptions, ensuring they align with the course content and learning objectives.
  2. Determine the number of teams based on the number of participants and the size of the playing area.
  3. Prepare the necessary materials, including scenario descriptions and data collection tools.

Game Steps:

  1. Introduce the game to the participants, explaining that they will be engaging in a scavenger hunt to collect specific data related to given scenarios.
  2. Divide participants into teams, ensuring each team has an equal number of members.
  3. Distribute the scenario descriptions to each team, providing clear instructions and data requirements.
  4. Set a time limit for the scavenger hunt and inform the teams about the duration.
  5. Instruct the teams to work together to collect the required data using effective data collection methods and techniques.
  6. Encourage teams to strategize, delegate tasks, and collaborate efficiently to maximize their data collection efforts.
  7. Monitor the teams’ progress during the scavenger hunt, providing guidance or clarification if needed.
  8. Once the time limit is reached, gather all teams together and review the collected data.
  9. Evaluate the accuracy and completeness of the data collected by each team based on the scenario requirements.
  10. Announce the winning team based on their successful data collection efforts and adherence to the given instructions.

Purpose of the Game:

  • Reinforce the importance of effective data collection methods and techniques in root cause analysis.
  • Promote teamwork, collaboration, and communication among participants.
  • Enhance participants’ practical skills in collecting relevant and accurate data.
  • Provide a dynamic and engaging activity to apply knowledge and skills learned in the course.
  • Foster a competitive and fun learning environment that encourages active participation and problem-solving.

Scenario Descriptions for the Data Collection Scavenger Hunt:

Scenario 1: You are a quality control team tasked with assessing product defects. Your goal is to collect data on the number of defective units produced in the past month, categorizing them by type of defect (e.g., manufacturing, design, packaging). Take photographs of the defects and record any relevant observations.

Scenario 2: As part of a customer satisfaction analysis, your team needs to gather data on customer feedback. Visit the company’s customer service center and collect information on the number of customer complaints received in the last week. Additionally, document the nature of the complaints and any common patterns identified.

Scenario 3: Your team is responsible for analyzing employee engagement levels. Collect data on employee satisfaction by conducting anonymous surveys. Ask employees to rate their level of satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 5, and include open-ended questions to gather qualitative feedback on areas for improvement.

Scenario 4: To assess process efficiency, your team must collect data on production cycle times. Visit the production floor and record the time taken for each step of the process. Identify any bottlenecks or delays and document them with timestamped notes or photographs.

Scenario 5: As part of a market research project, your team needs to gather data on competitor pricing. Visit various retail stores or websites and record the prices of similar products offered by competitors. Document any promotions or discounts available.

These scenario descriptions provide specific data requirements that participants need to collect during the scavenger hunt. Adjust the scenarios according to the specific focus or industry of your course, ensuring they align with the learning objectives and provide opportunities for participants to practice effective data collection techniques.