Category: Summit

2018 TapRooT® Global Summit Twitter Highlights

March 9th, 2018 by

First, I would like to start off by thanking everyone who attended the Summit this year. It was a great success, and we here at System Improvements received lots of positive feedback from everybody. Without our amazing clients, instructors, and employees we wouldn’t be here today so thank you! Because of you, we get to be in the business of saving peoples lives.

Okay, I am finished with the mushy stuff… Let us get on with the fun photos!

The Twitter Contest was a huge success. We received tons of photos, quotes, and videos. So many in fact there is no way I could include every tweet. If I did the post would be 5,000 pages long!

Below are just a few of my favorite tweets I saw through out the week. If you would like me to generate more posts with more of my favorite tweets please leave it in a comment below, or email me at


Keeping Your Equipment Reliability Team Sharp

March 7th, 2018 by

study, read, reliability, troubleshoot








We have just completed our annual Global TapRooT® Summit, and we all walked away with some terrific ideas to bring back to our companies. Many people think the Summit is only for our customers to improve their processes, but I ALWAYS come away with new ideas for myself.

Heinz Bloch was one of our speakers this year.  He had 2 excellent sessions on how equipment reliability is tied directly to your company’s bottom line.  As always, he had some great insights into how a company can integrate reliability techniques into their business model for real, measurable savings.

One of his observations is that, as technology progresses, it is imperative that your reliability and maintenance team  keep up-to-date on the current best practices and technologies.  It is too easy to assume your excellent reliability and maintenance engineers will just magically remain top-notch.  His suggestion (almost a demand!) was to ensure we give our team the time and motivation to actually READ about their craft.  Your team should be allocating some amount of time EVERY DAY to reading professional journals and articles to see what is happening outside their own company boundaries.

  • Are you using the very best lubricant?
  • What new bearing materials are available for your applications?
  • How much can we save by investing in slightly more expensive, but much more efficient technology?
  • What are our competitors using for condition-based maintenance?

As managers, we should be giving our team both the time and the incentive to read these journals and articles.  Trust me, your competition is doing this; don’t be left behind!

Highlights from the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit

March 5th, 2018 by

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Coming up with a highlight reel from the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit is almost impossible. I always think that the Summit just can’t get any better and then we outdo ourselves planning the next one. Here are some highlights followed by the top six items attendees shared that they needed to do better at their facilities.

First, a video to share the experience…

By the way, the next Global TapRooT® Summit is scheduled for March 11-15, 2019, in Houston (Montgomery, TX) at the La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa (picture below).

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Now for my impressions of the highlights …

First, the Keynote Speakers were outstanding.

We started with Dr. Carol Gunn who gave an inspiring talk about medical errors and how to encourage error reporting and effective investigations. Carol is a TapRooT® User and medical doctor … she knows what she is talking about.

Next, we had an UNBELIEVABLE talk by Boaz Rauchwerger who told us all to take a positive approach to improvement.

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The final keynote on Wednesday was Inky Johnson. How can I explain how he inspired us? There was a long line of people who just came up to thank Inky and get their picture taken with him. If you don’t know Inky’s story. watch it below for motivation to accomplish more in life.


After Inky’s keynote, Carl Dixon entertained us at the Summit Reception. Here I am singing Proud Mary with him…


On Thursday, I was the opening keynote and concluded with a TapRooT® Implementation Gap Analysis. People shared where they needed to improve their TapRooT® implementation. What were the top 6 items they needed to do better?

  1. Use advanced root cause analysis (TapRooT®) for both reactive and proactive investigations.
  2. Use an investigation rewards program more effectively.
  3. Guide their improvement programs through management’s use of performance measures and advanced trending techniques.
  4. Proactive improvement that drives improvement success (tie with 5).
  5. Develop a leadership succession plan.
  6. Communicate improvement accomplishments successfully.

These items will help us plan sessions for next year’s Summit.

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Vincent Phipps closed out the day with his discussion of the four personality types and how to use them to communicate more effectively.

On Friday we started with the session that helped attendees develop plans to fill their program gaps (started with the gap analysis performed on Thursday).

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Then, I (Mark Paradies) interviewed Mike Williams about his experiences when the Deepwater Horizon experienced a blowout, explosion(s), and fire. Wow! What an experience. People were sitting on the edge of their seats as Mike answered my questions and all the questions from the Summit participants. We actually ran over the finish time by 15 minutes as people asked interesting questions. The lessons learned from this one session about emergency response, investigations, and safety were … UNBELIEVABLE! I learned several things about the accident that I didn’t know from the various reports (CSB, Presidential Commission, BP, or Coast Guard) that added to my understanding of the Causal Factors and root causes. There was also an important lesson for investigators about empathy and PTSD after a major accident.

And that’s just a summary of the Keynote Speakers impact. There were also some great Best Practice Sharing sessions and speakers. My favorite was the TapRooT® Users Share Best Practices Session (soon, you will be seeing videos from this session to share some of the best practices).

Here are what some TapRooT® Users had to say about their 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit experience…


What a Summit! Hope to see you in Houston in 2019!

Great Courses! Getting Ready for the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit…

February 26th, 2018 by

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There are over a hundred people attending various TapRooT® Courses in Knoxville on Monday and Tuesday before the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit that starts on Wednesday.

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There people taking the 2-Day TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Training …

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and several advanced courses teaching trending, software, interviewing, human factors, safety culture, Equifactor®, and risk management.

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And the set-up is progressing for Wednesday’s 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit General Session kick-off. Looking forward to seeing you there!
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2018 Global TapRoot® Summit: Presentations for Best Practice Sessions 1 – 8

February 23rd, 2018 by

TapRooT® Summit week is February 26 to March 2, 2018.

Presentations received from speakers will be uploaded to this post as they are received. If the presentation you are looking for is not available, check back later. If you have any questions, please email Anne.

Welcome Presentation
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
8:00 am – 9:00 am


Ready, Set, Go!
– Instructors: System Improvements Staff

View Presentation


Best Practice Session 1
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
10:30 am – 12:00 pm


TapRooT® Users Share Best Practices
– Instructors: Linda Unger, Michelle Wishoun, & Benna Dortch

Live session – No presentation will be made available for this session.


How to Replace 5 Whys with TapRooT® for Better Results
– Instructors: Per Ohstrom

View Presentation


The TapRooT® Software Sandbox
– Instructors: Dan Verlinde & Angie Comer

Presentation not yet available.


Best Practice Session 2
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm


Defining Better Causal Factors
– Instructors: Ken Turnbull

Presentation not yet available.


Top 5 Reasons for Human Error & How to Stop Them
– Instructors: Mark Paradies

View Presentation


Making Audits an Integral Part of a Proactive Improvement Program
– Instructors: John Boyle

View Presentation


Improving Patient Safety: Gaining, a Win From a Loss
– Instructors: Michele Lindsay

View Presentation


Improving Safety Culture Through Measuring and Grading Investigations
– Instructors: Jack Frost

Presentation not yet available.


Improve People Skills and Become More Productive
– Instructors: Boaz Rauchwerger

View Presentation


Best Practice Session 3
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
2:45 pm – 3:45 pm


Stop Daily Goofs for Good
– Instructors: Kevin McManus

Presentation not yet available.


Improving Maintenance Troubleshooting with Equifactor® Equipment
– Instructors: Ken Reed

View Presentation



Improving Sentinel Event Investigations
– Instructors: Ken Turnbull

View Presentation


Making Sense of Complex Investigations
– Instructors: Pat Fortune

Presentation not yet available.


What is New in the TapRooT® Software
– Instructors: Dan Verlinde

Presentation not yet available.


TapRooT®: The One Stop Solution to Managing Risk
– Instructors: Nancy Hitchins

View Presentation


Morning Keynote Presentation
Thursday, March 1, 2018
9:00 am – 10:00 am


How Good Is Your TapRooT® Implementation
– Instructors: Mark Paradies

View Presentation


Best Practice Session 4
Thursday, March 1, 2018
10:15 am – 11:45 am


TapRooT® Certified Instructor Re-certification Workshop
– Instructors: Ken Reed, Linda Unger, & Michelle Wishoun

Materials will be provided to licensed clients at the session. 


Multiple Failures Without Learning
– Instructors: Chris Vallee & Brian Tink

View Presentation


The Psychology of Failing Fixes
– Instructors: Kevin McManus

Presentation not yet available.


Building Your Software Incident Report
– Instructors: Dan Verlinde & Ralph Brickey

Presentation not yet available.


Best Practice Session 5
Thursday, March 1, 2018
12:45 pm – 1:35 pm


Supporting Grid Reliability with Low-to-Medium Risk TapRooT® Investigations
– Instructors: Jeff Hubbartt

View Presentation.


The Business End of Equipment Reliability, Part I
– Instructors: Heinz Bloch

Presentation not yet available.


Top 7 Secrets of a Great Investigation Interview
– Instructors: Barb Carr

View Presentation


Clarifying Common Misuses of Safety Risk Language
– Instructors: Jim Whiting

View Presentation


Best Practice Session 6
Thursday, March 1, 2018
1:50 pm – 2:40 pm


Taking Your Investigation Communication Skills to a Dynamic New Level
– Instructors: Vincent Phipps

More information about professional training by Vincent.



The Business End of Equipment Reliability, Part II
– Instructors: Heinz Bloch

Presentation not yet available.


Deep Dive into the Procedures Basic Cause Category
– Instructors: Ralph Brickey

View Presentation


What is a Trend and How Can You Find Trends in the TapRooT® Data?
– Instructors: Chris Vallee

View Presentation


Best Practice Session 7
Thursday, March 1, 2018
2:55 pm – 3:45 pm


Best Practices for Sharing Lessons Learned
– Instructors: Pat Fortune

Presentation not yet available.


Using Wearables to Minimize Daily Human Errors
– Instructors: Kevin McManus

Presentation not yet available.


Minimizing Downtime by Minimizing Repair time
– Instructors: Chris Vallee

View Presentation


Pike River: The Human Story
– Instructors: Karl Berendt

Presentation not yet available.


TapRooT® Advisory Board
– Instructors: Mark Paradies & Linda Unger

Live session – No presentation will be made available for this session.


Best Practice Session 8
Friday, March 2, 2018
9:00 am – 10:45 am


Performance Improvement Gap Analysis
– Instructors: TapRooT® Instructor Team

Live session – No presentation will be made available for this session.

Summit Details for Attendees

February 20th, 2018 by

TapRooT® Global Summit Day 1 Critique

TapRooT® Global Summit Day 2 Critique

TapRooT® Global Summit Day 3 Critique

Are you attending the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit? Here is some important information…

Link to Summit Presentation Slides … CLICK HERE

Knoxville Convention Center layout…

The address is: 701 Henley Street, Knoxville, TN 37902.

The security/lost and found number there is: 865-251-6040.

Emergency muster site during the Summit …

Summit Schedule

Bring Business Cards … You need these for networking.

Dress for Summit … Business Casual. Definitely bring a coat or sweater because it can be cold in February and March in East Tennessee. Here is a picture of “Business Casual” from the internet …

I thought it was too dressy. I found this “do and don’t” photo and had a laugh …

Then I thought … Why not show a photo of people from a past Summit!

Food: Breakfast and lunch are supplied at the Summit and at the pre-Summit courses. There will also be food and drink at the Wednesday night reception. We will try as best as possible to accommodate special meal requests but … you don’t get your own private chef!

Reception on Wednesday: Plan to attend the Wednesday night TapRooT® Summit Reception. There will be live music, food, and drinks. It is a great place to meet and make friends. Your spouse is invited, too. Carl Dixon and band will provide musical entertainment.

Be On Time: Don’t miss the OPENING WELCOME at 8 AM on Wednesday. You will have three people looking to meet you during THE NAME GAME and a reward for completing the game. Also, you will get a ticket for a prize drawing whenever you are on time for a session.

Breakfast Activities: Breakfast on Thursday and Friday is from 8 to 9. On Thursday, the breakfast activity will be a Version 6 TapRooT® Software trial. If you want to learn more about the TapRooT® Software, come to breakfast at 8 AM. On Friday, we will prepare for the keynote presenter, Mike Williams, with a review of the Deepwater Horizon accident.

DON’T LEAVE EARLY! Friday is an important day at the Summit. The Gap Analysis Session will help you design the improvements your company needs. You will go back to work with a planned mission to improve. PLUS the final speaker is Mike Williams – the real life hero from the movie Deepwater Horizon. We are doing a question-and-answer format; so if you have questions about the accident, get answers from someone who was there. Don’t schedule your flight until the afternoon. Or stay until Saturday and have time to meet and talk with Mike after his presentation.

Follow us on Twitter and use the hashtag #taprootsummit (Learn more.)

If you have any questions about anything regarding the Summit, call our office at: 865-539-2139.

Deepwater Horizon … The Movie

February 20th, 2018 by

Last night, to prepare for the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit, I watched the movie Deepwater Horizon.

I’m interviewing Mike Williams (who was played by Mark Wahlberg in the movie … see the trailer above).

I have a hard time watching the movie. The needless death of those men and the needless pain and suffering of the rest of the crew was totally avoidable.

What we do at System Improvements is to teach people to use TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis to find and fix the root causes of problems BEFORE major accidents happen. This could have been done BEFORE the Deepwater Horizon accident. I sometimes think that I didn’t do enough to get people who don’t use TapRooT® to fix problems and improve performance. If only I could have convinced BP and Transocean to use TapRooT®, maybe the accident would have been prevented.

That’s why we hold the TapRooT® Summit each year. It is one more way to get people fired up about performance improvement and stopping major accidents.

Hope to see you next week at the Summit and spend an hour talking to a survivor of the Deepwater Horizon accident.

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If you want to watch the movie before the Summit, you can download it at Amazon by CLICKING HERE.

Or you can read the Presidential Commission report, by clicking on this link: DEEPWATERPresidentCommission.

Ot read the Chemical Safety Board Executive Summary report: CSB BP Deepwater Horizon Exec Summary.

Technically Speaking – The 2018 TapRooT® Global Summit is Right Around the Corner

February 16th, 2018 by

The TapRooT® Support team is excited to remind you that the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit is right around the corner with the Pre-Summit classes starting 2/26 and the Summit starting a couple days later on the 2/28. The Summit is a great way to improve your Root Cause Analysis skills, network with fellow TapRooT® users, and see how others use TapRooT® to help reduce the number of incidents at their company. We will have a table out in the Cumberland Concourse and we’d love for you to stop by and say hi!

You can register for the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit and Pre-Summit here

Frequently Asked Questions Page of the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit Web Site

February 14th, 2018 by

What are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Global TapRooT® Summit? See the FAQ page by clicking below.

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Support your Investigation Results with Solid Evidence Collection

February 13th, 2018 by

We have a couple of seats left in the “TapRooT® Evidence Collection and Interviewing Techniques to Sharpen Investigation Skills” 2-day Pre-Summit course, February 26-27 in Knoxville, Tennessee. My co-instructor, Reb Brickey and I are excited to share methods of collection that will help you stop assumptions in their tracks!

Evidence collection techniques help investigators focus on the facts of an investigation. We will talk about pre-planning, different types of evidence to keep in mind as well as spend a good part of the second day learning about and practicing interviewing techniques. The course begins with an interesting case study and attendees break into investigation teams and work toward solving the evidence collection puzzle for the accident presented.

Class size is limited to ensure an ideal learning environment, so register now for the 2-day course only or for the 2-day course plus the 3-day Global TapRooT® Summit.


2018 Global TapRooT® Summit: The Secret Ninth Track

February 13th, 2018 by

When you are choosing your track from the 8 learning tracks on the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit schedule, you will notice that the very first option is “Alternative Sessions.”

Sometimes people wonder, “Is that the secret ninth track?”

Well… it could be.

Alternative sessions are best practice sessions that we think will appeal to our Summit attendees as a whole. So, you could sign up for the track as a whole. However, most people register for one of the eight tracks listed below it and then choose to switch a session or two with a session presented in Alternative Sessions. For example, if you registered for the Software Track but recently attended our TapRooT® VI Software Webinar (you clever Superuser you!), you may decide to spend your time in the Alternative Session “Making Sense of Complex Investigations” instead.

Alternative Sessions are options so you can fully customize your Summit track to be exactly what you want it to be. And who doesn’t love choices?

Do you have a question about customizing your Summit schedule so it’s a perfect fit? Give is a call at 865-539-2139 or send an email to

LEARN MORE about the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit.

Career-Changing Learning Tracks at the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit

February 12th, 2018 by

The deadline to register is approaching!

Did you know we have 8 Learning Tracks at the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit?

It’s not too late to register. View our short, informative videos and posts below and register for our February 26 event!

Asset Optimization

Human Factors


Patient Safety




Instructor Certification

The 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit will be held February 26 to March 2 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Learn more.

Register today!

2018 Global TapRooT® Summit Patient Safety Track

February 12th, 2018 by

The Patient Safety Track is for healthcare professionals and those interested in healthcare. Michele Lindsay shares about what you can expect when you register for this informative track.

Register for the Patient Safety Track.

Learn more about the Summit.

Carl Dixon returns to the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit!

February 9th, 2018 by

Carl Dixon, who sang and played with Coney Hatch, April Wine, and The Guess Who, is back at the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit as the entertainment for our reception. Don’t miss the great music and good times!

Here’s a video from back in the day – Carl and Coney Hatch …

and April Wine …

And here is Carl in 2010 with the Guess Who …

And finally CARL SINGING “No Sugar” with The Guess Who in 2016 …

You’re Invited to Our 30th Anniversary Party!

February 9th, 2018 by

2018 marks an extremely special year for System Improvements Inc., it’s the year we turn 30. So come join us at the Knoxville Summit and help us celebrate three decades of saving lives!

The celebration will start Wednesday March 1 after the 4:00 pm session, and it will be located right outside the main session hall in the Cumberland Concourse. There will be appetizers, drinks, and Carl Dixon will be there for live entertainment.

Don’t forget to bring your tickets! Blue tickets will be distributed for a prize drawing, and you will receive orange tickets for two free drinks. So get ready to eat, drink, and be merry!

To learn more about the Summit click here or email me at Looking forward to seeing everyone soon.

Audit Prep: A Deeper Look at the Definition of a Significant Issue.

February 1st, 2018 by

Here is Dave Janney taking a deeper look into the definition of a significant issue when preparing for an audit.

Carl Dixon at the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit Reception

February 1st, 2018 by

You’ve heard rock star Carl Dixon talk at previous Summits about his comeback from a near-fatal car crash. Don’t miss him playing at the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit!

Don’t forget to use the hashtag… #taprootsummit

January 31st, 2018 by


The question has been asked and the answer is “yes” – we will be using a conference hashtag again this year (#taprootsummit) .. so if you are a tweeter (or a would be tweeter) please remember to use the conference hashtag in your tweets. It’s a lot of fun!

Are you registered for the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit February 26 to March 2, Knoxville, Tennessee? We’d love to hear some tweets in February about what you’re looking forward to doing after you arrive in Knoxville!

  • Ever had free time after a conference day but needed to know some of the best places to eat in an unfamiliar place? Tweet out your question to #taprootsummit after hours!
  • Ever forgot when a registration desk was open or where to even register? Tweet out your question to #taprootsummit after you arrive!
  • Ever wondered if you could start networking with some of the attendees or make a friend before you even arrived? Tweet out to #taprootsummit that you’re attending!

These are just a few fun ideas. During the last conference our attendees had a blast communicating on Twitter and sharing images of the event.

Have questions? Tweet them out! Don’t forget the hashtag… #taprootsummit !

Where Do You Get Ideas To Improve Root Cause Analysis?

January 31st, 2018 by

When I was assigned the job of figuring out how to improve investigations and root cause analysis … I knew that we were NOT finding the causes of human errors. But where would I get ideas to help make things better? The year was 1985 and there wasn’t an easy place to start …

  • no internet
  • no e-mails with upcoming courses
  • no conferences on the topic (maybe one talk at a nuclear industry conference’s breakout session)

I knew that the Institute for Nuclear Power Operations was working on a system because they had tried to hire me to help create it.

So what did I do?

  • Started looking at the human factors research.
  • Networked with the folks I knew at our corporate headquarters, INPO, the University of Illinois, INEL, EPRI, and several utilities where I knew people.
  • Started trying to create a list of causes that encompassed the human factors research that I was familiar with.

This lead to a beginning system to find root causes that, eventually, led to the development of TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis System.

It was a long road with many lessons learned.

In 1988, we started System Improvements to help people improve their root cause analysis systems. In 1990, we won a contract to help the US Nuclear Regulator Commission improve their analysis of human errors. In 1991 we started working with our first oil and chemical company (Chevron) to improve their root cause analysis as part of their efforts to improve process safety. From there our growth into all types of industries with incidents – incidents that need fixes to prevent recurrence based on the real root causes – has been … pretty dramatic.

In 1994 we held the first TapRooT® Summit (not named the Summit until sometime later). It had great speakers and 35 attendees. I cooked steaks for everyone as our closing session.

Mark Ed 2

 1996 Summit Keynote Speaker with Mark Paradies (left)

Why did we decide to have a summit to focus on root cause analysis and performance improvement? Because I thought that our clients needed it. They needed:

  • a place to learn the latest ways to improve human performance.
  • to network and share best practices they were testing and perfecting.
  • to hear about what we were doing to improve the TapRooT® System.
  • motivation to keep them at the “performance improvement grindstone.”

L M Astronaut

Linda Under and Mark Paradies with 1997 Astronaut Keynote Speaker

Little did I know that this first conference would turn into an annual event that had hundreds of attendees who are some of the smartest people improving industrial safety, quality, patient safety, process safety, asset optimization, and operational excellence from around the world.


Linda Unger with Summit attendee from South Korea in 1998

I would never have guessed that I would draw people from Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, UK, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, New Zealand, Colombia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Russia, Denmark, France, and many other countries (even the USA!) to hear what we thought others needed to learn to make their performance great.


People sharing best practices at the 2016 Global TapRooT® Summit

But it happened. And now, if someone asks:

“Where Do You Get Ideas To Improve Root Cause Analysis?”

The answer is … The Global TapRooT® Summit.

The next Summit is rapidly approaching. Where is it? It is being held in Knoxville, Tennessee, (our hometown) on February 26 – March 2.

Want to find out more about the 10 pre-Summit courses being held on February 26-27? CLICK HERE.

Want to find out more about the blockbuster talks being delivered by the Keynote Speakers? CLICK HERE.

Want to see a list of the Best Practice Presenters? CLICK HERE.

Want to see the schedules for all nine Summit Tracks? CLICK HERE.

But don’t spend too much time clicking. You need to REGISTER ASAP and get your hotel and travel plans finalized because you need to attend this Summit.

Watch this video to see what past Summit attendees have to say…

New Name Gives Nod to 1982 Knoxville World’s Fair

January 31st, 2018 by

Visitors and Knoxvillians will enter an updated building and a new phase in the life of the formerly named Knoxville Convention and Exhibition Center, now known as the World’s Fair Exhibition Hall. The area underneath the downtown Holiday Inn is undergoing a 2.1 million renovation, to include a new roof and remodeled restrooms. The rename and remodel of the hall will be celebrated with a new logo displaying the 1982 World’s Fair flame and international flags in Rubik’s Cube fashion.

The 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit will be hosted in Knoxville Convention Center, February 26 – March 2. Register now to change the way you do business and solve problems.

Road Trip: Find Yourself in Knoxville

January 30th, 2018 by

You’re never quite the same after a memorable road trip. Curiosity can seize you on a trip, yes, even on a business trip. The 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit is in Knoxville, Tennessee. You have some free time to wander. Time to check out the life and lifestyles. Make new contacts or new friends. Put on a foodie hat and eat like a boss. Pick up souvenirs.

Here, in Knoxville, we invite you to open yourself up to a city that brims with sporting events and nightlife, artists and art, live music and concerts, Broadway performances. Take advantage of our region’s breathtaking scenic drives and take a hike to immerse yourself in spectacular natural beauty. Experience an embarrassment of foodie havens, some mighty fine shopping, and the warmest Southern hospitality around. Save time to sample our downtown winery and distilleries, and hop on a Knox Brew Tour.

Here’s a smattering of suggestions for exploring and good times.

Downtown Knoxville

1. Knoxville Visitors Center, 301 S. Gay St., Knoxville, TN 37902: This building dates to 1925 and besides information about our fair city, you’ll find award-winning WDVX and its famous Blue Plate Special.
2. Market Square
3. Krutch Park (adjacent to Market Square)
4. East Tennessee Historical Society
5. Old City
6. Blue Slip Winery
7. Knox Whiskey Works
8. PostModern Distilling
9. Boyd’s Jig & Reel
10. Knoxville Museum of Art
11. World’s Fair Park
12. Volunteer Landing Park
13. Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame
14. First Friday Knoxville

The University of Tennessee

15. The University of Tennessee, 2704 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919,
and Neyland Stadium
16. The McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture

Other fun attractions

17. Zoo Knoxville
18. Knoxville Botanical Garden
19. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
20. Cades Cove
21. Maple Hall Bowling
22. World’s Fair Park Sunsphere
23. Ijams Nature Center
24. Navitat Canopy Experience
25. The Muse
26. Cruze Farm Ice Cream
27. Pete’s Coffee Shop
28. Mast General Store

Here’s where to park, sorted by location.

4 Signs You Need to Improve Your Investigations

January 29th, 2018 by

If you want to improve your root cause analysis beyond simple techniques that yield incomplete results that don’t stop problems, you are probably ready for step one … implementing the TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis System.

But many find that after they implement the TapRooT® System, they still have room to improve their investigations. Here are four signs that you’re ready for step two:

  1. Investigator Bad Habits – Before your investigators were trained to use TapRooT®, they probably had some other method they used to find “the root cause.” The bad habits they learned probably aren’t completely corrected in a single 2-Day or 5-Day TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Course. They may have previously been trained that there was only one root cause. They might not know how to interview or collect information (facts). They may need practice drawing complete SnapCharT®s or identifying all the Causal Factors. Therefore, they may need more training or some coaching to complete the development of their skills.
  2. Insufficient Time & Resources – Even if you are a great investigator, you need time to collect evidence and complete your investigation. If you have too little time and if you don’t have adequate resources, the TapRooT® Training alone can’t make your investigations excellent.
  3. Inadequate Investigation Review – Investigators need feedback to improve their skills. Where do they get expert feedback? It could come from management if they are experts in root cause analysis. If management doesn’t understand root cause analysis, the feedback they get may not improve future results. Therefore, you should probably implement a “peer review” before management review occurs. The “peer review” will be done by one or more root cause analysis experts to identify areas for improvement BEFORE the investigation is presented to management. The best peer reviews are conducted while the investigation is being performed. Think of this as just-in-time coaching.
  4. Insufficient Practice – Even with great training to start with, people become “rusty” if they don’t practice their skills. Of course, you don’t want to have more serious incidents to get more experience for your investigators. What can you do? Three things … a) Use the TapRooT® System to investigate less serious but potentially serious incident. The new book, Using the Essential TapRooT® Techniques to Investigate Low-to-Medium Risk Incidents, can show you how to do this without wasting time and effort. b) Use the TapRooT® System to prepare for, perform, and analyze the results of audits. Learn how to do this in the upcoming pre-Summit course, TapRooT® for Audits. Or get the book, TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis for Audits and Proactive Performance Improvement. c) Have a refresher course for your investigators (contact us for info by CLICKING HERE) or have them attend a pre-Summit Course and the Global TapRooT® Summit to refresh their skills.

Are you ready for step two? Would you like to learn more about improving your implementation of TapRooT® and changing the culture of your companies investigations and root cause analysis? Then get registered for the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit.


FIRST, Mark Paradies, President of System Improvements and TapRooT® author will be giving a keynote address titled: How Good is Your TapRooT® Implementation. Learn how to apply best practices from around the world to improve your use of TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis.


SECOND, Jack Frost, Vice President HSE of Matrix Service Company, will be giving a Best Practice Track talk titled: Improving Safety Culture Through Measuring and Grading Investigations. In this session he will discuss using an evaluation matrix to grade your investigations and coach your investigators to better root cause analysis.

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You can download the matrix that Jack uses here:

Don’t be satisfied. Continually improve your root cause analysis!

Introducing the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit Software Track

January 25th, 2018 by

Ken Reed has some exciting news about the TapRooT® Software Track. If you use TapRooT® software or if you investigate accidents and incidents and are interested in what TapRooT® software can do for you, register today!

Join Us for the Quality Track for the 2018 Summit

January 25th, 2018 by

Chris Vallee put an awesome track together for professionals who are involved in quality processes. If that’s you, you don’t want to miss this informative video!


Learn more!

Have FUN at the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit!

January 25th, 2018 by

We don’t want the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit to be boring. We want you to meet smart industry leaders, learn amazing best practices, and have fun!

Learning while having fun is much more effective that trying to stay awake during boring presentations. That’s why we organize the Global TapRooT® Summit to have activities, Keynote Speakers, and sessions that are active and entertaining.

Plus we start with the Name Game and have an excellent Reception on Wednesday.

This year we will again have rock star Carl Dixon as our entertainment at the reception where you can network with the new friends and important contacts that you have established.


Here’s Carl back in the day playing with April Wine …

And more classic rock from Carl and April Wine …

And just one more …

I think he is even better today. Don’t miss the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit reception!

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Success Stories

Hands-on learning is so important when learning something new. We keep this in mind when developing root cause analysis training and our course attendees appreciate it too. Here’s some feedback we’ve received lately: “Great hands on exercise [for developing Corrective Actions] and great class involvement.” ~ D. Rind “Very good to get a feel of …

TapRooT® is a key part of our safety improvement program that has helped us stop injuries and save lives.

Canyon Fuel Company
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