Category: TapRooT

TapRooT® Around the World

March 16th, 2018 by

TapRooT® instructor, Marco Flores-Verdugo, sent us these photos from a course in Monterrey, Mexico that Marco and Jesus Reynoso taught. Looks like a fun group, and they had a good time learning how to us TapRooT®.

Want to attend a TapRooT® training course? Check out our upcoming course near you. All you need to do is click here.

Root Cause Tip: Luck Versus Being Consistent, Success and Failure Can Come From Both

March 14th, 2018 by

Every best practice can be a strength or a weakness. Even one phrase like “I will ____” can be self-defeating or uplifting. “I will succeed” versus “I will fail.” Both phrases set your compass for success or failure. Okay, so what does philosophy have to do with root cause analysis? Simple….

Practice safe behaviors, build and sustain safe and sustainable processes with good best practices, and success is measured by less injuries, less near-misses, and more efficient processes.

Practice unsafe behaviors, build unsafe but sustainable processes with poor best practices, and success is measured by more injuries, more near-misses, and wasteful business processes. Safety only happens by luck!

Guess what? In many cases, you can still be in compliance during audits but still meet the criteria of “unsafe but sustainable processes with poor best practices . . . measured by more injuries, more near-misses, and wasteful business processes.”

This is why Question Number 14 on the TapRooT® Root Cause Tree® is so important.

Not every Causal Factor/Significant Issue that occurred during an incident or was found during an audit is due to a person just breaking a rule or taking shortcuts. In many cases, the employee was following the rules to the “T” when the action that the employee performed, got him/her hurt or got someone else hurt.

Take time to use the TapRooT® Root Cause Tree®, Root Cause Tree® Dictionary, and Corrective Action Helper® as designed to perform consistently with a successful purpose.

Want to learn more? Attend one of our public TapRooT® Courses or contact us to schedule an onsite course.

Watch Facebook Live on Wednesdays: Next up is Body Language

March 13th, 2018 by

Be sure to catch TapRooT®’s Facebook Live session on Wednesday, March 14, 2018. TapRooT® Instructor and Nonverbal Communication Expert Barb Phillips and Implementation Strategist Benna Dortch will discuss, among other topics, how to interpret common body language cues.


When? Wednesday, March 14

What Time? Noon Eastern | 11:00 a.m. Central | 10:00 a.m. Mountain | 9:00 a.m. Pacific

Another recent FB Live sessions features Benna Boring and Ken Reed discussing the top six takeaways attendees said they wanted to incorporate into their companies after attending the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit. We can’t wait for March 11-15, 2019, for our next Summit near Houston, Texas! Mark your calendars and begin making plans now!

TapRooT® Around the World

March 9th, 2018 by

TapRooT® instructor, Heidi Reed, sent us these photos from a course that she and Barry Baumgardner are teaching at Energy XXI in Grand Isle, LA. Looks like a great group!


Want to learn about your onsite course options?

Contact us!

Comments from a TapRooT® Course Participant

February 23rd, 2018 by

Malcolm Gresham, one of our instructors from Australia, sent me this video of a long time TapRooT® User who was attending a course for refresher training. Click the link below to watch a .mov (QuickTime) video.

Thanks Michael for having the course and you have a great memory! Keep reading the definition! Hope to see you at the Global tapRooT® Summit one of these years!

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

Gain Team Leader knowledge and experience in our 5-day training

February 13th, 2018 by

The 5-day training course is our “Team Leader” training course. This provides an expert level of knowledge on all of the TapRooT® techniques and on the TapRooT® Software. This course targets those investigators that will be system experts and team leaders and provides the knowledge to manage and utilize the TapRooT® process for any kind of investigation. TapRooT® Software is used throughout the 5 days. When leaving this training course, the investigator will have experience analyzing issues, performing interviews, leading an investigative team, and using the TapRooT® software as an aid and tool.

A great course that will expand your abilities to investigate.
The course not only looks at human performance but equipment failures as well.
~ R. Klahs

Register for an upcoming course:

Monterrey, Mexico – March 5

Charlotte, North Carolina – March 19

New Orleans, Lousiana – April 16

Edmonton, AB Canada – April 23

Las Vegas, Nevada – April 23


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!

Root Cause Analysis Tip: Do you perform an incident investigation like you watch the news?

January 31st, 2018 by

If you are like me, you flip channels to see how each news station or news website reports the same issue of interest. Heck, I even look at how different countries discuss the same issue of interest. Take the “Deep Water Horizon Spill of 2010” or was it the “BP Oil Spill of 2010” or was it the “Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill of 2010”? It depends on where you were or what you watched when it was reported. At the end of the day we all often develop Bias Criteria of Trust… often without any true ability to determine which perspective is closer to the truth.

Now there are fancier terms of bias from confirmation bias to hindsight bias, but let’s take a look at some of our news source Bias Criteria of Trust.

So here is the question to stop and ask….. do you do the same thing when you start an investigation, perform root cause analysis or troubleshoot equipment? It is very easy to say YES! We tend to trust interviews and reports using the same criteria above before we actually have the evidence. We also tend to not trust interviews and reports purely because of who and where they came from, without evidence as well!

Knowing this…..

Stop the urge to not trust or to overly trust. Go Out And Look (GOAL) and collect the evidence.

Got your interest? Want to learn more? Feel free to contact me or any of our TapRooT® Instructors at or call 865.539.2139.

Where Do You Get Ideas To Improve Root Cause Analysis?

4 Signs You Need to Improve Your Investigations

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…

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!

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!

What Pre-Summit Course Should I Attend?

January 23rd, 2018 by

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That’s a tough question…

Here is more course info:

Attending the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit and a Pre-Summit course is a great way to learn more AND get a discount of $200 off the course.

And if you bring a team to the Summit, you can get discounts up to $600 off per person!

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Safety Fines Double in One Year in UK

January 18th, 2018 by

In the UK, fines related to safety doubled from 2016 to 2017. Here is a video from Safety & Health Practitioner (SHP) that provides more details…

Perhaps now is the time to invest in improved root cause analysis as part of your safety improvement efforts?

CLICK HERE for more information about TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis or CLICK HERE for information about TapRooT® Training.

CLICK HERE to see a list of public TapRooT® Courses in Europe.

CLICK HERE to contact us for information about training at your site.

Why do people try to make root cause analysis so difficult?

January 17th, 2018 by


I read a comment string on LinkedIn about root cause analysis. People made the concepts and techniques so hard to understand.

First, there was an argument over what is a root cause. One person argued that there was no such thing because EVERY cause had another deeper cause. Someone else argued that there wasn’t a root cause because most incidents had multiple causes. Someone else introduced the idea of root causes, contributing causes, causal factors, and initiating events. Someone else brought up the concept of latent causes and Swiss cheese.

If that wasn’t enough disagreement, another side argument started over what was an incident, and accident, a near-miss, and a significant incident. This lead to a discussion of what needed investigation and how good an investigation was good enough.

At SI, we too had discussions about these topics 30 years ago. However, in the TapRooT® System, these arguments are settled and the terminology is either settled or irrelevant.

Perhaps it is my engineering and Nuclear Navy training that lead me away from philosophical discussions and turned me toward practical solutions to problems.

Perhaps it was my human factors training that made it easy to see why people made mistakes and what we could do to prevent them.

Perhaps it is my ability to take complex subjects and make them understandable that lead to the development of a systematic, practical, repeatable system to find the root causes of problems – the TapRooT® System.

So, if you are tired of debate and just want a system that has been proven around the world to find and fix the root causes of safety, quality, equipment, and production issues, learn about TapRooT® and save lot’s of time by avoiding needless arguments.

CLICK HERE to find out more about our 2-Day and 5-Day TapRooT® Training.

CLICK HERE to see where our upcoming public TapRooT® Training is being held.

Or CLICK HERE to contact us about having a course at your site.

Why are the SMARTEST people going to the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit?

January 17th, 2018 by


About three Summits ago, I had a Summit attendee come up to me and say:

Mark, it is amazing the quality of speakers and topics you put together for the Summit.
But even more amazing is the networking. The people at this Summit are some of
the smartest people working on real life performance improvement in industry!
I just wanted to tell you thanks for making this happen.

 How do we get such high quality attendees? That’s the kind of people who use TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis to stop accidents, improve quality, reduce risk, and improve equipment reliability.

If you haven’t registered for the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit yet, GET HOT! Visit the Summit web site and get registered TODAY!

Don’t Miss the TapRooT® Family Reunion

January 17th, 2018 by


The Global TapRooT® Summit was almost named the TapRooT® Family Reunion. Why? Because that’s the way it feels.

Friendly folks getting together to say hello and get reacquainted.

Unless you belong to a dysfunctional family, you know what I mean.

This family has a common goal. They to share best practices and learn how to achieve outstanding performance. TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis is a part of that effort. But there is so much more to learn and share at the reunion (Summit). And that’s why we sponsor the Summit and spend lavishly on speakers.

We want to provide the opportunity for our best clients to meet face to face, develop relationships, and get new ideas to make safety, quality, equipment reliability, patient and process safety, and productivity even better. And leave the Summit inspired to go back home and make performance great.

The learning that takes place is one of the reasons that we require Certified TapRooT® instructors to attend the Summit at least once every two years. We think that keeping up to date on the latest improvement ideas is that important.

So don’t miss the reunion (the Summit) and your chances to make your performance improvement efforts that much better. Register for the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit (February 26 – March 2, Knoxville, TN) TODAY by CLICKING HERE.

Time for some advanced root cause analysis?

January 15th, 2018 by

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What do you think? Does someone in the Hawaii government need to attend TapRooT® Training?

Why does your site need someone (or a team) at the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit?

January 10th, 2018 by


Since there are so many high-quality conferences and events put on each year, you really need to think about which ones you should go to. If you haven’t signed up for the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit yet, here are four top reasons to attend.



You can’t afford a major accident, a fatality, a serious quality defect, a sentinel event or an unexpected equipment failure.

The TapRooT® Summit is a unique gathering of people intent on improving performance. They share ideas across companies, disciplines, and continents. The sharing of new ideas and best practices will help you develop ideas to stop accidents, fatalities, quality issues, sentinel events, and equipment failures.

What you may not have thought of is how much money this could save your company. Do you know the costs of human errors that occurred at your site? What were your workman’s comp costs? How much does unexpected downtime and lost production cost your site? What were the costs of legal issues due to mistakes and the resulting lawsuits? You will be far ahead financially if you stop just ONE major issue.


What will happen to your career is you are seen as an essential problem solver that leads the sites improvement efforts?

But where will you get the skills and ideas to lead improvement at your site? That’s easy. Attend the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit.

When we plan the Summit we take the lessons we learn from teaching root cause analysis around the world and build sessions that we know will help solve frequently occurring issues that we have observed at courses. You will be surprised how many people face issues similar to the ones that you face and how there are people who have figured out how to improve performance and stop those problems. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Attend the Summit and learn from the success of others.


Improving performance requires constant attention. Working hard to constantly improve performance can wear you down. Where do you get the motivation to continually challenge the status quo? Attend the TapRooT® Summit!

Most people we talk to before the Summit say that they are attending to learn new skills and get new ideas and best practices to help their site improve performance. And after the Summit they agree that they learned valuable information well worth the time and expense of attended. But they are surprised that they got an unexpected benefit that was even more valuable. They left the Summit FIRED UP to go back to work and make things happen.

Why is motivation so valuable? Because an unmotivated person is unlikely to have the stamina to see an improvement effort through to completion. They get started but they don’t get things done.

We understand motivation and making improvements happen and that’s why we know that motivation is important. That’s why we build in events to motivate you throughout the Summit. Attend the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit and go back to work CHARGED UP to make improvement happen.


What? How can fun be an important reason to attend the TapRooT® Summit? We have learned that people learn more, retain more, and bring more and better ideas back to work from the Summit if they have fun learning and sharing.

After all, who says that work and learning have to be dull and boring? We have discovered how to make the Summit an activity that you will find valuable and ENJOYABLE every time you attend.


Have you ever noticed how an effective team accomplishes much more than a single motivated individual?

That’s why we recommend that a site truly interested in achieving excellence send an improvement team to the TapRooT® Summit.

A team can spread out across the various sessions (there are tracks with various topics to pick from). Someone might attend the Safety Track while someone else attends the Quality Track, while someone else attends the Human Factors Track, while someone else attends the Asset Optimization Track. See the schedules for the various tracks by CLICKING HERE.


We know that you will find the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit a valuable experience. We know that you will have a great return on your investment of time and money. And we provide you with this guarantee:

Attend the Summit and go back to work and use what you’ve learned. If you don’t get at least 10 times the return on your investment, simply return the Summit materials and we’ll refund the entire Summit fee.

So don’t wait. REGISTER TODAY!

Want to see what people who attend the Summit have to say after they attend? Here’s a video I made a few years ago and it sure is a blast from the past that still applies today…

Sorry, we won’t be having golf at this Summit (the first week in March in Tennessee just doesn’t work) but we will have a great reception and a lot of sharing.

Why Should I get the New TapRooT® Books?

January 9th, 2018 by

When someone calls me for help with an investigation, I often ask them what color TapRooT® Book they have. Sometimes they want to know..

What difference does it make what color my book is?

The answer is that it let’s me know how long ago they took TapRooT® Training and what version of the TapRooT® System they are using.  It is always sad to see people struggling with an issue we solved by improving TapRoot® and they just don’t know about the improvement.

Over the almost three decades that we have been developing TapRooT®, we have made major improvements. If you are still using the system that came in three-ring binders, you are back in the 1996 version of the system.

You might think that NOBODY would be using that outdated a version of the system but someone sent me a review of TapRooT® that they read and … sure enough … the review was of the 1996 book. So to people still using the three-ring binders: Update your documentation to the newest version and you will be shocked.

If you have the green book, you are working from the 2000 revision. You are working from a system from the same millennia. Update to the new version and you will jump ahead 16 years.

If you have the thick black book, you are working from the 2008 version. You too will be pleasantly surprised by what we have learned in the last eight years and how we have improved the usefulness of the TapRooT® Books.

And what is the latest version? These books are also black but there are  smaller and there are eight of them (currently book five and eight are still in production).

What do these books look like and how are they an improvement over the older 2008 book?

BOOKS 3 & 4


Above is the Investigation book set. It includes:

These are the books that cover using TapRooT® to find the root causes of everything from small/minor incidents to major accidents.

How are they an improvement over the older 2008 TapRooT® Book? Well … we took everything we have learned in the last eight years and used it to improve our documentation. And the first things we learned is … LESS IS MORE. That’s why we broke the books up into separate topics. You can just read what is applicable to what you are doing. But how specifically is the investigation set improved over the old book?

  • The set includes the latest Root Cause Tree® and Dictionary that make the system even better with improved definitions in the Dictionary and an new category (language) in the Communication Basic Cause Category.
  • The Essentials Book is a an easy read (only 100 pages long). It guides you through a new 5 step process that makes TapRooT® easy to use for simple investigations. This improves your simple investigations while saving time.
  • The Major Investigations Book explains the whole TapRooT® System and includes the traditional 7-Step Investigation Process. The book includes improved TapRooT® Techniques, detailed examples of each technique, and even better ideas to help you identify your Causal Factors before you start analyzing their root causes.
  • The set also references the latest TapRooT® Software (Version VI).

The ideas we have for improving low-to-medium risk investigations alone are worth buying the new set.

Book 3: Using the Essential TapRooT® Techniques to Investigate Low-to-Medium Risk Incidents, is included in the 2-Day TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Training. The 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training include Book 4: Using TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis for Major Investigations, and Book 3.

But that’s just two (Books 3 & 4) of the new books. What else is there and what new information is in the other six books? Read on…



Until Book 1: TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Leadership Lessons was written, we really didn’t have a book that explained the concepts of TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis to management. Now we have produced a concept book that is just 70 pages long (think of it as a bedtime story for management). When management asks what they need to know about TapRooT®, Book 1 is the place to start.

Of course, we would like leaders to learn much more about a tool that should be in their leadership tool kit but Book 1 is a starting point to get management to understand the basis for TapRooT® and how it will help them improve safety, quality, productivity, and environmental compliance.

To learn more about this book, CLICK HERE, or order your copy at:



Book 2: TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Implementation, is for those in charge of an improvement program. It explains how TapRooT® can be used to improve an already existing program or part of a completely new improvement effort.

Making this a separate book (89 pages long) helps the right people get the right information to make their improvement program much more effective.

What’s in the book?

  • The “Just Do It!” method of getting started.
  • How to add TapRooT® Root Cause analysis to an existing 6 Sigma, Lean, 8-D, Process Safety, Behavior-Based Safety, or other improvement initiative.
  • Building a best-in-class improvement initiative.
  • A checklist to evaluate your improvement efforts.

If you are serious about improvement and in charge of a program to make improvement happen … this book is for you. Order it HERE.

Book 5

This book is close enough to finished that I can explain what you will find in it when it comes out. If you are interested in equipment troubleshooting and root cause analysis, this is the book for you.

Book 5: Using Equifactor® Troubleshooting Tools and TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis to Improve Equipment Reliability, explains how to use TapRooT® and Equifactor® to solve equipment problems. The new book explains the techniques and includes a paper version of the equipment troubleshooting tables from the TapRooT® VI Software all in one book. That makes this a much handier reference.

We expect this book to be available in the 1st half of 2018. Watch our newsletter for more information.


Book 6

Book 6: TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis for Audits and Proactive Performance Improvement, explains how to build TapRooT® root cause analysis into your audits and proactive improvement efforts. It’s only 57 pages long and is a great compliment to books 3 and 4.

It describes the 7-step process for using TapRoot® in an audit and how to build TapRooT® techniques into your proactive improvement efforts.

When you order the book HERE, you will also get the latest:

  • TapRooT® Root Cause Tree®
  • TapRooT® Root Cause Tree® Dictionary
  • TapRooT® Corrective Action Helper® Guide

What’ new about book 6? It is the latest information about using TapRooT® to audit performance. It can be used for safety or quality audits. It’s a very fast read.

This book is included in the course materials for the pre-Summit TapRooT® for Audits Course.


Book 7

Book 7: TapRooT® Evidence Collection and Interviewing Techniques to Sharpen Investigation Skills, is all about information collection. We’ve never had a book specifically about this topic. In the past you had to find some of the information provided here buried in the steps of the old 2008 TapRooT® Book.

But this book is more than just a rehash of the information about interviewing and evidence collection. In  addition to information about planning your evidence collection, emergency response and scene management, and the TapRooT® investigation process, it includes:

  • The 3 P’s and an R of evidence collection. (People, Paper, Physical, and Recordings)
  • The TapRooT® 12-Step Interview Process (Cognitive Interviewing)
  • Decoding non verbal behavior
  • Building your investigation kit
  • An initial observation form
  • An interview preparation form
  • An evidence log
  • How to use Change Analysis and CHAP as part of an interview/evidence collection process

That’s a lot to pack into a 93 page book! Buy this book by CLICKING HERE.

Book 8

This book is also still in production but is also expected in the first half of 2018. Book 8: TapRooT® Performance Measures and Trending for Safety, Quality, and Business Management, explains the state-of-the-art in performance measurement and trending.

If you have ever wondered how you can prove that you have improved or if a “negative” trend is actually significant, this is the book for you.

In addition, the book explains what management should know about trends. This information can keep them from being misled by false trends and how to use trends to manage improvement initiative.

The math involved isn’t complicated, but it is beyond some of the common “trending” graphs that you may be using now.

This book is included in the pre-Summit Advanced Trending Techniques Course. Watch our newsletter for more information on when the book will be available.

KEEP UP TO DATE! If you don’t have the latest TapRooT® Books that apply to your work, order them today!

Resolve to Improve!

January 2nd, 2018 by


On New Year’s Eve, did you make a resolution? According to the data company, iQuanti, here were the top seven resolutions made:

  1. Get healthy.
  2. Get organized.
  3. Live life to the fullest.
  4. Learn new hobbies.
  5. Spend less/save more.
  6. Travel.
  7. Read more.

Are you surprised by any of the above? Nothing earth shattering there.  Outside personal improvements, there is a way to truly make a difference in your own life as well as the lives of others. The one resolution not on the top seven list that you shouldn’t overlook is a work-related resolution.

Here are some work-related resolutions to consider…

  • Eliminate the blame environment when someone makes a mistake.
  • Stop problems from happening over and over again.
  • Save time and get better results when you perform an incident investigation.
  • Learn best practices to make your workplace safer and more productive.
  • Become better at your job by applying state-of-the-art root cause analysis.

How do you do these things?


Start by attending TapRooT® Training. See our upcoming courses here:

Then make sure that you are at the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit to learn best practices from around the world. That’s the best place to learn best practices from industry leaders from around the world. The Summit is in Knoxville, TN, on February 26 – March 2. See the Summit schedule here:

And register here:

The knowledge you will gain will help you make 2018 the best year ever.

Sign up now for the February 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit Quality Track

December 19th, 2017 by


Need a jumpstart on your Quality Management System’s improvements to better utilize your company’s product realization? Sign up for the Quality Track during the Global TapRooT® Summit, Knoxville, Tennessee, February 26 – March 2, 2018

Improve Your Resource Usage Management by attending:

Mark Paradies (the creator of TapRooT®)

How to Replace 5 Whys with TapRooT® for Better Results

People argue that 5-Whys is a “good enough” root cause analysis tool. They say it’s simple to ask “why” five times and that people in the field can “understand it.” Well, the time has come to put that argument to bed… 5-Whys is inadequate. It has fundamental flaws that make it inadequate. This session will demonstrate how replacing 5-Whys with TapRooT® provides better results.


Kevin McManus– Great Systems!

Stop Daily Goofs for Good

This session has a proactive, process-based focus, and promotes the use of systematic improvements to prevent human error and improve cognitive ergonomics on the job.

Using Wearables to Minimize Daily Human Errors

Look at how wearables are being used both now and in the future to help prevent errors and identify problems more effectively.


Barb Carr – System Improvements, Inc.

Top 7 Secrets of a Great Investigation Interview

Take your interviewing skills to the next level and collect better quality and quantity of information from your investigative interviews by harnessing the power of the seven secrets.


Improve Your Management Responsibility by attending:

 John Boyle

Making Audits an Integral Part of a Proactive Improvement Program –

This session has a proactive, process-based focus, and promotes the use of systematic improvements to prevent human error and improve cognitive ergonomics on the job. Kevin McManus

 Jonathan Kennedy

Influencing Change

Nothing happens without change. Nothing happens without support of change. Learn techniques to increase the ability to change with full management support.


Improve Your Analysis and Improvements by attending:

Christopher Vallee – System Improvements, Inc.

What is a Trend and How Can You Find Trends in the TapRooT® Data?

You have invested in TapRooT® and have root cause data, but do you know what the data tells you? Do you know if what you are measuring has changed for the good or the bad? Do you know how to access your trend-able data in your VI Software? Learn what to look for, what needs to be acted on and how to access the data on VI Software.

Performance Improvement Gap Analysis

Put together everything that you learned this week in your Summit Tracks and from your peers, then develop your action plan to hit the ground running.


Learn more!

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Angie ComerAngie Comer


Anne RobertsAnne Roberts


Barb CarrBarb Carr

Editorial Director

Chris ValleeChris Vallee

Human Factors

Dan VerlindeDan Verlinde

VP, Software

Dave JanneyDave Janney

Safety & Quality

Garrett BoydGarrett Boyd

Technical Support

Ken ReedKen Reed

VP, Equifactor®

Linda UngerLinda Unger


Mark ParadiesMark Paradies

Creator of TapRooT®

Per OhstromPer Ohstrom

VP, Sales

Shaun BakerShaun Baker

Technical Support

Steve RaycraftSteve Raycraft

Technical Support

Wayne BrownWayne Brown

Technical Support

Success Stories

Fortunately, I already had a plan. I had previously used TapRooT to improve investigations…

Bi-State Development Corporation

Fortunately, I had just been introduced to a system for incident investigation and root cause analysis…

Enmax Corporation
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