Category: Technical Support

Technically Speaking – A Sneak Peek at TapRooT® VI (A Closer Look at SnapCharT®)

March 17th, 2016 by

We are nearing the initial release for TapRooT® VI and excited to announce that the first public 2 Day Course with the new software will be taught by software guru Dan Verlinde in Portland, Oregon on April 18th. Join us if you can! If you can’t make it though, don’t worry. I have more to share with you now.

The past couple of Sneak Peek blog articles have highlighted many of the exciting new enhancements found throughout TapRooT® VI but let’s take an even CLOSER look at one of the most used features of the software:  SnapCharT®.

Creating a SnapCharT® is a critical step within the TapRooT® process and TapRooT® VI is aimed at providing a LOT of enhancements to make this easier to use and also more visually appealing. Take a look:

snapchart example


Some things you’ve probably noticed right away:

On the left hand side of the SnapCharT® menu, there are new TABS that allow you to do more within the SnapCharT®.

  • The Shapes Tab contains your standard SnapCharT® Shapes and allows you to add Conditions, Events, Incidents, Page Breaks and Text to your chart.
  • The Optional Techniques Tab allows you to create an Equifactor®, Change Analysis, Safeguards Analysis and/or CHAP DIRECTLY from your SnapCharT®. You no longer have to create your Optional Techniques independently of the SnapCharT®. While using any Optional Technique, you can identify and create new Conditions or Events. Then, use the next tab (Drop Zone) to immediately add them to your chart.
  • As mentioned above, the Drop Zone Tab is an area where shapes created using the Optional Techniques will appear. From here you can choose whether or not to add them to your SnapCharT®.
  • The Versions Tab will display a list of SnapCharT® COPIES. At any point in the process you can make a COPY of a SnapCharT® to keep for your reference later on. You can make as many copies as you want!

Some things you may NOT have noticed that have also been incorporated into the newly designed SnapCharT®:

  • Auto save. No more worrying about having to click the save button! SnapCharT® will save your changes every 1 minute OR at any time IF exiting the SnapCharT®.
  • Typing in your Condition, Events or Incident Shapes is easier than ever. Simply add the shape of your choice to the SnapCharT® and start typing. You don’t have to add your shape, click in the text field at the top of SnapCharT® and enter your text here anymore.
  • Take pictures of the chart (or part of the chart) using the SnapCap Image Capture feature and they are saved directly to a SnapCap folder that can be found in your Attachments section.
  • With the simple click of a button, you can change an Event to a Condition or vice versa. No more adding, moving or deleting shapes just because you want to change it. Keep your text in place and simply click the “Change” button.
  • EVERY USER can assign their own custom colors, and font types, sizes, bold/italics/underline settings for EACH SnapCharT® shape. And once you indicate these preferences, they will carry over to every SnapCharT® you do.


STAY TUNED for more Sneak Peeks and closer looks at the exciting new features and enhancements found in TapRooT® VI!

Technically Speaking is a weekly series that highlights various aspects of our Version 5 software, introduces you to the upcoming TapRooT® VI release and occasionally includes a little Help Desk humor.

Remember, just because it’s technical, doesn’t mean it has to be complicated!

Technically Speaking – How To Upgrade Your TapRooT® Software

March 10th, 2016 by

This week I ‘d like to walk you through the steps to upgrade your existing TapRooT® software to the latest version which is Version 5.3.2.

Technically Speaking is a weekly series that highlights various aspects of our Version 5 software, introduces you to the upcoming TapRooT® VI release and occasionally includes a little Help Desk humor.

Remember, just because it’s technical, doesn’t mean it has to be complicated!

Technically Speaking – Management was Shocked When They Saw This Report!

March 3rd, 2016 by

Struggling with the same type of incidents, but can’t figure out why?  Does someone complain about management everyday, but management believes they are always right? The Root Cause Distribution Report, available in the TapRooT® Version 5 Software, can help by bringing generic issues to light that may be overlooked.  The Root Cause Distribution Report shows us a top-down view of the organization and aggregates all the investigation data into one simple report.

We can narrow down our scope by choosing specific locations, classifications, or date ranges too. This can be valuable if we have several locations across the world, or we use TapRooT® in multiple ways such as Safety, Environmental or Quality incidents.

We can see in this example below that Management System has significantly more Root Causes identified than any other category. The next page of the report will detail the Root Causes from each category so we can investigate further.

RCT distribution

On the next page we can see the specific Root causes that make up each Basic Cause Category. It appears that our Standards and Policies do not exist or are poorly written. What should we do? Maybe we should PROACTIVELY review our current policies and look for places to improve, or setup a quarterly review of our policies to keep them updated.


The Root Cause Distribution Report helps identify areas where generic or systemic analysis can be applied. Have a look at the report in your TapRooT® Software by going to the left menu and selecting SEARCH & TREND > ROOT CAUSE DISTRIBUTION.


Technically Speaking is a weekly series that highlights various aspects of our Version 5 software, introduces you to the upcoming TapRooT® VI release and occasionally includes a little Help Desk humor.

Remember, just because it’s technical, doesn’t mean it has to be complicated!


Meet the TapRooT® Tech Support Team

March 2nd, 2016 by

We think our tech support team is pretty great, and they were hard at work today testing TapRooT® VI software. We thought you might want to see the friendly faces that are working hard behind the scene.  If you’ve called in or emailed support, these are the folks who help you with your software questions. If you haven’t noticed yet, they are writing a new column called “Technically Speaking” on the blog. To catch up on what they’ve written so far, go here.





Technically Speaking – Migrating the TapRooT® Software to a New Machine

February 25th, 2016 by

So, it has been a busy year for the company and to say the least, the company has had a few incidents. With incidents comes incident investigation, with incident investigations comes TapRooT® software! You have used this software so much that it has become another part of you. Then something out of the blue happens, maybe a blessing? You have been informed by the I.T. department that the company is doing a computer upgrade! Wait. No. All this time, all these investigations! How will the TapRooT® software transfer to the new computer without losing data? Well, there is great news, the TapRooT® software has just a few simple steps to make a potential disaster, a major success.

If you have been following our blog, you may have watched the video “Technically Speaking – Backing up a TapRooT® Database“. This is critical! So if you have not watched this video, we advise taking the time to do so.

The first step we need to take is to make a copy of the database that will need to be transferred to the new machine.

  • Open the TapRooT® software
  • Select the Admin tab and choose Database Backup / Restore.

When you choose this option you will then notice a screen indicating that to use this utility all users need to be logged out of the application to prevent data loss. Press ok and the software will automatically shut down, so it’s best practice to make sure that all previous work has been saved.

Now, the Database Backup / Restore box will appear.

  • Select the Backup Existing Database radio button.

radio button

After this is selected, notice the Browse for Folder box appears. This is where the backup file will be stored. We recommend saving this backup file to the desktop so there will not be a need to scrummage through other files.

  • Click on Desktop and select OK

Once the file is saved to the desktop, notice how the software named the file looks something like this     TapRooTv5Backup_201342495924.bak .  The numbers represent the date and the time in which the file was saved. This is a default in the software and be changed once saved to the desktop if need be.

We will now need to copy the .bak file to a flask drive or a shared network drive so we can access the file from the new machine.  Once the file has been transferred or copied to the new machine, we will now need to run the v532SU_TapRooT_Installer.exe file to install the TapRooT® software.

Once we have successfully installed the TapRooT® software, we will need to do a Restore Existing Database Backup.

  • Open the TapRooT® software.
  • Go the Admin tab.
  • Select Database Backup / Restore.
  • Select Restore Existing Database Backup.
  • Select the Desktop folder and choose the .bak file that was saved earlier.

We should now be able to open the TapRooT® software and see that all our investigations are where they should be. This may seem like a daunting process at first, but TapRooT® has made this an easy and stress free which everyone needs once in a while in their life.


Technically Speaking is a weekly series that highlights various aspects of our Version 5 software, introduces you to the upcoming TapRooT® VI release and occasionally includes a little Help Desk humor.

Remember, just because it’s technical, doesn’t mean it has to be complicated!

Technically Speaking – Helpdesk Humor

February 18th, 2016 by


Would you say that some error messages should be classified  as a “Long Message” Root Cause?

Technically Speaking is a weekly series that highlights various aspects of our Version 5 software, introduces you to the upcoming TapRooT® VI release and occasionally includes a little Help Desk humor.

Remember, just because it’s technical, doesn’t mean it has to be complicated!

Technically Speaking – A Sneak Peek at TapRooT® VI (Q and A Edition)

February 11th, 2016 by

I recently attended a 5 Day Course (it was awesome!) so I had a chance to get feedback directly from people in the field using the TapRooT® Version 5 Software. I received lots of great questions and comments so I thought I would share some of the questions (and answers) with you. You may notice a theme here…

Q: On the SnapCharT® in Version 5, if I decide I need to change an Event to a Condition or a Condition to an Event, can I do this without having to add a new shape and delete the old one?

A: No. BUT, you can in TapRooT® VI!
With the simple click of a button, you can change an Event to a Condition or vice versa. No more adding, moving or deleting shapes just because you want to change it. Keep your text in place and simply click the “Change” button.

Q: Can I apply default colors, and fonts, sizes, etc. to my Events, Conditions and Incidents in Version 5?

A: No. BUT, you can in TapRooT® VI!
EVERY USER can assign their own custom colors, and font types, sizes, bold/italics/underline settings for EACH SnapCharT® shape. And once you indicate these preferences, they will carry over to every SnapCharT® you do.

Q: When I’m using any of the Optional Techniques in Version 5 (like Change Analysis, CHAP, Equifactor® or Safeguards Analysis) and I identify a Condition or Event that needs to be added to my SnapCharT®, can I do this without having to leave the Optional Technique, open my SnapCharT® and manually add the shape and text?

A: No. BUT, you can in TapRooT® VI!
The new and improved Optional Techniques allow you to immediately take your information and click a button that adds your Condition or Event to the SnapCharT®. It is added to a “Drop Zone” area and when you return to the SnapCharT®, your new Condition or Event is waiting there for you to drag and drop it onto the chart.

Q: When I’m using the Root Cause Tree® and I want to remember specifically which questions I answered “Yes” to, can I indicate this in the Version 5 Software or do I manually have to add a comment?

A: No. BUT, you can in TapRooT® VI!
How many times have you gone back to an Investigation and wondered, “Why exactly did I decide to choose this Root Cause?” Wonder no more! TapRooT® VI still has the capability of saving Root Cause Tree® Analysis Comments, but it also allows you to select “Yes” or “No” to any question from the Root Cause Tree® Dictionary with the click of a button.

yes no radio buttons


Thanks to all the users for great questions and comments. These are just a few of the exciting new features that were discussed so STAY TUNED for more Sneak Peeks at TapRooT® VI.

Technically Speaking is a weekly series that highlights various aspects of our Version 5 software, introduces you to the upcoming TapRooT® VI release and occasionally includes a little Help Desk humor.

Remember, just because it’s technical, doesn’t mean it has to be complicated!

Technically Speaking – Backing up a TapRooT® Database

February 4th, 2016 by

This week I ‘d like to discuss the steps to backup your TapRooT® database. This is great to know should you need to move your software to a new machine and want to retain your data.

Technically Speaking is a weekly series that highlights various aspects of our Version 5 software, introduces you to the upcoming TapRooT® VI release and occasionally includes a little Help Desk humor.

Remember, just because it’s technical, doesn’t mean it has to be complicated!

Technically Speaking – Helpdesk Humor

January 28th, 2016 by


Sometimes we end up with poor corrective actions… but every now and then we create the perfect solution.
TapRooT® can help create perfect Corrective Actions and Safeguards to prevent accidents before they happen!


Technically Speaking is a weekly series that highlights various aspects of our Version 5 software, introduces you to the upcoming TapRooT® VI release and occasionally includes a little Help Desk humor.
Remember, just because it’s technical, doesn’t mean it has to be complicated!

Technically Speaking – A Sneak Peek at TapRooT® VI

January 21st, 2016 by

Did you know that early in 2016 there will be a NEW TapRooT® software release?? If not, I am excited to inform you that TapRooT® VI will be introduced with a whole new design, improved features and LOTS of enhancements to help guide you through the TapRooT® process.

TapRooT® VI is a web-based software application so it provides many new and modern conveniences. It is engineered to be smarter, faster, and easier to use.

  • It is supported by any web browser of your choice (i.e. Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.)
  • Want to use TapRooT® on the go? It’s now compatible with multiple devices so it is available for use on your iPad, tablet and Smartphone
  • There is no need to download and install to your computer(s) or other devices, making upgrades a thing of the past

TapRooT® VI is offered in a Single User or Enterprise version to fit your needs and assist in the creation of Incidents, Investigations, Audits and Action Plans.

Did you notice that I said creation of INCIDENTS?? Yes, TapRooT® VI has the capability of also being used as your Incident Management Software. You can document and trend your Incident data and IF you choose to, escalate it to an Investigation and create Corrective Actions. Keep your Incidents, Investigations, Audits and Action Plans all in one place!

Brand new navigation features and displays make it easy to understand each TapRooT® step throughout the process flow. TapRooT® VI helps you clearly distinguish:

  • Where you are in the process
  • Where you came from (and how to go back)
  • Where you need to go (and how to get there)


TapRooT® VI also offers A TON of ways to customize the software at a Global, Division or User level. You can add customized:

  • Tabs and fields to record data and use for reporting and trending
  • Reports and Report Templates
  • Default color schemes in SnapCharT®
  • Company logos for the homepage and reports
  • And so much more!

Do you use Safeguards Analysis, Equifactor®, CHAP or Change Analysis while performing the TapRooT® process? If you do, you’re in for a treat. If you don’t, get ready to use them! (And you’re also in for a treat as well).  TapRooT® VI will impress with a complete makeover of the Optional Techniques that include improved design, navigation and usability. And even better, you now can add your findings as EVENTS or CONDITIONS to your SnapCharT® with the click of a button.

safeguard blog

Want to see more? This is just your first sneak peek at TapRooT® VI so STAY TUNED for a closer look at these and MANY MORE upgrades in the upcoming release!


Technically Speaking is a weekly series that highlights various aspects of our Version 5 software, introduces you to the upcoming TapRooT® VI release and occasionally includes a little Help Desk humor.

Remember, just because it’s technical, doesn’t mean it has to be complicated!

Technically Speaking – Importing a SnapCharT®

January 14th, 2016 by

You’ve received a SnapCharT® from your colleague and you now need to get into your TapRooT® software, but you are not sure how to do that. Behold! The video below will walk you through the steps to import the SnapCharT® into your system.

Click here to view the process for exporting a SnapCharT® into your TapRooT® software.


Technically Speaking is a weekly series that highlights various aspects of our Version 5 software, introduces you to the upcoming TapRooT® VI release and occasionally includes a little Help Desk humor.

Remember, just because it’s technical, doesn’t mean it has to be complicated!

Technically Speaking – Exporting a SnapCharT®

January 13th, 2016 by

We would like to welcome you to our new Technical Support series for 2016, Technically Speaking. This weekly series will highlight various aspects of our Version 5 software, introduce you to the upcoming TapRooT® VI release and even include a little Help Desk humor from time to time. We’ll start off this series with a look at how to export a SnapCharT® out of your TapRooT® Version 5 software.

Click here to view the process for importing a SnapCharT® into your TapRooT® software.


Technically Speaking is a weekly series that highlights various aspects of our Version 5 software, introduces you to the upcoming TapRooT® VI release and occasionally includes a little Help Desk humor.
Remember, just because it’s technical, doesn’t mean it has to be complicated!

What’s New in TapRooT® Version 5.2.0: Left Menu

December 10th, 2012 by

We just released our new 5.2.0 software and the left-side menu has been overhauled into a more intuitive, easier to use interface as shown below:

To help you get better acquainted with this new interface I’d like to provide you a breakout of each menu item and any sub-menus items that may be available.


My Investigations/Audits

  • Create New
    • Investigation
    • Audit
  •  Open Recent
  • Import

Search & Trend

  • Search All
  • Investigation/Audit List
  • Corrective Action List
  • Root Cause Distribution
  • New Export Data to Excel
  • New Top 10 Root Causes
  • New Count of Investigations
  • New Cost of Investigations
  • New Pareto Chart
  • New Process Behavior Chart  


  • Manage Documents
  • Open Recent
  • Create New
    • SnapCharT®
    • Root Cause Tree®
    • Equifactor®
    • Change Analysis
    • CHAP
    • Safeguards
    • Corrective Action


  • Table of Contents
  • TapRooT® Website
  • About TapRooT®
  • Database Backup/Restore
  • User Management
    • Users
    • Reports
  • System Lists
    • New Attachment Folders
    • Classifications
    • Departments
    • Equipment
    • Locations
    • Custom Details Fields
  • System Setup
    • Authentication
    • Numbering Scheme
    • E-Signature Confirmations
  • Email
    • Email Setup
    • Email Test
    • Email Notification
  • Optional Techniques
  • Edit Equifactor®
    • Performance Factor Groups
    • Change Analysis Headings
  • System Reports

Log Out

There you have it: A quick look at the new interface of TapRooT® Software Version 5.2.0.

If you have any questions, feel free to drop us a line at or by calling us at 865-539-2139

TapRooT® Software Version 5.2 Release Notes

November 30th, 2012 by

We are excited to announce the release of the TapRooT® Version Single User and Web Enterprise software.  This new version of the TapRooT® software introduces a number of enhancements to help you become more efficient using the software.  Below you see a screenshot of the updated interface and a list of software features and enhancements.


Investigation Editor

  • Buttons moved to top of window for easier navigation
  • Locations/Classifications
    • New Search function
    • Improved User Interface.
  • Enhanced Custom Details fields.
  • New Attachments section
    • Custom Attachment folders.
    • Drag and Drop attachments between folders.
    • Easily view all attachments.
  • Team Member Section Improved
    • Team Member permissions can be set to Full Access or View Only.
    • New Team Member search function added.
  • Added “Estimated Cost’ field for Trending purposes.
  • New Required fields identified by asterisk.
  • Enhanced Help Menu navigation.


  • New Left Menu
    • Reorganized for easier navigation.
    • Dynamic menu based on the user’s permissions.
  • New Unique Home and Exit buttons.
  • New  TapRooT® logo links to the Home page.
  • New Double click on Investigation to open.
  • Sub-menu items expand dynamically.

NEW Search & Trend

  • New Pareto Charts
  • New Top 10 Root Causes
  • New Process Behavior Chart
  • New Export Data to Excel
  • New Count of Investigations
  • New Cost of Investigations
Import Investigations/Audits
  • New Sample cases added to drop down list.
  • Enhanced navigation.
Corrective Action Responsible Person
  • Improved user interface.
  • Search capability added.
Software Administration
  • User authorization menu removed.
  • Simplified User permission configuration.
 Additional Enhancements
  • Additional support for Foreign Language Operating Systems and Languages.
  • The ‘<‘ character can be used when creating system hierarchies.
  • Improved encryption.

Get the Most from your TapRooT® Software

November 15th, 2011 by

TapRooT® software allows electronic reporting of incidents and provides categorization necessary to track them.  It helps investigators organize their thoughts and present information they collect.  The software helps facilitate the root cause analysis of reactive and proactive investigations, and provides advanced equipment troubleshooting tools to understand equipment failures.  The software provides an electronic review and approval feature for management, maintains a database of incident information, and provides tracking, validation and verification of corrective actions.  It also provides categorization and trending capabilities to allow the use of advanced trending techniques.

TapRooT® software users around the world are planning to register for the TapRooT® Software Super Users/Administrators track the 2012 Global TapRooT® Summit to learn best practices in using this software and learn all of the latest developments.  Here are a few sessions planned for 2012 to help you get the most from your TapRooT® software:

Chris Vallee

Chris Vallee will be presenting “Trending Using the TapRooT® Software.”  This session will cover how to use your data for trending purposes in the TapRooT® V5 Software, including:

• Corrective Action Status Reports
• Root Cause Reports
• Search Function
• Defining Trending Going Forward

Chris Vallee is a TapRooT® Instructor and Senior Associate at System Improvements.

Dan Verlinde

Dan Verlinda will be presenting, “Bridging the Software Knowledge Gap.”  Dan is the Director of Information Technology & Software Development at System Improvements.

This session will cover a range of topics Enterprise clients will need to address for successful TapRooT® V5 Software implementation, including:

• Software Installation
• Implementation Strategy
• System Configuration & Administrative Tools
• Data Migration

Dan will also be presenting “What’s New in the TapRooT® Software.”  This session will cover new developments in the TapRooT® Software since the last TapRooT® Summit.  Even if you are not a software administrator, many Summit attendees who use TapRooT® add this best practice session as a custom course to their track to stay up-to-date and polish their super-user skills.

Learn more about the software track on the Summit schedule page.

TapRooT® Technical Tip – Three Ways TapRooT® System Software Saves You Time

September 7th, 2011 by

When you attend one of the TapRooT® courses, your instructor introduces you to the 7-step TapRooT® systematic process for finding the real root causes of problems so you can solve them once and for all.  During your training, your instructor will also introduce you to our TapRooT® System software as a tool to facilitate the investigation or audit and determine what corrective actions need to be implemented.  I’d like to discuss three areas where the use of the TapRooT® software saves you time: Centralization of data, Email Notifications, and the Copy/Paste Feature.

1. Centralization of Data:
Typically when conducting a root cause analysis investigation or audit, you will need to collect various pieces of documentation including items such as eyewitness statements and photographic evidence.  If this is a large-scale investigation, the amount of work necessary to collect and organize the data can be  cumbersome and difficult to organize.  The TapRooT® software provides you a central repository to store documents and can be assigned to particular investigations.   When you use the centralized data store, you are more efficient in conducting your investigation and tracking what documentation you have and what documentation you still require to complete your investigation.

2. Email Notifications:
The TapRooT® software also saves you time is the inclusion of a robust email notification system.  This notification system is highly customizable and allows you to create unique notifications for various investigation events. This ensures that all team members stay aware of the investigation status.  The notification system can also be used to inform users of their responsibilities regarding Corrective Actions.  As each step of a Corrective Action is completed, the software will automatically notify the team member responsible for the next step.

3. Copy and Paste Feature:
During your investigation process, you will need to determine the root cause for any causal factors you identified.  The TapRooT® software includes an electronic version of the Root Cause Dictionary which provides you the ability to copy and paste definitions straight into your investigations instead of manually entering them.  These definitions help guide management through the reason behind selecting certain events as causal factors in your investigation.

In conclusion, these time-saving tips are just a sample of the unique ways using the TapRooT® software can save you time when conducting your investigation.  We would love to hear how the TapRooT® software saves you time!  Leave a comment below or send me an email to share how the TapRooT® software helps save your organization time when conducting an investigation.

Ready to learn more about TapRooT® System Software?  Register for the TapRooT® Software Super Users/Administrators track, (2012 TapRooT® Global Summit, February 29 – March 2, 2012, Las Vegas, Nevada) or Getting the Most from Your TapRooT® Software, (Pre-Summit course, February 27 and 28, 2012).

Root Cause Analysis Tip: TapRooT® Software – Configuring Custom Fields

August 17th, 2011 by

During the course of your investigations, I’m sure you’ve often found that you need to add custom fields.  Custom Fields can be defined as any specific piece of data that is required to be entered in every investigation or audit.  The TapRooT® Software Details/Attachments section in the lower right area of the Investigation Editor screen provides you with the ability to add attachments and custom details to your investigation.

The software includes two default details fields: Current Conditions and Immediate Corrective Actions, both of which are defined as ‘Text’ data types.  Both the field description and data type can be edited and additional types can be created.

Let’s walk through creating a new Custom Field called “Images” which will contain photos from the investigation.  The first step is to navigate to the left side menu and select AdminSetupCustom Details Fields where you will be presented with the Customize Fields screen.

At this point we want to press the [Add] button and fill in the fields with the information we want to use for our “Images” custom field:

Field Description: Images
Sort Order: 300 
This field is a numerical value that allows you to determine the order that custom fields appear in the drop-down menu. The software lists fields sequentially based on Sort Order value.  I advise setting your Sort Values in increments of 100 to accommodate any future additional custom fields.

Data Type: Binary(Attachment)

We also want select the Investigation/Audit and Submission checkboxes and press the [Save] button to complete the process.

Congratulations!  The Customize Fields screen now reflects our newly created custom field.  This custom field is now available for future investigations and audits.

You can repeat this process for as many custom fields as you would like.  If you have any questions, please feel free contact Technical Support via email or call 865-539-2139.

Software users:  plan now to attend the exclusive 2-day “Getting the Most from Your TapRooT® Software” course held in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 27-28, 2012 right before the Global TapRooT® Summit.  Learn more on the Summit website.


Steve Raycraft is a member of the TapRooT® Tech Support Team.

TapRooT® Technical Tip – Connection String Error Message

July 20th, 2011 by

I’d like to clarify the reason some of our users are experiencing ‘The ConnectionString property has not been initialized’ error when trying to open the TapRooT® Single-User Version 5 software.

This is typically caused by Microsoft SQLExpress 2005 not installing correctly during the installation of the TapRooT® Single-User Software. The TapRooT® software installation is composed of two parts.  The first part is the installation of the TapRooT® software specific files.  Once those files are installed, a few ‘command’  windows will pop up asking the user to press any key and the MS SQLExpress 2005 installation portion on the installation will initiate.

You will be prompted to ‘Press any key’ twice during this process. During the database installation, there will be a window that will open in the background indicating that the software has finished installing and you can press the [Close] button to complete the installation.  You do NOT want to press that button yet.  That message indicates that only the TapRooT® files have been installed.

Once the TapRooT® files AND MS SQLExpress 2005 have been successfully installed and configured, the software will automatically open.  At this point it is now safe to press the [Close] button to complete the TapRooT® installation.

If the software does not open or you receive any other error message, please visit our Knowledge Base or send us an email.


Steve Raycraft joined System Improvements in 2007 and is part of the TapRooT® Technical Support Team.

TapRooT® Version 5 SnapCharT Tool and Internet Explorer 8

March 18th, 2010 by

The new web-based version of TapRooT® software utilizes a completely rewritten SnapCharT tool.  As a result, there is a script that needs to run the first time you open the tool that adds your internal URL as a trusted site.  However, on machines with Internet Explorer 8 installed, that action needs to be performed manually.  We have an article that details how to do that and it can be found here

Installing TapRooT® on a Netbook Computer

October 15th, 2009 by

“Installing TapRooT® on a Netbook Computer” is an article submitted by Steve Raycraft, our Technical Support Rep. Thanks, Steve!

Use This Procedure If …

– You want to install the TapRooT® System Software on your netbook computer.

Step-by-Step Instructions

The default resolution for most netbook computers is 1024×600 and as a result, you will get the following error when you try to open the TapRooT® software:


The way to resolve this issue is to force your computer to use the resolution of 1024×768. Here are the steps to do that:

1. Right-click on your desktop and select Properties to display your Desktop Properties.

2. Go to the Settings tab and press the ADVANCED button to bring up the Adaptor and Monitor Properties window.

3. Select the Monitor tab and uncheck the box ‘Hide modes that this monitor cannot display’ and press OK.


4. You can now go to the Settings tab and change the resolution to 1024×768. Keep in mind, you will need to scroll to see your entire screen after changing the resolution.

5. Double-click on the TapRooT® System Software icon and the software will now open.

Investigation Assistance – When To Ask For Help

May 11th, 2009 by

People who attend TapRooT® Training know that trainees are expected to go back to work as self-sufficient investigators. They should be able to perform an excellent root cause analysis without an outside facilitator. But it’s always nice when you are a new investigator to start off with some easy incidents before diving into a politically sensitive accident or a legally difficult fatality. Plus some investigations are better when facilitated by an outsider. Therefore, here are some suggestions of when to ask for help facilitating, investigating, and analyzing the root causes of an incident.

Legal: Could this accident end up in court? If so, you need the help of your company’s attorney. They may need to be involved BEFORE the investigation starts to establish “attorney/client privilege.” In these cases, the attorney may want to hire an outside expert to review the company’s investigation and help spot potential weaknesses before legal action starts.

Customer Dispute: It’s always tough when a customer has a problem and blames your product/service. What do you do if you think that the product/service was OK but instead, the customer’s actions caused the problem? Root cause analysis could be a big help. But will the customer believe the results of your employees’ investigation? This is a good time to get an outside facilitator to provide an independent perspective.

Union Issue: Ever had an investigation that gets contentious with a union? This may be time to ask for help. An outside facilitator provides an independent perspective and can help both sides see how to achieve improvement.

Just Learning: TapRooT® Training is a great start for a new investigator. But, as we say in the course, get your feet wet when you go back to work by performing some easy investigations. What if a complex accident happens when you are newly training? Ask for help! Get an experienced investigator to help you facilitate the investigation or to review your work and coach you.

Overwhelmed: Too many accidents to investigate? Augment your staff with outside facilitators to help investigate incidents and provide your investigators with valuable feedback.

SI has 40+ experienced TapRooT® investigators around the world to provide help when you need it. Contact us at the link above or call 865-539-2139.

Root Cause Analysis Tips: Sharing SnapCharT®s

May 5th, 2009 by

Hello everybody and welcome to another Root Cause Analysis Tips Blog. This time around we’re going to take a look at attaching files to SnapCharTs.

The crux of the behavior you see is this: SnapCharT only places a reference to the file in question, and does not copy the data in any way.

The question is, how can I share these files with other network users? The key is in file location. More specifically, a shared file location that is available in the same places on all machines.

Let’s see how it works:

First, you’ll need to attach the file to the SnapCharT by right clicking on the object and choosing Launch:

Now the key here is the location of the file you are attaching. If you attach the file from your local hard drive instead of a network location, you’ll see the following error when another employee attempts to open it by double clicking on the small diamond icon next to the object:

Followed by a “File Open” dialog asking where the file is.

In order to fix this, attach the file from a shared network resource, such as a mapped drive that is the same drive name on all machines.

For example, attaching X:\image.jpg, where the “X:” drive is a network mapped drive on all machines, will allow all users to see the attached file with no problems.

I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about the file attaching process to SnapCharTs. Using this knowledge you should be able to keep your team further involved by ensuring all of their SnapCharT attachments are opening properly.

Thanks for reading, and if you are interested in learning more about the software, I would highly suggest you take a look at our 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leading Training Courses. These include a complete rundown of how the software works and how best you can implement it in your own business / safety needs, as well as teaching you the powerful and easy to use TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis.

Meet TapRooT® Instructor: Kevin Palardy

April 28th, 2009 by


For the past 15 years, Kevin Palardy has enjoyed an international career working with thousands of teams in a variety of business development initiatives. Kevin has been instrumental in leading thousands of groups through the TapRooT® process to identify and implement best practices to improve business performance. Kevin has previously held positions, in QHSE, Corporate Development Specialist and Celebrity Liaison. He is the founder of a multi-million dollar investment firm and for ‘fun’ consults to an international group of companies in the area of business improvement. He currently resides in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his wife and two children.

Kevin will be participating in one of several industry best practice sharing sessions at the 2009 TapRooT® Summit: Oil Exploration & Production.

How is TapRooT® being utilized to promote best practices within the oil exploration and production industry? How are root causes being tracked to evaluate effectiveness of investigations and corrective actions? Come prepared to discuss these and other issues as we seek to promote operational excellence!

TapRooT® Summit – Building your Business Case

March 13th, 2009 by

TapRooT® Software Super-User/Administration Track

If you have been using TapRooT® for awhile and/or you are your company’s administrator, you will want to keep up with the latest in software updates.  The summit is the best time to do that, and also get some valuable use tips.  This also is your opportunity for plenty of face time with our technology team.  We know you’ll have to justify your attendance to your organization, so I wanted to share some information on the track best practice sessions so you can see the value:

• Your first session will be “A TapRooT® V5 Software User’s Forum,” facilitated by Dan Verlinde and Evan Erwin. This session will allow users an opportunity to give feedback, ask questions, and gather knowledge on TapRooT® software technical support, including the technical support knowledge base, the software download site, technical support topics, and contacting technical support.  We’ll also gather feedback from users on V5 and answer questions about future products (Web or General design).

• Dan Verlinde will lead “TapRooT® V5 Enterprise Software Configuration & Implementation.” This session will cover a range of topics System Administrators and Super-Users will need to address after installing the TapRooT® V5 Software.

• You’ll get the latest information on software from Dan Verlinde, Ed Skompski, and Linda Unger in the session “What’s New in The TapRooT® V5 Software.“ 

• In the “TapRooT® User Best Practice Sharing Forum,” Linda Unger and Michelle Lindsay will facilitate a user discussion so everyone can learn from each other.  Two heads are better than one, so bring your best practices to share with the group.

• Dan Verlinde and Ed Skompski will present “Managing Incidents & Corrective Actions Using the TapRooT® Software,” covering corrective actions, Corrective Action Helper, and corrective action status in the TapRooT® V5 Software, including user management of investigations/documents and corrective action management.

“Trending Using the TapRooT® Software” will be presented by Ed Skompski, Dan Verlinde, and Chris Vallee.  This session will cover how to use your data for trending purposes in the TapRooT® V5 Software, including corrective action status reports, root cause reports, the search function, and defining trending needs going forward.

• Dan Verlinde will also address “What TapRooT® V5 Software Super-Users Need to Know (But Were Afraid to Ask).”  He will cover Super-Users’ experience implementing the TapRooT® V5 Software and how they met their businesses needs, including user groups, list hierarchies, custom details fields, and reporting.

• In the session “Making Your Investigation Team a TapRooT® V5 Users Group,” Ed Skompski and Dan Verlinde will cover how an investigation team can collaborate to use the TapRooT® V5 Software including defining user group security needs, sharing data access using team member security, assigning responsibility for corrective actions, and handling non-software user participation in investigation.


Ed, Evan, and Dan

After these sessions, you should be well prepared to lead your teams in using the software to its fullest.  You will be a true Super-User!  But WAIT!  There is MORE:

You’ll meet in the morning and afternoon with attendees from all tracks to hear the keynote speakers:

Dr. Joel Fish, Brian Tink, and Jim Thompson will talk about how just one root cause analysis changed an industry practice.

E.D. Hill from Fox News will talk about “Lessons Learned from Success.”

Mike Kelley will deliver an empowering talk called “Establishing a Culture that Promotes Super-Performance” where he will discuss his view that personal and professional growth are tied together and how they ultimately add to the success of the organization.

Mark Paradies, our President, and Dave Prewitt will present thoughts on systematic ways to manage performance.

• Best selling author John Miller will open the day on Friday with a powerful talk on personal accountability.

These keynote talks provide a good balance of usable techniques, personal improvement, and motivation, and alone are easily worth the cost of the summit!  How much would it cost to hire just one of these amazing speakers?

And by the way, there is one more thing – the last session you attend will be “Planning Your Improvements” where TapRooT® Instructors will facilitate attendees in developing action plans for when you return.  The difference in success and failure can come down to one simple process; setting goals and following through to achieve them.

Keep Current!  Tell your management that you want to attend the Software Super-User/Administration Track at the 2009 Summit.  Write down the value to you of each of these sessions, and decide how much the summit is worth to you.  I think you’ll agree, much more than the cost ($995).

Don’t forget our 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 fee.

P.S. – I would be remiss if I did not mention that it is also a great idea to come two days early and attend a two-day course at a cost of $1895 for a course and the summit (a $200 discount).

See the list of two-day pre-summit courses here:    

See you at the summit!

TapRooT Root Cause Tips: Which Installation Deployment Is Right For You?

March 4th, 2009 by

Hello everybody and welcome to another edition of the Root Cause Tips Blog. This week I want to highlight the different deployment methods you can use when deploying the TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Software.

Method 1: Single User Installation

Best for: Individual users, very small groups (2-3 people)

The TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis software can be installed in many ways, but by default it installs a “Single User” copy, meaning a local database with no login credentials necessary when starting the software. Also note that a Single User license allows you to install the software in two places: Once on your primary desktop machine, and again on your personal laptop. Both of these computers need to be your personal machine(s) to be compliant with your license, and it’s nice to have the flexibility of using two different machines and simply importing and exporting data between them.

In the case of small groups, you’ll do a lot of importing and exporting. This means it will take time for you and your team to get “on the same page” as it were, and there will need to be an emailing system or file sharing system to allow everyone access to these exported files.

While this is one way to work, with more than one user your best bet is to ‘trade up’ for the Workgroup Version.

Method 2: Workgroup Installation

Best for: Small to medium-sized groups (2 – 10 People)

This method of installation has a client machine, that is a machine that is running Windows XP or Windows Vista (not Windows Server) “act” like a server by running the database for all connecting machines. This affords you power of user logins and incident-based permissions.

This is an installation for low-volume clients, those who may have two or more users logged in at the same time, but will rarely run at ‘full capacity’ where a dozen or more are logged in at once. This install doesn’t require the purchase or use of Microsoft SQL Server or Windows Server, but also can quickly degrade in performance based on usage and other factors.

For those who have a small safety or investigation team in place and have network access to a single machine that will act as a server, this is potentially the installation for you.

Method 3: Enterprise Web

Best for: Large-scale or company-wide implementations, groups across multiple sites, 10+ Users

This is our latest and most advanced Root Cause Analysis software yet, the Version 5 TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Enterprise Web. This software runs on Internet Information Services (IIS) on Windows Server and is fully powered by Microsoft SQL Server. This allows almost unlimited access to the TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis tools and techniques, along with powerful (and graphically enhanced) Crystal Reports with which to show your results to supervisors and management.

Thanks to the processing power of Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server, you should have no problems with scaling or the amount of users on the system at one time. A Workgroup installation method will see slowdowns and performance issues while a web application suffers from none of these drawbacks. And of course, since it runs in Internet Explorer, you will have access to your incident data anywhere you have network access. Removing the need for client-by-client installations greatly reduces the cost and strain on your IT resources and greatly streamlines both training and implementation.

This is our flagship product and the one recommended for new installations. If you’re thinking about implementing a powerful, robust, easy to use and implement product that takes your incident investigations and human performance programs to the next level, then the Version 5 Web Enterprise TapRooT® System Software is the choice for your business.

Thanks everyone for reading, we’ll see you next time.

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