Category: Technical Support

Technically Speaking – June Customer Satisfaction Survey Prize Winner

July 13th, 2016 by

Here at System Improvements, customer satisfaction is very important to us. We strive to ensure our customers’ questions are treated in a timely and efficient manner.

This is so important to us that it’s actually part of our Technical Support Mission Statement:

To provide timely, courteous and effective technical support to System Improvements staff and all TapRooT® customers, achieving customer satisfaction and process efficiency.

In order to ensure we are providing great service, we have implemented a new customer satisfaction rating system, where our customers can rate their experience with our Support Team. The feedback has been extremely valuable to us.

As a thank you to all our customers who take the time to fill out a Survey, all respondents are entered into a monthly drawing to win a TapRooT® polo shirt.

Everyone, congratulate Kim Taylor from WILLBROS Canada as the polo shirt winner for the month of June!

Technically Speaking – SnapCharT® Versions in TapRooT® VI

July 7th, 2016 by

Hello and welcome to the Technically Speaking blog. This week we will talk about Versions in SnapCharT® a new feature in TapRooT® VI. You may be thinking how could I use different Versions of my SnapCharT®? We will go over some examples but first let me show you how to save a version. With your SnapCharT® open you will see the Save_a_Copy icon in the upper left-hand corner. After clicking this icon you will be prompted to give this copy a name.

ListAdmin
Click on the image to view a larger copy in a new window

For those of you that are familiar with our version 5 software, think of versions as the different seasons of SnapCharT® but with more *flexibility*.

As you can see from the image above I already have a version saved. In this example, I wanted to keep any questions or assumptions about this investigation on a separate version, after investigating I can go back to my Primary SnapCharT® and add any events or conditions that were created by these questions.

You could also create a “Report” Version of your SnapCharT®. By creating a version of the primary SnapCharT® you can then arrange this in a way to make it easier to present to upper management while leaving the Primary SnapCharT® unaltered.

Technically Speaking is a weekly series that highlights our TapRooT® VI software 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

June 30th, 2016 by

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Are you and your root cause analysis software not getting along? It’s time to get TapRooT® VI! Get your subscription HERE today.

 

Technically Speaking is a weekly series that highlights our TapRooT® VI software and occasionally includes a little Help Desk humor.

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

Technically Speaking – TapRooT® VI Toggles

June 23rd, 2016 by

This week I ‘d like to introduce you to the new toggle system found in the TapRooT® VI software. The toggle system allows you to customize your preferences on how you use the software including:

-Performing a BASIC investigation (for minor incidents) or a MAJOR investigation (for more complex incidents)
-Using the Root Cause Tree® as a QUESTION view or using the classic TREE view.
-Creating Corrective Actions using a SIMPLE method or a SMARTER form.

Watch the video to see how these features make TapRooT® VI a completely flexible, customizable software solution.

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 – TapRooT® VI is HERE!

June 16th, 2016 by

We are VERY excited to announce the official release of TapRooT® VI, our online software service.

TapRooT® VI is smarter, faster and easier to use. It is supported by most web browsers (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari) which makes it compatible with most devices (PC, Mac, Tablet, iPad, Smart Phone, iPhone); and there is no need to download or install, making upgrades a thing of the past.

Experience a whole new design, improved features and lots of enhancements to help guide you through the TapRooT® process.

Here are just some of the exciting new features that you’ll receive with your TapRooT® VI subscription:

  • Full Customization – Create your own custom pick lists, tabs, fields, reports, templates, SnapCharT® defaults and more
  • INCIDENT Management capabilities – Track Incidents, Investigations and Audits all in one place
  • Auto Save function – No need to click the Save Button! TapRooT® VI auto saves your work
  • Redesigned Optional Techniques – Safeguards Analysis, Change Analysis, CHAP and Equifactor® have a new look and improved usability as they interact directly with our SnapCharT®
  • Root Cause Tree® Options – TapRooT® VI now offers both the standard visual TREE View AND the new QUESTION View for an alternative questionnaire format – Track and save your YES and NO responses either way
  • SnapCharT® Enhancements – Apply default shape formatting and the ability to change Events to Conditions (and vice versa) with the simple click of a button
  • Corrective Actions – Use the new step-by-step method to create SMARTER fixes
  • Generic Cause Analysis – Identify, Analyze and create Corrective Actions for GENERIC Causes

TapRooT® VI is also available for new Enterprise customers as well, with a Data Migration release coming shortly for those of you who have Version 5 Enterprise data to preserve.

Get your individual access here today.

If you are a licensed Enterprise customer (or wanting to be), contact us for more information on availability.

Technically Speaking – What is a SnapCap?

June 9th, 2016 by

We’re back and ready to show off some new features of TapRooT® VI!

If you have been around the TapRooT® block for awhile, then you should know your way around a SnapCharT®. The SnapCharT® is the meat and potatoes of the TapRooT® software and it just got a whole new makeover! The designers here at System Improvements, Inc. thought long and hard on what features they could integrate into the software to make you, the user, a more intuitive SnapCharT®. Now, it is my job to present and guide you through a new feature called SnapCap®.

This new feature is pretty simple but yet packs a big punch when it comes to presentation time. With SnapCap® you can capture a portion of a SnapCharT® and save it to the attachment folder in the software. From the attachments folder, the captured images can be downloaded straight to the computer. This is helpful when a powerpoint presentation needs to be put together. Simply download the image, choose where to save the image on the local computer and put the image straight into a powerpoint slide.

In a recent blog post named Introduction to Report Builder for TapRooT® VI, we briefly mentioned using SnapCap®. With this feature, the user is able to include an important part of the SnapCharT® straight onto the report. For example, if a user wants to place a SnapCap® of the events and causal factors leading up to an incident, they can simply drag and drop the image on the report. Now, let’s take a closer look at this feature from start to finish.

When the SnapCharT® is open, notice that it looks a lot different. Just like a lot of web pages, notice the toolbar at the top. On the toolbar, locate the camera icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen as shown in the picture below. 

datachart

 

Once the camera has been selected, it will go into capture mode. This brings up a picture of the whole SnapCharT® that was created. For a larger SnapCharT®, you can use the scroll bars to move the page up, down, left and right to locate the section of the SnapCharT® that needs to be captured.

Capturepage

From this page, click to drag to capture an image of the SnapCharT®. The image can be as big or small as you want, so they can capture exactly they want to include in the SnapCap®.  As seen in the image below, we have captured conditions, events, causal factors, and broken safeguards. Notice after the certain conditions, events, causal factors and broken safeguards have been selected, that there is a camera and a red X at the bottom of the screen.

Capturecamera

If the user is not happy with the SnapCap taken, they can select the redX icon and it will trash the image and a new image can be captured. Once the user gets a SnapCap® they are pleased with, clicking the camera the program will prompt them to name and save the image as seen below.

Capturesave

There will be a couple of options here when naming the SnapCap®. By selecting the SnapCap name option, the user can name the image that suits it best. If they choose Common Type, they can choose a more generic name from the options given in the drop box. Once saved and the user is done with the SnapCap feature, they can click the blue button in the top left- hand corner “Exit from Capture Mode” and this will take the user back to the SnapCharT®.

Now, as mentioned earlier, once the SnapCap® is saved it goes to the attachments section located in the investigation. The user can get here by minimizing the SnapCharT® page and clicking on the Attachments  tab as shown below.  As you may notice, the user has used two common names and a unique name to label the SnapCaps.  Also, from this page, the user has the options to download the SnapCap to the local machine by clicking the   icon or the user can delete the SnapCap from the investigation by clicking on the redXicon.

Attachmentstab

If the user wishes to save the SnapCap to their machine, they can simply click the arrow icon and they will be prompted to Open, Save, or Cancel this request at the bottom of the screen. If the user would like to save the file to a specific location they should choose Save as. This will bring up the File Explorer page, where they choose the specific file of their choice. In the image below, the user has chosen to save their SnapCap in the Saved Pictures folder. Now that the SnapCap is saved to the computer, these can be shared, or added to a PowerPoint.

filesave

So in this article, we have gone over what SnapCap has to offer and also how to utilize SnapCap within your own investigation. Snapcap is just one of the many new features TapRooT® VI has to offer and still plenty more to come! So now that we see what SnapCap has offer, it’s your turn to go use this feature and make your investigations stand out from the rest!

 

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 – Customer Satisfaction Survey Prize Winner

June 2nd, 2016 by

Here at System Improvements, customer satisfaction is very important to us. We strive to ensure our customers’ questions are treated in a timely and efficient manner.

This is so important to us that it’s actually part of our Technical Support Mission Statement:

To provide timely, courteous and effective technical support to System Improvements staff and all TapRooT® customers, achieving customer satisfaction and process efficiency.

In order to ensure we are providing great service, we have implemented a new customer satisfaction rating system, where our customers can rate their experience with our Support Team. The initial feedback has been extremely valuable to us.

As a thank you to all our customers who take the time to fill out a Survey, all respondents are entered into a monthly drawing to win a TapRooT® polo shirt.

Everyone, congratulate Charlie Fewer from Waiward Steel LP as the polo shirt winner for the month of May!

Technically Speaking – Do You Want to be SMARTER???

June 2nd, 2016 by

Sure, we all want to be smarter but let’s talk about being SMARTER in TapRooT® terms.

When using the TapRooT® process, you will first Plan, Investigate and Analyze an incident to identify Causal Factors and their Root Cause(s). THEN, you will create Corrective Actions to help keep them from happening again in the future (Fix). To prevent future occurrences, you will want your Corrective Actions to be SMARTER.

SMARTER is an acronym that stands for:

S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Accountable
R – Reasonable
T – Timely
E – Effective
R – Reviewed

Each letter and an associated series of questions or statements should be thoroughly considered when creating your Corrective Actions. This will help provide guidance to ensure the BEST possible fix is developed and implemented.

What if I told you that the new TapRooT® VI software has a wizard that can help make you SMARTER???

gandalf

I don’t mean this type of wizard…I mean “wizard” like a “setup assistant” that will guide you through a series of steps to help you create SMARTER Corrective Actions.  TapRooT® VI provides a wizard that leads you step-by-step through each letter of the SMARTER acronym to help you consider all of the important aspects that go into creating the most effective Corrective Actions.

Take a look.

CA wizard

CLICK THE ABOVE IMAGE TO VIEW A LARGER COPY IN A NEW WINDOW

Once you have completed each step in the SMARTER wizard, your Implementation, Verification and Validation Plans with the associated Due Dates and Persons Responsible will be automatically added as Tasks to your Corrective Action. You can easily track what has been completed, not completed or is past due.

tasks created 2

CLICK THE ABOVE IMAGE TO VIEW A LARGER COPY IN A NEW WINDOW

But maybe you don’t want to create a SMARTER Corrective Action.  I’m not saying you want to create a dumb Corrective Action, but perhaps just a simpler fix that does not require multiple tasks. TapRooT® VI gives you the ability to document a SIMPLE version of a Corrective Action. A toggle button is featured that allows you to choose between creating a SMARTER or SIMPLE Corrective Action. Whatever fits your needs!

smarter simple 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!

Are you Using these FIVE Dynamic NEW Features of TapRooT® VI?

May 26th, 2016 by

LEARN MORE!

We have a 3-day Software Track at the 2016 Global Summit too!  
Look for “Software” on the left menu bar HERE to view the track schedule!

 

Technically Speaking – Expanded Support Hours & New Support Number

May 26th, 2016 by

To prepare for the upcoming launch of our new Version VI software, we are expanding our Technical Support Hours starting on June 1, 2016. Our new hours are 7:00am to 6:00pm Eastern Standard Time. Additionally, we are implementing a direct line for Technical Support. The new direct Technical Support number is 865-357-0080. If you would like, you can print the image below and post it near your desk for easy reference to our new phone number.

Support Hours

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

May 26th, 2016 by

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Tired of having to deal with installations or upgrades? TapRooT® VI will provide you ONLINE access to use TapRooT® software.

No more installations or upgrades.

All features enhancements will be updated automatically throughout the term of your subscription.

Check back here in early June for a major announcement.

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 – Introduction to Report Builder for TapRooT® VI

May 12th, 2016 by

Let’s take a walk through a report construction zone. On this walk, we will explore some of the features and elements that can be added to your report in TapRooT® VI and how it can make your reports stand out. But first, I would like to show an example of a finished product then explain how we got the report and help you get an understanding of the different fields for your reports.

PAGE 1

As you can see in the example there are a lot of things that can be shown on the report. The best thing is now you can Customize the report to show what you need it to.  Let’s start at the top of the report with the header. Here you are given the options to display your company’s logo and name, the title of the report and the date created (this is the day that the report is run). 

In the report, we can use Visual Elements to make sections of your report stand out from the rest. Visual elements like images can have your report make a statement and show how extensive the incident actually was and make an impact when reporting to management. Through the report builder, you are given the option to insert either a large image or a small image like the one on the report example above. Other elements such as line breaks, lines, and page breaks will help you separate investigation information from other information gathered from Custom Tabs (Click here to learn about creating Custom Tabs). 

As you can see we included a SnapCap into our report. Are you asking yourself, what is a SnapCap? A SnapCap is simply a SnapCharT® image capture that allows you to take an image of some part of your SnapCharT®. We included a SnapCap that shows our Sequence of Events in our report, but you are given the option to place other SnapCaps that may have been taken.

PAGE 2

On the second page of our report, we added a table showing our Root Causes and Corrective Actions, grouped by Causal Factor. For your report, you can choose to show each individual fields such as Causal Factors, Root Causes, Generic Causes, Action Plans and Tasks. Each one of these can be dragged and placed on the report individually in any order, but by choosing to have the table we create an organized view for presenting to the management team.

Other things that can be included in the report are attachments, Investigation Information and any information that was entered into Custom Tabs. Attachments can include pictures of the incident taken during the investigation. Investigation Information includes Name, Incident Date, Incident Time, Location and Classification (and anything else you want to add).

This concludes our walk through the construction zone of the Report Builder. We’ve looked at the different types of information that can be added to your report and items that can make sections of your report stand out. The only thing left to do if for you to construct your own personalized report.

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 – TapRooT® VI Custom Tabs

May 5th, 2016 by

Custom Tabs… You may wonder, what exactly is a custom tab and how would it benefit me?

Custom tabs allow any user to create their own personalized screen of information in the TapRooT® Software. For example, you can create a tab that contains all the information for your final management presentation, or you can create an audit form with 10 questions to ask during an audit. Even better, these tabs can be customized on a per user basis or per division (i.e. if you have multiple factories at your company).

Screenshot_2

You can create these custom tabs through the Admin > Custom Tabs section.
Simply create any field, label it, and then choose where and how it displays on the page. Fields can be dates, currency, yes/no questions, checkboxes, dropdown lists or paragraph textboxes.  Field order can be rearranged easily by dragging the field up and down the custom tab.

Screenshot_4

Custom fields have existed before in the TapRooT® Software, but this offers a fresh new experience for getting exactly what you want. You determine what tabs show up for your audits, incidents, and investigaitons.

Any field that is exists can be added to your reports. Choose, rearrange, and format any fields onto your report to get the exact information your management team wants to see.  It’s about time we got management to notice!

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 – Customer Satisfaction Survey Prize Winner

May 3rd, 2016 by

Here at System Improvements, customer satisfaction is very important to us. We strive to ensure our customers’ questions are treated in a timely and efficient manner.

This is so important to us that it’s actually part of our Technical Support Mission Statement:

To provide timely, courteous and effective technical support to System Improvements staff and all TapRooT® customers, achieving customer satisfaction and process efficiency.

In order to ensure we are providing great service, we have implemented a new customer satisfaction rating system, where our customers can rate their experience with our Support Team. The initial feedback has been extremely valuable to us.

As a thank you to all our customers who take the time to fill out a Survey, all respondents are entered into a monthly drawing to win a TapRooT® polo shirt.

Everyone, congratulate Rob Mendoza from Tidewater as the polo shirt winner for the month of April!

Technically Speaking – Help Desk Humor

April 28th, 2016 by

HELP DESK. Two words that can instill fear in anyone. Take a look at the video below and see if you can relate.

What comes to mind after that video? Do you get a recollection of similar incidents with your own Help Desk? You would rather just sit at your desk and not work than have to call the help desk. Is this due to past negative experiences with the Help Desk or just a fear of being given a solution you could have figured out yourself? Regardless of the reason, calling the help desk is often a dreaded task. Let’s take a look at two ways your local IT department can help you feel more empowered when a call to the Help Desk is required:

1. Human Engineering – Do you find that you and your colleagues constantly hit the wrong button and cause unexpected behavior when using a particular application?  That sounds like a design flaw. Updating that software in a way that prevents those accidental clicks can greatly reduce the number of calls to the local IT department.

2. Improved Training Programs – Not all of us are computer experts. We struggle with the basics at times even when the computer works properly. However, one area that is often overlooked in training is what do to if something goes wrong. Often times more than a reboot of your computer is required to resolve an issue. An improved training program including resolutions for common issues can greatly empower the user and ensure that when they contact the Help Desk, it’s due to a less common or possibly more significant issue on the machine.

3. Improved Procedure Documentation – How many times have you tried to follow instructions for a software program only to come across a window or message not documented in the procedure? It can be very frustrating and often set the mood of a call to the Help Desk. What if procedures were properly documented to include all the steps and prompts the user will experience while completing the procedure? Or better yet, what if your IT department made a video of the procedure that you can watch and pause as your complete the same procedure yourself? Videos are great training tools and eliminate possible ambiguities in a written procedure.

These are only a couple ways to help take away some of the fears you may have when calling your Help Desk. I encourage you to share this article with your local Help Desk and let them know if you need assistance in training or documentation relation to your computer. Conversely, if you have an awesome Help Desk, let them know that you appreciate their assistance whenever you have a computer issue!

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 – When is the PEN mightier than the KEYBOARD?

April 21st, 2016 by

When System Improvements lets me out of my cage (the cage where all the code-monkeys bang on typewriters until the latest release of the TapRooT® Software is complete), I often find myself in a TapRooT® course. Next week, for example, I will be teaching the TapRooT® 2 Day Course in Portland, Oregon using the  TapRooT® VI software!

When mingling with the users of the TapRooT® Software at a course, I often get asked the question, “When should you use the software during your investigation and when should you perform the process without the software?”

I think people typically expect me to say, “ALWAYS use the Software!”, because, well, I’m fond of job security.  

But in reality, I believe The TapRooT® Software is a valuable tool in performing an investigation, but like any other tool, you should only use it to accomplish the appropriate task. Sometimes the PEN is mightier than the keyboard.

image

You would not use a chainsaw to unclog your toilet, would you?
If you answered, “No of course not!”, then keep reading.
If you answered, “Yes”, then maybe you should stop reading and go call a plumber.

So “When”, you ask, “do you use the software and when do you not?”
My answer, “Stop interrupting, I was just about to tell you!”

GETTING STARTED
When you have a report of an incident and are just getting started, this is a great time to use the software. It is pretty simple to do:

• Enter 5 pieces of required information (Title, Description, Location, Classification, Date)

Pretty simple right?  Now you are in business, because the 7 Steps (or 5 Phases in Version VI) are going to guide you through the rest of the process.

The first step in that process is to create a new Spring SnapCharT® and add a few simple things to get your investigation started:

• Define your Incident (Circle Shape)
• Add the Events you know occurred (Rectangle Shape)
• Add QUESTIONS you want to ask when gathering evidence (Oval Shape)

After you do this, you are ready to go interview and gather evidence to answer those questions.

INTERVIEWING AND EVIDENCE GATHERING
Can you type with the quickness of a stenographer, while making eye contact with who you are talking to and, oh yeah, remember to LISTEN?

Then hey, bring along the laptop, because you are a superhero (The Magnificent Multi-Tasker?).

If not, maybe a simple notepad (or tablet) and a print-out of your Planning SnapCharT® will be sufficient.   Although, TapRooT® VI DOES work on a tablet if you are feeling adventurous and mobile.

SNAP TO IT!
Once you have all your interviews done and your evidence collected, it is time to map out your sequence of events and build your SnapCharT®.

I actually recommend 2 different approaches at this stage. If you are doing an investigation by yourself, then by all means open up the software.

However, if you are part of an investigation TEAM, then you need to turn off that computer and projector.  You simply do not want an investigation team staring at a projector screen (or worse, a small laptop screen) as you assemble a SnapCharT® in the software.

Janet from EH&S will inevitably fall asleep and drool all over the conference table, Bobby from manufacturing is going to keep asking, “What does that button do?”, and Rick (who is supposed to be YOUR ASSISTANT) is going to keep pointing out your grammatical errors.  What is THERE, errr…. THEIR, problem?

So, bust out the sticky notes or a dry erase board and work it through as a team, ON YOUR FEET. You’ll be surprised at how engaging it can be. You can always take a picture of the results and easily assemble the SnapCharT® in the software later.

I NEED SOME ‘ME’ TIME
After you have a clear understanding of the sequence of events, and have added all the detail your conference room wallpaper can support in sticky notes, it is time for you to make like Han and go Solo.

Tell your team you will schedule another meeting to discuss Root Causes and Corrective Actions at a later date, after you have had some time to work through the findings.

Explain to them it is not them, it’s you. You just need some alone time to analyze the incident (and your feelings).

Are they gone? Okay, now it is time to fire up the software and:
• Recreate your SnapCharT® (while getting a soothing massage)
• Isolate your causal factors on your  SnapCharT® (during an avocado facial scrub)
• Run each causal factor through the Root Cause Tree® (while listening to Enya near a fountain)

Did you get to the Root Causes (and figure out why you lash out sometimes)? Well then…

WE’RE GETTING THE BAND BACK TOGETHER!!
Call up Janet, Bobby and Rick because it is time to reunite (it will feel so good)!

Review the Root Causes you found during your hiatus, but do not dare open up those Root Cause Trees® in the software! You are not here to revisit the past. You are here to move forward and make new catchy Corrective Actions that your audience (Management) is going to love to hear.

Feel free to use the software to consult the Corrective Action Helper® often. Work on that setlist until you have it perfected because the big show is coming up…

THE BIG SHOW
As you walk into the conference room, Janet, Bobby and Rick behind you, you know you have brought the goods to wow your audience (Management).

But what didn’t you bring? Your Root Cause Trees® or your FULL SnapCharT®s.

All you need to pull off the big show is your Presentation SnapCharT® (which you have pruned in the software to show only the information relevant to presentation), your Root Causes, and your Corrective Actions.

The lights dim, you take the stage…

Dan Verlinde is the Director of Information Technology and Software Development at System Improvements, Inc. When he and the code-monkeys are not making TapRooT® Software, he enjoys spa treatments, rock concerts, and poorly constructed analogies.

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 – Customer Satisfaction Survey Prize Winner

April 7th, 2016 by

Here at System Improvements, customer satisfaction is very important to us. We strive to ensure our customers’ questions are treated in a timely and efficient manner.

This is so important to us that it’s actually part of our Technical Support Mission Statement:

To provide timely, courteous and effective technical support to System Improvements staff and all TapRooT® customers, achieving customer satisfaction and process efficiency.

In order to ensure we are providing great service, we have implemented a new customer satisfaction rating system, where our customers can rate their experience with our Support Team. The initial feedback has been extremely valuable to us.

As a thank you to all our customers who take the time to fill out a Survey, all respondents are entered into a monthly drawing to win a TapRooT® polo shirt.

Everyone, congratulate Jeff Carter from Tucson Electric Power as the polo shirt winner for the month of March!

Technically Speaking – Helpdesk Humor

March 31st, 2016 by

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Looks like this guy needs a brush up on his Safeguards Analysis. Go to our website www.taproot.com/courses and find the perfect refresher course for you!

Also, do not forget about the Global TapRooT® Summit in SanAntonio, Texas, August 1 – 5, 2016!

 

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 – Setting Up Classifications and Locations to Trend

March 24th, 2016 by

Welcome, this week we are going to talk about setting up locations and classifications to trend. You may ask why I would need to think about how my locations and classifications are added to the software. Well, the TapRooT® software includes reports such as the Root Cause Distribution Report, Top 10 Root Causes, and Pareto and Process Behavior Charts that will allow you to trend data by regions and classification types.

First, let’s show you how to go about adding these locations and classifications. On the left-hand menu in the software we are going to Admin>System Lists>Classifications or Locations depending on the type of data to be entered. If your company is using the enterprise version of TapRooT®, the administrator of the software will need to enter this information.

 

ListAdmin
Click on the image to view a larger copy in a new window

Let’s look at a few examples of location and classification lists. Example A has all the location and classifications under one category. In this type of list, it is hard to tell which location belongs in different regions of your company. When running trending reports with this type of list, it is hard to trend data by different countries, states, regions and categories.

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Next, we have Example B. Here the locations are broken down into regions and the classifications are broken down into different types. With the list in this order, we have a hierarchy. When running trending reports like the Root Cause Distribution Report, you can narrow the output for a certain location or if you like an entire region, depending on how the list is configured.

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And lastly for companies that have several investigators using the single user version we include an import tool. What is nice about this tool is that it can save time by allowing you to set up Locations and Classifications once, and then use this file to import on each computer.

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 (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

CLICK THE ABOVE IMAGE TO VIEW A LARGER COPY IN A NEW WINDOW

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.

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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.

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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

HelpDesk

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!

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