Root Cause Analysis Blog


Public TapRooT® Course in St. John’s, Newfoundland

Posted: October 8th, 2015 in Courses, Local Attractions


Enjoy a week this Fall in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. Our TapRooT® instructors will be teaching a 5-Day Advanced Root Cause Analysis and Team Leader Training course on October 26-30. Not only will you improve your root cause analysis techniques and bring home valuable knowledge to your company, but you’ll also get the chance to visit this beautiful, historic city. St. John’s is considered to be the oldest English-founded city in North America. It’s English culture, beautiful harbour and colorful architecture gives it a distinct difference from the rest of Canada.


RocketFood: This quaint bakery and fresh food cafe has been recognized on the Food Network and several international magazines meaning it can’t be anything less than delicious.

Raymond’s: If you’re interested in a more gourmet, fancier atmosphere then visit Raymond’s.

ONE11 Chophouse: A great steak isn’t all this high-rated chophouse has to offer. The warm, fine dining experience is one of the best around.


Newman Wine Vaults: Enjoy a variety of flavors of fresh wine at one of Newman’s Wine Vaults.

East Coast Trail: Would you consider yourself an outdoor enthusiast? Take a hike on the East Coast Trail and see views of St. John’s that you can’t see anywhere else.

Commissariat House: The rich history of St. John’s is something to take in and enjoy. Experience a piece of it at the Commissariat House.



Interested in other TapRooT® Public Courses around the world? Click here.

Interested in an Onsite Course for your teams? Click here.

What does a bad day look like?

Posted: October 8th, 2015 in Accidents, Video

Actually … quite a few bad days …

Want to see more of these? “What Does a Bad Day Look Like” is a column in our weekly eNewsletter (distributed every Tuesday) that often makes our subscribers feel they are having a pretty good day!  If you’d like to subscribe, contact Barb at

How To Trend Your Accident Data

Posted: October 7th, 2015 in Performance Improvement, Root Cause Analysis Tips

What methods do you use to trend your accident data?

Is a decrease in lost time injuries seen as a success?

Is in an increase in injuries a failure and time for drastic action?

Are you using bar graphs or a simple line graph to look for trends?

How much change in the stats is enough for you to tell management that significant change has occurred?

That’s what I learned about 20 years ago and have been perfecting ever since. 

How can you learn them too?

First, you can read Chapter 5 of the TapRooT® Book.

Second, you can study advanced trending and learn to use XmR Charts to trend accident data (both frequently occurring data and infrequently occurring data).

Third, you can attend SI’s TapRooT® Advanced Trending Techniques Course. You can hold one t your site for your people or the public course we hold each year just before the TapRooT® Summit.

When is the next public course?

On August 1-2, 2016 in San Antonio, TX. That’s a long time but it is the first public course. Mark your calendar to save the dates.

What will you learn at the TapRooT® Advanced Trending Techniques Course? 

See the course outline here:

Also, read this article about picking targets for improvement to learn a little more before you attend a course:

And if you are interested in learning more about advanced trending, ask us about having a course at your site. Contact us by CLICKING HERE.

TapRooT® Public Courses in Central & South America

Posted: October 7th, 2015 in Courses

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Upcoming TapRooT® Public Courses:

Central America: 

Monterrey, Mexico | 5-Day | November 30, 2015

South America: 

There are currently no scheduled courses for this region. Check back frequently for updates or inquire about an Onsite Course.

For more information regarding our courses around the world, click here.

TapRooT® Public Courses in Europe, Africa & Middle East

Posted: October 7th, 2015 in Courses


Muscat, Oman

Upcoming TapRooT® Public Courses:


Copenhagen, Denmark | 2-Day | November 2, 2015

Aberdeen, Scotland | 2-Day | November 23, 2015


Johannesburg, South Africa | 5-Day | November 23, 2015

Middle East: 

Muscat, Oman | 2-Day | November 11, 2015

Dubai, UAE | 5-Day | November 15, 2015

There are no upcoming public courses scheduled for September and October in this region. Check back frequently for updates or inquire about an onsite course.

TapRooT® Public Courses in Oceania & Asia

Posted: October 7th, 2015 in Courses


Upcoming TapRooT® Public Courses:

South Australia: 

There are currently no scheduled courses for this region.

North Australia: 

Darwin | 5-Day | November 23, 2015-


There are currently no scheduled courses for this region.

Queensland Australia: 

Gladstone | 2-Day | November 10, 2015-

Brisbane | 5-Day | November 16, 2015-

Brisbane | 5-Day | November 30, 2015-

Brisbane | 2-Day | December 10, 2015

New South Whales: 

Newcastle | 5-Day | November 2, 2015-

Western Australia:

Perth | 2-Day | November 23, 2015-

Perth | 2-Day | December 7, 2015

New Zealand:

There are currently no scheduled courses for this region.


There are currently no scheduled courses for this region.


Want a course in your region? Inquire about an Onsite Course here.

For more information regarding our public courses around the world, click here.

Weekly Wisdom: The mind is everything

Posted: October 6th, 2015 in Wisdom Quote

WW become“The mind is everything. What you think, you become. -Buddha


How far away is death?

Posted: October 6th, 2015 in Video

Reminds me of the movie, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.


Want to see more of these? “How Far Away is Death” is a column in our weekly eNewsletter (distributed every Tuesday) that is often a startling reminder of what can happen in the blink of an eye.  If you’d like to subscribe, contact Barb at

Public TapRooT® Course in Bogota

Posted: October 5th, 2015 in Courses, Pictures

Last week, industry professionals came together to learn TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis techniques.


For a list of our Public Courses across the globe, click here.

Onsite TapRooT® Course with Cotemar

Posted: October 5th, 2015 in Courses, Pictures

A group from Cotemar learning root cause analysis techniques through TapRooT® at an Onsite Course recently.



For more information on our Onsite Courses, click here.


Friday Joke: Ultimate Root Cause

Posted: October 2nd, 2015 in Jokes


Mark Twain said:

Man – A creature made at the end of the week’s work when God was tired.

Will you be at the NISO Conference tomorrow?

Posted: October 1st, 2015 in Current Events

Screen Shot 2015 10 01 at 9 55 45 AM

Mark Paradies, President of System Improvements, is am invited speaker at the National Irish Safety Organization Annual Conference being held in Galway, Ireland, tomorrow. His talk is about achieving safety excellence using lessons learned from Admiral Rickover. He hopes to see you there!

What does a bad day look like?

Posted: October 1st, 2015 in Video

Well, it is almost a bad day.

Remember, winter isn’t all that far away!

Want to see more of these? “What Does a Bad Day Look Like” is a column in our weekly eNewsletter (distributed every Tuesday) that often makes our subscribers feel they are having a pretty good day!  If you’d like to subscribe, contact Barb at

What is the Difference Between a Safety Related Incident and a Quality Problem when using TapRooT®?

Posted: September 30th, 2015 in Quality, Root Cause Analysis Tips

Quality ControlWelcome to this week’s root cause analysis tips column.

This week I would like to ask the question…what is the difference between a safety incident and a quality problem?

Before you answer that, let me tell you that this is a trick question.

The answer is……drum roll please: there is NO DIFFERENCE. The difference in a safety problem vs. a quality problem is the consequence; there is no difference in the approach you take in investigating.

In TapRooT®, the first thing we always do is to create a SnapCharT®. And the first thing we do when creating a SnapCharT® is to define the incident with a circle. This defines the scope of your investigation. Your circle could contain anything that creates pain for your company and that you would like to prevent from happening again. Examples of things that might go in your circle:

• Fatality
• Lost time injury
• Recordable injury
• Vehicle accident
• Facility damage
• etc. etc.

• Defective product (not sent to customer)
• Defective product (sent to customer)
• Customer complaint
• Delayed shipment
• Returns
• etc. etc.

Once you have defined the incident, you map out what happened, define the causal factors, perform root cause analysis, and develop corrective actions.

So start thinking about different ways your company can use TapRooT®. I’ve mentioned Safety and Quality, but there are many more. equipment reliability, environment, security, project delays; the list is really endless.

The more ways you can use TapRooT®, the better ROI you will get from your training. I know from experience when different disciplines in an organization start speaking the same language, there are some great intangible benefits as well. So if you are a safety manager, drag your quality manager with you to training next time. You will be glad you did.

Thanks for visiting the blog and best wishes for your improvement efforts.

Would you like to receive tips like these in your inbox? Our eNewsletter is delivered every Tuesday and includes root cause tips, career development tips, current events and even a joke. Contact Barb at to sign up for the TapRooT® Friends & Experts eNewsletter.  

All Root Cause Analyses Are NOT Created Equal

Posted: September 30th, 2015 in Investigations, Performance Improvement

I saw an article about a hospital error that injured a patient. The article said they were going to perform a root cause analysis. It’s strange how a simple line in an article can get me WORKED UP.

Why am I WORKED UP? I know that many root cause analyses are BAD.  What defines bad root cause analysis?

  • The look to place blame.
  • They look to cover up mistakes.
  • They look for easy answers.
  • They jump to conclusions.
  • They pick their favorite root causes.
  • They don’t improve performance.

That’s a BAD list. But I see it all the time.

In fact, that’s why I started to work inventing TapRooT®. I wanted to solve those problems. And for many TapRooT® Users, we have.

But there still is a long way to go.

There are still people who think that 5-Whys is a good system (some would even say an advanced system) for finding root causes.

Some don’t recognize the drawback of using cause and effect to analyze problems. That there is a tendency to find the answer that you want to find (rather than looking at the evidence objectively).

Some think that just filling out a form is good enough. Somehow this will prevent mistakes and save lives.

WELL I HAVE NEWS FOR THEM … It hasn’t worked for years and it won’t start working tomorrow!

The definition of insanity is to keep doing things the same way and to expect a different result.

Don’t be insane!

It is time to try TapRooT® and see how it can help guide you to the real, fixable causes of problems.

We guarantee our courses.

Here is the guarantee:

Attend the course, go back to work, and use what you have learned to analyze accidents, incidents, near-misses, equipment failures, operating issues, or quality problems. If you don’t find root causes that you previously would have overlooked and if you and your management don’t agree that the corrective actions that you recommend are much more effective, just return your course materials/software and we will refund the entire course fee.

If you are investigating serious problems, then attend a 5-Day TapRooT®  Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Course. Here’s more information about the course:

Here are our upcoming public courses being held around the world:

Connect with Us

Filter News

Search News


Barb PhillipsBarb Phillips

Editorial Director

Chris ValleeChris Vallee

Six Sigma

Dan VerlindeDan Verlinde

Software Development

Dave JanneyDave Janney

Safety & Quality

Ed SkompskiEd Skompski


Gabby MillerGabby Miller

Communications Specialist

Ken ReedKen Reed


Linda UngerLinda Unger

Vice President

Mark ParadiesMark Paradies

Creator of TapRooT®

Steve RaycraftSteve Raycraft

Technical Support

Success Stories

Our Acrylates Area Oxidation Reactor was experiencing frequent unplanned shutdowns (trips) that…

Rohm & Haas

An improvement plan was developed and implemented. Elements of the improvement plan included process…

Exelon Nuclear
Contact Us