Category: Pictures

TapRooT® Around the World

March 16th, 2018 by

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

Want to attend a TapRooT® training course?

5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training

2-Day TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Training

2018 TapRooT® Global Summit Twitter Highlights

March 9th, 2018 by

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

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

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

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


Caption Contest!

March 8th, 2018 by

Now that the Summit is over we can begin a new caption contest! I’m not sure that when your boss says, “Get the job done safely…” that this is exactly what he had in mind. Read and follow the instructions below so you can qualify to win.

How would you caption the above photo? Put on your creative hat and read the contest instructions below. Enter as many times as you want, and if you’ve won our contest before, you are still eligible to enter this one!

Contest Instructions:
1. Create your caption to the photo above in five words or less. All captions with more than five words will be disqualified.
2. Type your caption in the comments section of this post by April 2, 2018.
3. If you haven’t already, subscribe to the Tuesday TapRooT® Friends & Experts e-newsletter. You must be a subscriber to win!

Have fun!

What does bad root cause analysis cost?

March 7th, 2018 by


Have you ever thought about this question?

An obvious answer is $$$BILLIONS.

Let’s look at one example.

The BP Texas City refinery explosion was extensively investigated and the root cause analysis of BP was found to be wanting. But BP didn’t learn. They didn’t implement advanced root cause analysis and apply it across all their business units. They didn’t learn from smaller incidents in the offshore exploration organization. They didn’t prevent the BP Deepwater Horizon accident. What did the Deepwater Horizon accident cost BP? The last estimate I saw was $22 billion. The costs have probably grown since then.

I would argue that ALL major accidents are at least partially caused by bad root cause analysis and not learning from past experience.

EVERY industrial fatality could be prevented if we learned from smaller precursor incidents.

EVERY hospital sentinel event could be prevented (and that’s estimated at 200,000 fatalities per year in the US alone) if hospitals applied advanced root cause analysis and learned from patient safety incidents.

Why don’t companies and managers do better root cause analysis and develop effective fixes? A false sense of saving time and effort. They don’t want to invest in improvement until something really bad happens. They kid themselves that really bad things won’t happen because they haven’t happened yet. They can’t see that investing in the best root cause analysis training is something that leads to excellent performance and saving money.

Yet that is what we’ve proven time and again when clients have adopted advanced root cause analysis and paid attention to their performance improvement efforts.

The cost of the best root cause analysis training and performance improvement efforts are a drop in the bucket compared to any major accident. They are even cheap compared to repeat minor and medium risk incidents.

I’m not promising something for nothing. Excellent performance isn’t free. It takes work to learn from incidents, implement effective fixes, and stop major accidents. Then, when you stop having major accidents, you can be lulled into a false sense of security that causes you to cut back your efforts to achieve excellence.

If you want to learn advanced root cause analysis with a guaranteed training, attend of our upcoming public TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Training courses.

Here is the course 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.

Don’t be “penny wise and pound foolish.” Learn about advanced root cause analysis and apply it to save lives, prevent environmental damage, improve equipment reliability, and achieve operating excellence.

Is Having the Highest Number of Serious Incidents Good or Bad?

March 6th, 2018 by


I read an interesting article about two hospitals in the UK with the highest number of serious incidents.

On the good side, you want people to report serious incidents. Healthcare has a long history of under-reporting serious incidents (sentinel events).

On the good side, administrators say they do a root cause analysis on these incidents.

On the bad side, the hospitals continue to have these incidents. Shouldn’t the root cause analysis FIX the problems and the number of serious incidents be constantly decreasing and becoming less severe?

Maybe they should be applying advanced root cause analysis?

Highlights from the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit

March 5th, 2018 by

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

First, a video to share the experience…

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

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Now for my impressions of the highlights …

First, the Keynote Speakers were outstanding.

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Big Fines for Safety Incidents in the UK

February 27th, 2018 by


$1.1m £ fine for ejection seat manufacturer after Red Arrow pilot killed. Click here.

$120k £ fine for employee injured by circular saw. Click here.

$1.4m £ fine for Tata Steel after crane crushes worker. Click here.

If you have facilities in the UK, are you doing all you can to avoid HSE issues? You should consider improving your root cause analysis to improve your efforts to stop accidents. Learn about advanced root cause analysis by CLICKING HERE. Then attend one of these public courses in the UK and Europe.




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

February 26th, 2018 by

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

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

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

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And the set-up is progressing for Wednesday’s 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit General Session kick-off. Looking forward to seeing you there!
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Nuclear Plant Fined $145,000 for “Gun-Decked Logs”

February 21st, 2018 by

When I was in the Navy, people called it “gun-decking the logs.”

In the Navy this means that you falsify your record keeping … usually by just copying the numbers from the previous hour (maybe with slight changes) without making the rounds and taking the actual measurements. And if you were caught, you were probably going to Captain’s Mast (disciplinary hearing).

The term “gun-decking” has something to do with the “false” gun deck that was built into British sailing ships of war to make them look like they had more guns. Sometimes midshipmen would falsify their navigation training calculations by using dead reckoning to calculate their position rather than using the Sun and the stars. This might have been called “gun-decking” because the gun deck is where they turned their homework over to the ships navigator to be reviewed.


What happened at the Nuke Plant? A Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspector found that 13 operators had gun-decked their logs. Here’s a quote from the article describing the incident:

“An NRC investigation, completed August 2017, found that on multiple occasions during the three-month period, at least 13 system operators failed to complete their rounds as required by plant procedures, but entered data into an electronic log indicating they had completed equipment status checks and area inspections,” the NRC said in a statement.”

What was the corrective action? The article says:

“The plant operator has already undertaken several corrective actions, the NRC said, including training for employees, changes in the inspection procedures and disciplinary measures for some staff.”

Hmmm … training, procedures, and discipline. That’s the standard three corrective actions. (“Round up the usual suspects!”) Even problems that seem to be HR issues can benefit from advanced root cause analysis. Is this a Standards, Policy, and Administrative Controls Not Used issue? Is there a root cause under that Near Root Cause that needs to be fixed (for example, Enforcement Needs Improvement)? Or is discipline the right answer? It would be interesting to know all the facts.

Want to learn to apply advanced root cause analysis to solve these kinds of problems? Attend one of our 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Courses. See the upcoming public courses by CLICKING HERE. Or CLICK HERE to contact us about having a course at your site.

Summit Details for Attendees

February 20th, 2018 by

TapRooT® Global Summit Day 1 Critique

TapRooT® Global Summit Day 2 Critique

TapRooT® Global Summit Day 3 Critique

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

Link to Summit Presentation Slides … CLICK HERE

Knoxville Convention Center layout…

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

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

Emergency muster site during the Summit …

Summit Schedule

Bring Business Cards … You need these for networking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deepwater Horizon … The Movie

February 20th, 2018 by

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caption Contest Winner!

February 20th, 2018 by

Alright everyone, the caption contest is over! There were a lot of great, funny, and creative entries. I asked the staff here to vote on the winner, and because we had so many hilarious entries it was a really close call.

And the winner of this caption contest is…

Steve K. with “Burning Man’s in August, silly.”

I also want to give a shout out to TWO honorable mentions.

“This girl is on firrrreeee…” (to the tune of Adele Fire) ~ Amy Shute.

Love that song!

“Look Ma…..No Hands!!!!!” ~ Claude

Haha! I can hear it now.

I want to thank everyone for playing along. Don’t forget just because you won past Caption Contest doesn’t mean you can’t enter to win. The more captions you come up with the greater your chances of win!

Stay tuned for the next Caption Contest coming soon after the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit.

New TapRooT® Family Member

February 12th, 2018 by

Sat hello to Lucy Belle … an 8 lb 8 oz girl.


Pass along congratulations to the proud mom, Amanda Biesbroeck (our Corporate Counsel) by leaving a comment below!

How far away is death?

February 8th, 2018 by

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Just one more ladder and …

What is the Fastest Way to Get Fired After an Accident?

February 7th, 2018 by

If you work at a blame-oriented company, the answer to the question above is easy. Just admit that you were the last person to touch whatever went wrong that caused the accident.

Or, if you are in the Navy, all you have to do is to be the CO of a ship that has a collision at sea.

A slower way to get fired is to be the Plant Manager or Division Manager who doesn’t have good answers when he or she is asked by the corporate VP, “What are you going to do to prevent a repeat accident in the future?” Actually, they probably don’t fire someone this high in the organization. Rather, they transfer them to a staff job where they are never heard from again.

What is the best way to avoid being fired? Don’t have the accident in the first place! Instead, have a proactive improvement program that identifies problems, finds their root causes, and effectively fixes them before an accident happens.

Want to learn more about using TapRooT® in a proactive improvement program? Attend Dave Janney’s pre-Summit course: TapRooT® for Audits.

What’s covered in the course?


  • TapRooT® Process Introduction and Initial Audit
  • SnapCharT® and Exercise
  • Significant Issues and Exercise
  • Root Cause Tree® and Exercise
  • Generic Causes
  • Corrective Actions and Exercise


  • The Root Cause Tree® and Preparing for Audits with Root Cause Exercise
  • Audit Programs, Trend and Process Root Cause Analysis
  • TapRooT® Software Introduction
  • Frequently Asked Questions about TapRooT®
  • Final Audit Observation Exercise

Don’t miss this course coming up quickly on February 27-27 in Knoxville, TN. Register by CLICKING HERE.


Where Do You Get Ideas To Improve Root Cause Analysis?

January 31st, 2018 by

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

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

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

So what did I do?

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

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

It was a long road with many lessons learned.

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

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

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 1996 Summit Keynote Speaker with Mark Paradies (left)

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

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

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Linda Under and Mark Paradies with 1997 Astronaut Keynote Speaker

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


Linda Unger with Summit attendee from South Korea in 1998

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


People sharing best practices at the 2016 Global TapRooT® Summit

But it happened. And now, if someone asks:

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

The answer is … The Global TapRooT® Summit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday Accident & Lessons Learned: How Long Should a Root Cause Analysis Take?

January 29th, 2018 by

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On January 25th, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Georgia Power had not identified the cause of the December 17th electrical fire that shut down power to large portions of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. The article reports that the service disruption caused massive passenger disruptions and will cost $230,000 to repair. Delta says that the disruption from the fire and an early December snow storm will cost the airlines $60 million dollars.

Obviously this incident is worth preventing and needs an effective root cause analysis. It has been over a month since the fire. The questions is … how long should a root cause analysis take? A month, three months, a year, three years?

Of course, the answer varies depending on the type of the incident but what do you think is reasonable?

Leave your comments by clicking on the Comment link below.

Have FUN at the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit!

January 25th, 2018 by

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

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

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

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


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

And more classic rock from Carl and April Wine …

And just one more …

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

Interesting Article in “Stars & Strips” About Navy Court-Martials for COs Involved in Collisions

January 22nd, 2018 by

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The article starts with:

The Navy’s decision to pursue charges of negligent homicide against the former commanders of the USS Fitzgerald and USS John McCain has little precedent, according to a Navy scholar who has extensively scrutinized cases of command failure.”

See the whole article at:

The article implies that blame and shame is the normal process for COs whose ships are involved in accidents.

Isn’t it time for the US Navy to learn real advanced root cause analysis that can teach them to find and fix the causes of problems at cause collisions at sea?

Ready for a road trip? Then wrap up your travel planning for the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit in Knoxville, Tennessee!

January 18th, 2018 by


When some people think of Knoxville, Tennessee they often think of the regional attractions such as the Smoky Mountains and the area’s large, picturesque lakes. However, this city has plenty to offer without ever leaving town. Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness is just three miles from the Knoxville Convention Center where the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit will be held. It includes 50 miles of natural surface for hikers, mountain bikers and trail runners. The city also has a rich musical heritage, which includes stars like Dolly Parton, the Everly Brothers and Roy Acuff. Popular music venues today include the historic Tennessee Theatre, Bijou Theatre, the Square Room and a host of clubs that present live music every night of the week. Dining options are numerous . . . you’ll find a heavy focus on farm-to-table fare during your visit downtown. In addition to hiking, biking, music, history and arts, the city has an exciting craft beer scene and the opportunity to relax with some of the country’s finest beers and people.

Have you taken the steps to a memorable road trip? It’s simple!

Step 1: REGISTER for the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit.

Step 2: Do your travel planning and get a hotel booked.


And don’t miss the activities the week of the Summit.

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Miranda Lambert is performing at Thompson-Boling Arena on Thursday, March 1, 2018.

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Tape Face, the Comedian, is performing at the Bijou Theatre on Sunday, February 25, 2018.

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Jonny Lang with Tony Lucca Solo is performing at the Bijou Theatre on Tuesday, February 27, 2018.

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Beth Hart is performing at the Bijou Theatre on Thursday, March 1, 2018.

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The Wizard of Oz national tour will be starring at The Tennessee Theatre on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 1, 2 and 3, 2018.

Is this a good idea? … Navy to have “Article 32” hearings for COs involved in collisions at sea.

January 17th, 2018 by


Didn’t I just read (see this LINK) a Navy investigation that implied there were Management System causes of the two collisions in the Pacific? Didn’t the report suggest that the Navy needed to change it’s culture?

An article in USNI News says that both Commander Alfredo J. Sanchez and Commander Bryce Benson will face Article 32 hearings (the prelude to a court martial) over their role in the ships’ collisions in the Pacific.


Will punishment make the Navy better? Will it make it easier for ship’s commanding officers to admit mistakes? And what about the crew members who are facing disciplinary hearings? Will that make the culture of the Navy change from a reactive-punitive culture to a culture where mistakes are shared and learned from BEFORE major accidents happen?

What do you think…

Here is the press release from the Navy’s Consolidated Disposal Authority (Director of Naval Reactors Adm. James F. Caldwell):

On 30 October 2017, Admiral William Moran, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, designated Admiral Frank Caldwell as the Consolidated Disposition Authority to review the accountability actions taken to date in relation to USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) collisions and to take additional administrative or disciplinary actions as appropriate.

After careful deliberation, today Admiral Frank Caldwell announced that Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) charges are being preferred against individual service members in relation to the collisions.

USS Fitzgerald: Courts-martial proceedings/Article 32 hearings are being convened to review evidence supporting possible criminal charges against Fitzgerald members. The members’ ranks include one Commander (the Commanding Officer), two Lieutenants, and one Lieutenant Junior Grade. The charges include dereliction of duty, hazarding a vessel, and negligent homicide.

USS John S. McCain: Additionally, for John S. McCain, one court- martial proceeding/Article 32 hearing is being convened to review evidence supporting possible criminal charges against one Commander (the Commanding Officer). The charges include dereliction of duty, hazarding a vessel, and negligent homicide. Also, one charge of dereliction of duty was preferred and is pending referral to a forum for a Chief Petty Officer.

The announcement of an Article 32 hearing and referral to a court-martial is not intended to and does not reflect a determination of guilt or innocence related to any offenses. All individuals alleged to have committed misconduct are entitled to a presumption of innocence.

Additional administrative actions are being conducted for members of both crews including non-judicial punishment for four Fitzgerald and four John S. McCain crewmembers.

Information regarding further actions, if warranted, will be discussed at the appropriate time.

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

January 17th, 2018 by


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 17th, 2018 by


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

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

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

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

Don’t Miss the TapRooT® Family Reunion

January 17th, 2018 by


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

Friendly folks getting together to say hello and get reacquainted.

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

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

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

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

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

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Angie ComerAngie Comer


Anne RobertsAnne Roberts


Barb CarrBarb Carr

Editorial Director

Chris ValleeChris Vallee

Human Factors

Dan VerlindeDan Verlinde

VP, Software

Dave JanneyDave Janney

Safety & Quality

Garrett BoydGarrett Boyd

Technical Support

Ken ReedKen Reed

VP, Equifactor®

Linda UngerLinda Unger


Mark ParadiesMark Paradies

Creator of TapRooT®

Per OhstromPer Ohstrom

VP, Sales

Shaun BakerShaun Baker

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Steve RaycraftSteve Raycraft

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Wayne BrownWayne Brown

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