Category: Summit

Software Track at the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit

December 7th, 2017 by


We’re getting closer to the 2018 Summit in our hometown of Knoxville, TN on February 28th -March 2nd (Pre-summit courses February 26th-27th)!

Here’s what you can look forward to in our Software Track sessions:

The TapRooT® Software Sandbox – Dan Verlinde and Angie Comer

In this session, you will have access to the latest TapRooT® VI Software and have an opportunity to navigate throughout the application. You can ask questions and learn tips and tricks from the designer of the software himself!

Instructor Software Updates – Dan Verlinde and Ken Reed

This session is intended for certified TapRooT® Instructors and will provide important updates and information on the software.

What’s New in TapRooT® Software – Dan Verlinde

Learn what’s new in the TapRooT® Software and get a sneak peek at what’s coming soon in 2018!

Building Your Software Incident Report – Dan Verlinde

In this session, you will learn how to create customized reports and templates in the software that you can easily use to effectively share your incident, investigation and audit findings with others.

Software Advisory Board – Dan Verlinde (and Software Advisory Board Members)

A discussion on current software topics will be held in this session with members of the Software Advisory Board.

What is a Trend and How Can You Find Trends in the TapRooT® Data – Chris Vallee

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

Best Practices for Sharing Lessons Learned – Pat Fortune

Learn best practices for sharing lessons learned from an experienced TapRooT® Investigator.

Performance Improvement Gap Analysis – TapRooT® Instructor Team

Meet with other TapRooT® users from world leading companies and discuss lessons learned, best practices and favorite takeaways that you can apply to your business and share with team members once you leave the summit.

And of course, all tracks attend the inspiring KEYNOTE SPEAKER sessions.

Also, don’t miss a chance to learn even MORE about the software in our Pre-Summit, Getting the Most from Your TapRooT® VI Software course.

We can’t wait to see you there! To register for the Summit, click HERE.

Trending without Purpose just Creates “Big Clumsy Data”

December 6th, 2017 by

As a TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Instructor and person with a continuous improvement background, I often hear these questions when teaching …

“We collect lots of data, what should we be looking for?” STOP

“How do we link what we changed to if it worked?” STOP

“What would you define as a significant change?” STOP

STOP and go back 20 steps to figure out what is truly important to know …

  1. What does successful mean in numbers?
  1. Could you measure what is important today with the numbers you currently collect?
  1. What numbers should be tracked that would alert you that you must act now?
  1. What do you need to do to establish and track effective/ineffective change?
  1. What do you need to be able to do translate the numbers collected into a deliverable message to leadership and the frontline workers?
  1. Who should be inputting the daily numbers and who should be reviewing the numbers?

At the end of the day for whatever task that you are required to perform successfully, you should be able to …

  1. Prove based on reality in numbers that you have been successful.
  1. Be able to refute bad numbers that do not represent reality… no matter who made the chart.

Here are numbers with purpose …

  1. We offer our 2-Day Advanced Trending Techniques Course as a public course once a year as a Pre-Summit Course. Next year it’s scheduled for February 26-27, 2018
  1. In many cases there are only 2 or 3 of you at your company that need to run the numbers. This saves the company money to go to our Pre-Summit Course instead of setting up an Onsite Course.
  1. There will be 10-20 other attendees from other companies to talk bad numbers and good numbers. You will learn from each other.

Kevin McManus and I look forward to seeing you our Pre-Summit Trending Course.

Kick Them Out of Your Canoe – Leadership

November 28th, 2017 by

The following article is reprinted with permission of its author, Vincent Ivan Phipps, M.A., CSP. We are pleased that Mr. Phipps is a keynote speaker at the upcoming 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit.  You can purchase his new book, Lead Out Loud, and learn how to unlock your personal excellence by clicking here. Learn more at And last but not least, don’t forget to register for the Summit and meet him in person!

Leadership is a lot like paddling in a canoe. Let’s say you and two other people are in a canoe. The goal is to cross a river. Let’s say you are in the rear and the other two are seated in front of you. Even if you are the only one paddling, you can propel everyone in the canoe on your own. If all three of you paddle, together in rhythm, all three of you can propel faster. If everyone paddles together, you can also exert less energy and still go faster, farther, with less work from each person individually. This is the concept of teamwork. But how is this related to leadership?

Let’s say, you are paddling hard in the canoe and the other two are not paddling but even worse, they are sticking the legs and hands out of the canoe and into the river. Their placing their limbs in the water is now causing drag. All three bodies have the potential to go faster. If two are not paddling or worse, causing resistance, everyone slows down.

You ask each person to paddle. One tells you they are tired. The other says they will paddle later. You then ask them to at least pull their hands and feet out of the water and place them back inside of the canoe to prevent unnecessary resistance. They both tell you it’s hot and they prefer to keep themselves cool by sticking their hands and feet in the water. They are not focused on the advancement of the team. They are selfish focusing only on what is easier for them personally.

You now have a conundrum. Keep both in the canoe maintaining the potential for more efficiency. Or do you make the tough leadership decision, and, KICK THEM OUT OF THE CANOE! You can move faster, yes, even moving by yourself, than you can with those you are carrying who are not putting forth their effort.

Give others the opportunity to paddle for the team. Be clear about the goal. If others step up, they deserve to stay dry. If they fail to do their part, make the tough decision and do what is best long term, and kick them out of your canoe!

Can Your Company Afford a Second Rate Improvement Program?

November 28th, 2017 by


Sometimes it seems like management’s only objective is to cut costs. Can you produce excellence and record profits by cost cutting alone? Your company needs a world-class improvement program!

How do you get a world-class improvement program? As George Washington Carver said:


Start where you are with what you have.
Make something of it and never be satisfied.

Have you become satisfied? Is it time to improve?

If you have never attended TapRooT® Training, start your improvement journey with a 2-Day TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Course.

But most readers here have already learned the basics. They are ready for more. Perhaps a 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Course. It’s a great place to learn to improve your skills to learn to investigate difficult, high-risk incidents.

If you are looking to go beyond just improving your own knowledge and you want to improve your company’s performance improvement initiatives, try reading our new book:

TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Implementation – Changing the Way Your Company Solves Problems


CLICK HERE to get your copy.

That’s a great start but there is even more…

Would you like to benchmark with industry leaders and learn from improvement experts from around the world? Attend the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit. Many Summit attendees have explained that attending the Summit is a great way to learn from others and make your improvement program world-class.

People share their success and learn from others…

Many attend the pre-Summit advanced courses to get even more learning packed into their trip…

NewImage(Barb teaching the Effective Interviewing and Evidence Collection Course)

Improvement is a never ending cycle of discovery. What are you doing to move the process forward?


Is it time to make your improvement program world-class or are you settling for second rate performance?


Join us LIVE on Facebook, Wednesday, November 29 at Noon Eastern

November 27th, 2017 by



Click image to go to our Facebook page.


All live segments will be held on Wednesdays, 12 p.m. Eastern time. Join us!

Register for the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit in December for a chance to WIN!

November 26th, 2017 by


Register NOW for the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit for a chance to WIN a great prize! If you’ve ever attended the Summit, you know there are lots of chances to win great prizes.

Early registration gives you another opportunity: Win an Apple Watch!

Register between now December 31 and receive 1 ticket in the prize drawing. 

Click here to learn more about the Summit.

Click here to register now!

Register for the Safety Track at the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit

November 22nd, 2017 by

Dave Janney shares the details about his track with Michelle Wishoun.

Join us LIVE on Facebook, Wednesday, November 15 at Noon Eastern

November 13th, 2017 by

Click image to go to our Facebook page.

Here is our upcoming schedule (all live segments will be held on Wednesdays, 12 p.m. Eastern time):

November 15: Learn about our Safety Best Practice Track at the Global TapRooT® Summit with Dave Janney & Benna Dortch.
November 22: Bring all your questions about getting your TapRooT® Team trained! Ken Reed & Benna Dortch have answers!
November 29: Thinking about signing up for our Investigator Best Practices Track? Per Ohstrom & Benna Dortch will share the details of this track!

See you soon!

Join us LIVE on Facebook, Wednesday, November 1 at Noon Eastern

October 30th, 2017 by


Click image to go to our Facebook page.

Here is our upcoming November schedule (all live segments will be held on Wednesdays, 12 p.m. Eastern time):

UPDATE November 1: Let’s talk about Interviewing & Evidence Collection! Join Barb Carr & Benna Dortch!
November 8: We have exciting news to share about our Keynote Speakers! Join Mark Paradies & Benna Dortch.
November 15: Learn about our Safety Best Practice Track at the Global TapRooT® Summit with Dave Janney & Benna Dortch.
November 22: Bring all your questions about getting your TapRooT® Team trained! Ken Reed & Benna Dortch have answers!
November 29: Thinking about signing up for our Investigator Best Practices Track? Per Ohstrom & Benna Dortch will share the details!

See you soon!

Risk Assessment and Management Best Practices Training

October 27th, 2017 by

We are pleased to announce that Jim Whiting will be returning to the Global TapRooT® Summit to teach Risk Assessment and Management Best Practices.

Jim brings his risk management and root cause analysis experience and best practices from around the world (Australia/New Zealand, North America, Asia, Africa, and Europe) to this course. He is an internationally known Risk Engineer and HSE expert with 30 years experience. Jim was former CEO of the National Safety Council of Australia.

If you are interested in improving the efficiency of your improvement efforts by getting the most out of your use of risk management and root cause analysis techniques, join us for this course.

Click here to learn about this February 26-27, 2018 Pre-Summit Course.

We are pleased to welcome Carl Dixon back to the 2018 Summit!

October 26th, 2017 by

Join us for a memorable evening with TapRooT®’s favorite rock star! (Click here to learn more!)

2018 Global TapRooT® Summit registration is now open! Learn more at the Summit website or register now.

Interviewing & Evidence Collection Tip: How to Handle an Inconsistent Statement

October 26th, 2017 by




Not every inconsistent statement is meant to deceive.


A new investigator may believe that if an interviewee is telling the truth, he will be consistent in his recollection of an event every single time. However, not every inconsistent statement made by an interviewee is made to intentionally deceive.

In fact, most interviewees want to be helpful. Further, an inconsistent statement may be as accurate or even more accurate than consistent claims. That is, an account repeated three times with perfect consistency may be more of a red flag to dig deeper.

The two most important things to think about when evaluating inconsistencies are the passage of time between the incident and its recollection, and the significance of the event to the interviewee. Passage of time makes memory a bit foggy, and items stored in memory that become foggy the quickest are things that we don’t deem significant, like what we ate for lunch last Wednesday. That being said, we still have to be on the lookout for possible fallacies and know how to test them.

There are four ways to decrease the possibility of innocent inconsistent statements during the interviewing process.

  1. Encourage the interviewee to report events that come to mind that are not related or are trivial. In this way, you discourage an interviewee trying to please you by forcing the pieces to fit. They do not know about all the evidence that has been collected, and may believe that something is not related when it truly is.
  2. Tell the interviewee, explicitly, not to try to make-up anything he or she is unsure of simply to prove an answer. If they don’t know, simply request they say, “I don’t know.” This will help them relax.
  3. Do not give feedback after any statement like “good” or “right.” This will only encourage the interviewee to give more statements that you think are “good” or “right”– and may even influence them to believe that some things occurred that really didn’t.
  4. Ask the interviewee to tell the story of what happened from finish to start instead of start to finish. If the interviewee is intentionally trying to cover something up, he or she will have a hard time remembering the same order to the story he or she recited the first time because the interviewee will have a greater cognitive load to bear telling the story in reverse order.

We have plans to go over many more details on how to conduct a good interview at the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit. Join us for TapRooT® Evidence Collection and Interviewing Techniques to Sharpen Investigation Skills February 26 and 27. Learn more.

How Good is Your TapRooT® Implementation?

October 24th, 2017 by

TapRooT® provides world-class root cause analysis. But did you know that your results can vary depending upon the goodness of your implementation of the TapRooT® System?

What causes the implementation to vary? Try these factors …

  • Need to improve clearly defined.
  • Senior management support achieved.
  • Written program plan approved by senior management.
  • Proactive improvements drive improvement success.
  • Use advanced root cause analysis for both reactive and proactive investigations.
  • Improvement accomplishments being communicated successfully.
  • Adequate budget/staffing for the improvement organization.
  • Training plan implemented.
  • Employees, supervisors, managers, and contractors/suppliers willingly participate in the program.
  • Software selected, customized, and implemented.
  • Performance measures and advanced trending techniques used by management to guide the program.
  • Organizational learning occurring by effective sharing of lessons learned.
  • Plan for continuous improvement of the program is followed.
  • Leadership succession plan established.
  • Rewards program being used effectively.

This list is provided as a checklist and explained in more detail in Chapter 3 of our new book:

TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Implementation – Changing the Way Your Company Solves Problems


CLICK HERE to order your copy.

One more idea you might want to pursue to improve your performance improvement program. Attend the 2018 TapRooT® Global Summit in Knoxville, TN, on February 26 – March 2! It’s a great place to keep up with the state of the art in performance improvement and network with industry leaders.

Start by attending one of our advanced courses on Monday & Tuesday:

  • TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Training
  • Equifactor® Equipment Troubleshooting and Root Cause Analysis
  • Advanced Causal Factor Development Course
  • Advanced Trending Techniques
  • TapRooT® Analyzing and Fixing Safety Culture Issues
  • Risk Assessment and Management Best Practices
  • Getting the Most from Your TapRooT® VI Software
  • TapRooT® for AuditsTapRooT®
  • Evidence Collection and Interviewing Techniques to Sharpen Investigation Skills
  • Understanding and Stopping Human Error

Then attend the Summit on Wednesday – Friday.

What’s on the agenda for the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit? First, there are five keynote speakers:

  • Inquois “Inky” Johnson – Honor and Legacy
  • Vincent Ivan Phillips – How to Communicate Successfully
  • Dr. Carol Gunn – When Failure Becomes Personal
  • Mark Paradies – How Good is Your TapRooT® Implementation?
  • Mike Williams – Deepwater Horizon

Then there are nine different tracks that include 8 breakout sessions each. These tracks include:

  • Safety
  • Quality
  • Human Factors
  • Asset Optimization
  • Investigator
  • Patient Safety
  • TapRooT® Software
  • TapRooT® Instructor Recertification
  • Alternatives

See the Summit schedule at:

Join us LIVE on Facebook Wednesday, October 25 at noon!

October 24th, 2017 by

Click image to go to our Facebook page.


Join us Wednesday, October 25 at 12 p.m. Eastern for our very first Facebook Live segment! Ken Reed and Benna Dortch are looking forwarding to sharing some news about our upcoming Global TapRooT® Summit.  Bring your questions!

Here is our upcoming October/November schedule (all live segments will be held on Wednesdays, 12 p.m. Eastern time):

October 25: Learn about the Global TapRooT® Summit with Ken Reed & Benna Dortch.
November 1: We have exciting news to share about our Keynote Speakers! Join Mark Paradies & Benna Dortch.
November 8: Basic and major investigations: What are the different tools available in TapRooT® for each? Join Ken Reed & Benna Dortch to find out!
November 15: Learn about our Safety Best Practice Track at the Global TapRooT® Summit with Dave Janney & Benna Dortch.
November 22: Bring all your questions about getting your TapRooT® Team trained! Ken Reed & Benna Dortch have answers!
November 29: Thinking about signing up for our Investigator Best Practices Track? Per Ohstrom & Benna Dortch will share the details of this track!

See you soon!

Safety Track at the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit

October 23rd, 2017 by

It is almost here! The 2018 Summit! Join us in our hometown of Knoxville, TN on February 28-March 2 (Pre-summit courses on February 26-27).

As the coordinator for the Safety Track, I wanted to give you a preview of the speakers we have lined up for this track:

How to Replace 5 Whys with TapRooT® for Better Results – Mark Paradies (the creator of TapRooT®!)

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

Making Audits an Integral Part of a Proactive Improvement Program – John Boyle

Do you face resistance when asking for audit funding and resources? Does management not see the benefits of conducting audits? Do the people you audit consider audits a waste of their time and resources? We will explore how to shift your improvement emphasis from reactive to proactive by properly planning and executing audits and turning audit findings into meaningful improvement recommendations.

TapRooT®: The One Stop Solution to Managing Risk – Nancy Hitchins

World-class organizations have utilized TapRooT® for years to identify root causes of safety, environmental, and quality incidents, in order to generate and implement effective corrective actions.

The requirement to identify causes of non-conformities, and implementation of effective corrective actions is not new to the OHSAS/ISO management system standards. Utilization of TapRooT® in the investigation of non-conformities has been successfully utilized for this purpose for many years.

The 2015 management system standards emphasize a process approach, rather than element, to assist in understanding the inter-relationships of an organization’s processes, incorporating the P-D-C-A cycle and risk-based thinking. The TapRooT® SnapChart® is a perfect solution for documenting processes, and identifying where, in each process, risks exist. ISO requires that controls be put in place to minimize negative effect of these risks. The TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis of Causal Factors (Risk) facilitates meeting this requirement, leading to effective controls based upon cause of risk.

During this hour, these ISO requirements will be further discussed, including a demonstration of utilization of TapRooT® to support risk management for your organization.

The Psychology of Failing Fixes – Kevin McManus

This session focuses on how failing to find systemic root causes and/or continuing to see human error as a root cause will lead to a very high percentage of fixes being written that have a high likelihood of failing.

Clarifying Common Misuses of Safety Risk Language – Jim Whiting

This session covers how the welcome and necessary shift of HSE management from absolute safety to risk based safety can be adversely affected by common misuses of HSE risk terminology and language.

Examples of clarification of common misuses of risk language will include:

• how to clearly distinguish between the 3 risk terms: potential, possible and probable
• clarifying descriptive and predictive interpretations of the traditional incident / risk triangles and icebergs in general and in particular the supposed 20% of low severity incidents having a high but poorly defined SIF potential rate. (SIF = Serious Injury / Fatality)
• the futility of using pseudo risk terms such as most likely consequence and maximum reasonable severity in decision-making of what kind of incidents require what level of investigation
• unnecessary replacement of the term risk factor by incident precursor
• recognition that many incident / risk scenarios cannot always be described with linear 1 dimensional Swiss cheese-type models / event trees
• confusion between Zero Harm and Zero Risk
• how the expression “Journey to Zero Harm” can be a HSE Culture Carcinogen

How to Communicate Successfully – Vincent Phipps

In this session, you’ll learn how to listen, negotiate, build teams, gain rapport and increase trust. Identify your communication strengths and weaknesses and take your communication skills to a dynamic new level.

Pike River: The Human Story – Karl Berendt

Pike river was the worst workplace disaster in recent New Zealand history.

On November 19, 2010, 29 miners lost their lives when a methane gas explosion tore through the isolated mine located on rugged West Coast of the South Island.

Even though there were warning signs that things were going wrong in the day-to-day running of the mine, Pike River was a classic accident waiting to happen.

Over the last 12 months, Karl has spoken with those closely linked to this disaster. The insights from families, workers and survivors paints a picture about the importance of good corrective actions, communication and what happens when we get it wrong.

And of course, all tracks attend the KEYNOTE TALKS

We hope to see you there! To register for the Summit, go HERE

Using TapRooT® Proactively – Mapping Out the Process

October 5th, 2017 by

Watch Dave Janney discuss how TapRooT® can be used to map out the process.

Join us for the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit!

September 18th, 2017 by

Registration is now open! Check out the Global TapRooT® Summit website to view an exciting video about our 2018 event.

Click the image above to view video on the Summit website!

Using TapRooT® Proactively – Behavior Based Safety Observations

September 14th, 2017 by

Here Dave Janney discusses how TapRooT® can be used to make behavior-based safety observations.

Dave Janney Discusses Investigating Near Misses

July 18th, 2017 by

Sometimes we are fortunate enough and avoid an accident, but do we still investigate those close calls? Watch as Dave Janney describes the importance of investigating near misses.

7 Traits of a Great Root Cause Analysis Facilitator

June 27th, 2017 by


After decades of teaching TapRooT® and being consulted about many investigations, I’ve met lots of root cause analysis facilitators. Some were good. Some were not so good. Some were really superior. Some were horrible. Therefore, I thought it might be interesting to relate what I see that separates the best from the rest. Here are the seven traits of the BEST.

1. They don’t jump to conclusions. The worst investigators I’ve seen think they know it all. They already have their minds made up BEFORE the first interview. They START the investigation to prove their point. They already know the corrective action they are going to apply … so all they have to do is affirm that the causes they already have assumed ARE the cause they find.

What do the best investigators do? They start by seeing where the evidence leads them. The evidence includes:

  • Physical evidence,
  • Paper evidence (documentations),
  • People evidence (interviews), and
  • Recordings (videos/pictures/tapes/computer records).

They are great at collecting evidence without prejudice. They perform “cognitive interviews” to help the interviewee remember as much as possible. (See the new book TapRooT® Evidence Collection and Interviewing Techniques to Sharpen Investigation Skills to learn more about cognitive interviews. The book should be released in August. Get the book with the course being held in November in Houston.)

The best investigators may have some technical knowledge, but they know when they need help to understand what the evidence is telling them. Therefore, they get technical experts when they need them.

2. They understand What before Why. The worst investigators start by asking WHY? Why did someone make a mistake? Why did the part fail? Why didn’t the guilty party use the procedure? These “why” questions tend to put people on the defensive. People start justifying what they did rather than sharing what they know.

The best investigators start with what and how. They want to understand what happened and how those involved reacted. What did they see as the problem? What were the indications they were observing? Who did they talk to and what did they say? What was happening and in what order did it happen?

People don’t get defensive about what and how questions. They are much more likely to share information and tell the truth. And these questions help develop an excellent SnapCharT® that helps the root cause analysis facilitator develop a “picture” of what happened.

3. They are not looking for the single root cause. The worst investigators are always looking for THE root cause. The smoking gun. The one thing that caused the problem that can be corrected by a simple corrective action. THE root cause that they are looking for.

The best investigators know that most accidents have multiple things that went wrong. They facilitate their team to understand all the causal factors and how these causal factors came together to cause that particular incident.

These root cause facilitators use their SnapCharT® and Safeguard Analysis to show how the problems came together to cause the incident. This can help show management how latent condition are hidden traps waiting to produce an accident that previously seemed impossible.

4. They dig deeper to find root causes. The worst investigator stop when they identify simple problems. For the worst investigators, HUMAN ERROR is a root cause.

The best investigators know that human error is just a starting point for a root cause analysis. They go beyond equipment failure and beyond human error by using effective investigative techniques that help them go beyond their own knowledge.

For example, if there is an equipment failure they consult the Equifactor® Troubleshooting Tables to find out more about the failure. This helps them get to the bottom of equipment problems. They often find that equipment failures are caused by human error.

For human performance related causal factors they use the Human Performance Troubleshooting Guide of the Root Cause Tree® to help them determine where they need to dig deeper into the causes of human error.

The best investigators don’t accept false stories. They have a good BS detector because false stories seldom make a sensible SnapCharT®.

5. They find root causes that are fixable. The worst investigators find root causes that management really can’t do anything to prevent. For example, telling people to “try harder” not to make a mistake IS NOT an effective corrective action to stop human errors.

The best investigators know that their are many ways to improve human performance. They understand that trying harder is important but that it is not a long-term solution. They look for human factors related fixes that come from human performance best practices. They know that the Root Cause Tree® can help them find problems with:

  • Procedures
  • Training
  • Quality Control
  • Communications
  • Management Systems
  • Human Engineering
  • Work Direction

And that by implementing best practices related to the root causes they identify, they can reduce the probability of future human errors.

6. They recommend effective corrective actions. The worst investigators recommend the three standard corrective actions for almost every problem:

  2. COUNSELING (tell them to be more careful and fire them if they get caught making the mistake again)
  3. If you are desperate, WRITE A PROCEDURE

That’s about it.

The best investigators start by understanding the risk represented by the incident. Higher risk incidents deserve higher order corrective actions. The highest order is to remove the Hazard. Other corrective actions may be related to strengthening the Safeguards by implementing human performance best practices. Sometimes these corrective actions may include training and procedures but that is seldom the only corrective actions recommended.

7. They know what they are doing. The worst investigators don’t really know what they are doing. They haven’t been trained to find root causes or the training they had was superficial at best. (Can you ask “Why?” five times?)

The best investigators are accomplished professionals. They’ve been in advanced root cause analysis training and have practiced what they have learned by performing many simple investigations before they were asked to jump into a major investigation. Even if they have several major investigations under their belt, they continue to practice their root cause analysis skills on simple investigations and on proactive audits and assessments.

Beyond practicing their skills, they attend the only worldwide summit focused on root cause analysis and investigation facilitation – The Global TapRooT® Summit. At the Summit they benchmark their skills with other facilitators from around the world and share best practices. Think of this as steel sharpening steel.

GOOD NEWS. The knowledge and skills that make the best investigators the best … CAN BE LEARNED.

Where? Have a look at these courses:

And then plan to attend the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit in Knoxville, Tennessee, on February 26 – March 2 to sharpen your skills (or have those who work for you sharpen their skills).


Are you using the latest TapRooT® Tools and do you have the latest TapRooT® Books?

June 6th, 2017 by

Over the past three years, we’ve been working hard to take everything we have learned about using TapRooT® in almost 30 years of experience and use that knowledge (and the feedback from thousands of users) to make TapRooT® even better.

So here is the question …

Do you have the latest TapRooT® Materials?

How can you tell? Look at the copyright dates in your books.

If you don’t have materials that are from 2016 or later, they aren’t the most up to date.

Where can you get the most recent materials?

First, if you have not yet attended a 5-Day TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Course, I’d recommend going. You will get:

Or, you can order all of these by CLICKING HERE.


I think you will find that we’ve made the TapRooT® System even easier to use PLUS made it even more effective.

We recently published two other new books:

The TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Leadership Lessons book helps management understand how to apply TapRooT® to achieve operational excellence, high quality, and outstanding safety performance.

The TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis for Audits and Proactive Performance Improvement book explains how to use the TapRooT® Tools proactively for audits and assessments.

To order the books, just click on the links above.

And watch for the releases of the other new books we have coming out. Shortly, you will see the new books on:

  • Interviewing and information collection
  • Implementing TapRooT®
  • Troubleshooting and finding the root causes of equipment problems

That’s a lot of new information.

We have plans for even more but you will here about that at the 2018 Global TapRooT® Summit that is being held in Knoxville, Tennessee, on February 26 – March 2. The Summit agenda will be posted shortly. (Watch for that announcement too!)

Users Share Best Practices: Keep Subject Matter Experts for Each Work Area

February 23rd, 2017 by

Our 2016 Global TapRooT® Summit was a great success last year! Our attendees helped one another by sharing some of their best practices. Here Tim Dearman informs the audience how his company keeps subject matter experts in each of their key business units to help during investigations.

(Click post title if the video is not displaying.)

Users Share Best Practices: Recertify Investigators Every Three Years

February 9th, 2017 by

Our 2016 Global TapRooT® Summit was a great success last year! Our attendees helped one another by sharing some of their best practices. Here Charlotte Grainger discusses how her company has instituted a program requiring investigators to be recertified every three years.

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Users Share Best Practices: Using Weekly Review Boards to Examine Incidents

February 2nd, 2017 by

Our 2016 Global TapRooT® Summit was a great success last year! Our attendees helped one another by sharing some of their best practices. Listen as Robert Oliver talks about how his company uses weekly review boards to examine incidents.

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Anne RobertsAnne Roberts


Barb CarrBarb Carr

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