April 23, 2020 | Mark Paradies

Does Your Root Cause Analysis Need a KISS?

The KISS Principle and RCA

Have you ever thought your root cause analysis is too complex? You need to apply the KISS Principle. That is, keep your root cause analysis simple stupid!


But the key (according to Einstein) is to keep it as simple as possible, but not TOO simple.

TapRooT® and KISS

How does TapRooT® keep things simple while still being a robust root cause analysis system that can be applied to major accidents? Simple! We have two processes. One that is more simple and one for major accidents.

The two processes are shown below. The first is the process invented back in 1991. It is used for major investigations and includes all the TapRooT® Tools. This process is taught in the 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training and is found in Book 4, TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis for Major Investigations.

Copyright © System Improvements, Inc. Used by Permission.


The second process is a simplified process. It includes the three most powerful TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Tools to keep the quality of the investigation high while requiring less training and being faster to complete. It is taught in the 2-Day TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Course and is found in Book 3, Using the Essential TapRooT® Techniques to Investigate Low-to-Medium Risk Incidents.


Copyright © System Improvements, Inc. Used by Permission.

We could review all the steps of both the processes and talk about all the tools, but that is the topic of the two books. So instead, we will just talk about how the second process keeps things simple.

What makes the second process a simple process?

  1. Less training required (two days vs. five).
  2. Fewer techniques to apply.
  3. No Generic Cause Analysis.
  4. Simpler corrective actions.

But perhaps the biggest difference that simplifies the second process is that you can stop early in the investigation if you determine there is nothing more to learn (Step 2.2 in the diagram above).

Wasting time investigating low-risk incidents with no real lessons learned is the biggest waste of time that most investigators face. And any process that requires wasting time is NOT simple.

So, TapRooT® is for simple incidents and gives you the essential tools you need for a good investigation (it isn’t too simple) while keeping investigators from wasting time when there is no real learning to be had. Plus TapRooT® is for major investigations that require all the help provided by the essential TapRooT® Tools and the optional ones too.

Thus TapRooT® is simple and robust. It can handle major investigations and near-misses. It is as simple as you need it to be.

And there is one more benefit of using the same tools for all your investigation. Your investigators get lots of practice using the tools on simple incidents. Then, if a major accident occurs, they are ready to use the same tools to perform a superior investigation.

TapRooT® Training

Find out more by attending TapRooT® Training. The 2-Day TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Course teaches what you need to investigate low to medium risk incidents. The 5-Day TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Team leader Course teaches both processes shown above and all the TapRoioT® Tools. CLICK HERE to see the upcoming courses.

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