May 19, 2016 | Mark Paradies

Root Cause Analysis Tip: Use the TapRooT® Dictionary!

The TapRooT® Dictionary

The TapRooT® Dictionary is a detailed set of questions that helps you consistently identify root causes using the evidence you collected and organized on your SnapCharT®.  The TapRooT® Root Cause Tree® Dictionary provides a common root cause analysis language for your investigators and helps the investigators consistently find root causes using their investigation evidence.

This makes for consistent root cause analysis identification and the ability to trend the results.

The TapRooT® System

TapRooT® Users have more than a root cause analysis tool. They have an investigation and root cause analysis system.

The TapRooT® System does more than root cause analysis. It helps you investigate the problem, collect and organize the information about what happened, identify all the Causal Factors and then find their root causes. Finally, it helps you develop effective fixes.

But even that isn’t all that the TapRooT® System does. It helps companies TREND their problem data to spot areas needing improvement and measure performance.

A key to all the “functionality” is the systematic processes built into the TapRooT® System. One of those systematic processes is the Root Cause Tree® coupled with the TapRooT® Dictionary.

2016 TapRooT® Dictionary

Using the TapRooT® Dictionary

For each node on the TapRooT® Root Cause Tree® Diagram, there is a set of questions in the TapRooT® Dictionary that define that node. If you get a yes for any of those questions, it indicates that you should continue down that path to see if there is an applicable root cause. At the root cause level, you answer the questions to see if you have the evidence you need to identify a problem that needs fixing (needs improvement).

TapRooT® Dictionary HotCold

For example, to determine if the root cause “hot/cold” under the Work Environment Near Root Cause under the Human Engineering Basic Cause Category is a root cause, you would answer the questions (shown in the TapRooT® Dictionary above):

  1. Was an issue cause by excessive exposure of personnel to hot or cold environments (for example, heat exhaustion or numbness from the cold)?
  2. Did hurrying to get out of an excessively hot or cold environment contribute to the issue?
  3. Did workers have trouble feeling items because gloves were worn to protect them from cold or hot temperatures?

If you get a “Yes” then you have a problem to solve.

How do you solve it? You use Safeguards Analysis and the Corrective Action Helper® Guide. Attend one of our TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Courses to learn all the secrets of the advanced TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis System.


The expert systems built into the Root Cause Tree® Diagram and TapRooT® Dictionary expand the number of root causes that investigators look for and helps investigators identify root causes that they previously would have overlooked. This helps companies more quickly improve performance by solving human performance issues that previously would NOT have been identified and, therefore, would not have been fixed.

Are you using a tool or a system?

If you need the most advanced root cause analysis system, attend one of our public TapRooT® Courses. Here are a few that are coming up in the next six months:

2-Day TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Training

Vancouver, AB, Canada    April 20-21, 2020

Milwaukee, WI     April 30-May 1, 2020

Amsterdam, Netherlands     May 14-15, 2020

Pittsburgh, PA     June 15-16, 2020

Dallas, TX     June 24-25, 2020

Adelaide, Australia     July 14-15, 2020

5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Training

New Orleans, LA          April 20-24, 2020

Edmonton, AB, Canada May 4-8, 2020

Monterrey, Mexico   May 11-15, 2020

Dubai, UAE  June 21-25, 2020

Houston, TX  July 13-17, 2020

For the complete list of current courses held around the world, see:

To hold a course at your site, contact us by CLICKING HERE.

(Note: Copyrighted material shown above is used by permission of System Improvements.)

Root Cause Analysis, Root Cause Analysis Tips
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