March 30, 2009 | Dave Janney

TapRooT® Summit – Building your Business Case

Investigation and Root Cause Analysis Track

The Summit is fast approaching, and you want to attend (of course)! Nevertheless, we understand that for you to spend your valuable time away from work and fund attendance to an event like the Summit, you have to be able to show your organization the benefits.

I’d like to discuss the Investigation and Root Cause Analysis Track to show you what you’ll learn so you can make your case to management to let you attend.  First of all, you’ll meet in the morning and afternoon with attendees from all tracks to hear the keynote speakers:

•   Dr. Joel Fish, Brian Tink, and Jim Thompson will talk about how just one root cause analysis changed an industry practice.

•   E.D. Hill from Fox News will talk about “Lessons Learned from Success.”

•   Mike Kelley will deliver an empowering talk called “Establishing a Culture that Promotes Super-Performance” where he will discuss his view that personal and professional growth are tied together and how they ultimately add to the success of the organization.

•   Mark Paradies, our President, and Dave Prewitt will present thoughts on systematic ways to manage performance.

•   Best selling author John Miller will open the day on Friday with a powerful talk on personal accountability.

These keynote talks provide a good balance of usable techniques, personal improvement, and motivation, and alone are easily worth the $995!

Beyond the keynote talks, the Investigation and Root Cause Analysis Track provides even more value.  Let’s look at the other sessions in the track in more detail:

•   First, you’ll attend “Accident Presentations” where the versatility of TapRooT® will be shown through discussion of three distinct uses of the system.  Shane Deichman will share “Analyzing the Attack on the USS Stark,” Ken Scott will present “The Crandall Canyon Mine Accident,“ and Buck Griffin and Kevin McManus will present “Analyzing 230 Environmental Incidents in 5 Months.” Being exposed to all of the ways TapRooT® can be used will be of great value to you.

•   In “Success Stories from the Field,” Dennis Ward will discuss “Improving Performance by Analyzing Multiple Aviation Incidents for Common Causes,” and Ron Pryor will present “Using TapRooT® in a Kaizen Project to Improve Product Quality,” showing how TapRooT® can be used proactively in conjunction with your quality improvement processes.

•    In “DISCovering How to Communicate After an Accident,” Vincent Phipps will enlighten us on the most common behavioral styles and how the way we interview can be adjusted based on those styles.  If you have ever taken the DISC profile, you may understand what your personal style is, but Vincent will show us how to adapt our message to the different styles in others.

•    In “Advanced Ideas for Defining Causal Factors,” Ken Turnbull will show how qualitative risk analysis can be used to help determine causal factors.  We all know that a good root cause analysis can only be completed if good causal factors are identified, and this session will provide some valuable tips in this regard.

•    In the “TapRooT® User Best Practice Sharing Forum,” Linda Unger and Michelle Lindsay will facilitate a user discussion so everyone can learn from each other.  Two heads are better than one, so bring your best practices to share with the group.

•    “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly: Which Describes Your Investigations and Reports and What Can You Do To Improve?” Brian Tink and Tom Brower will lead a discussion and an interactive workshop to allow participants time to develop a quality improvement strategy for their company. Through examples from the session leaders and open discussion, the session will help you gain insight and develop some ideas you can implement when you return to your site.

•    In “How to Prove that Fatigue Was the Cause of an Incident,” Bill Sirois will examine fatigue and give useful tips on how to determine when it was involved in your incidents.

•    In “Lessons from TN OSHA Fatality Investigations,” Steve Hawkins will present lessons learned from investigating workplace fatalities from the OSHA prospective including interviewing witnesses, reviewing physical evidence, and determining basic causes and appropriate preventative action.

That is a lot of value for $995!  And that does not count the benchmarking with old and new friends from your and other industries.

And by the way, there is one more thing – the last session you attend will be “Planning Your Improvements” where TapRooT® Instructors will facilitate attendees in developing action plans for when you return.  The difference in success and failure can come down to one simple process; setting goals and following through to achieve them.

I am convinced that the summit is the best value you can find.  I want to introduce you to what us quality geeks call failure costs and prevention costs:

•   According to the State of Texas Department of Insurance (Worker’s Comp Division,, the average cost of an injury claim is $15,000 (back injuries are more).

•   Medical costs, lost time, overtime, lost production, fines, damaged equipment, spills, and so forth are considered failure costs.

•   Training, auditing, ergonomic engineering improvements, etc. are considered prevention costs.  These costs are always less than failure costs, and require less effort, because you can plan and work them into your routine and your budget.

Be proactive!  Tell your management that you want to incur a small prevention cost – $995 to attend the Investigation and Root Cause Analysis Track at the 2009 Summit.

Write down the value to you of each of these sessions, and put some thought around your existing failure costs.  What if you could reduce these costs just a small %?  And how much is the summit worth to you?  I think you’ll agree, it is much more than the cost.

Don’t forget our guarantee:  Attend the Summit and go back to work and use what you’ve learned.  If you don’t get at least 10 times the return on your investment, simply return the Summit materials and we’ll refund the entire fee.

P.S. – I would be remiss if I did not mention that it is also a great idea to come two days early and attend a two-day course at a cost of $1895 for a course and the summit (a $200 discount).  See the list of two-day pre-summit courses here:

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