January 9, 2019 | Mark Paradies

Top 10 Best Root Cause Analysis Articles of 2018

I always like to look back over the year and pick what I think were our best root cause analysis articles of the year. If you didn’t read these articles in 2018 (or you don’t remember them), you should read them NOW.

Here are the TOP 10 for 2018 (not in any particular order) …


1. Scientific Method and Root Cause Analysis – This article discusses why the scientific method IS NOT a good root cause analysis technique.


2. “People are SO Stupid”: Horrible Comments on LinkedIn – How common is it for people to blame others for being stupid? What are the real root causes of stupid acts? TapRooT® is about finding root causes and not about blaming people for being stupid.


3. Is Blame Built Into Your Root Cause System? – This article looks at root cause systems that build blame INTO their root cause analysis system. Another STUPID mistake!


4. Avoid Big Problems By Paying Attention to the Small Stuff – How do you stop major accidents? Read this article and find out.


5. Where to Start When Finding Root Causes – I get asked “Where do I start?” all the time. The answer is in this article.


6. Root Cause Analysis Tip: Why Did The Robot Stop? (Comparing 5-Whys Results with TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Results) –  Many people have asked me to compare 5-Whys to TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis. It isn’t even fair. It is like comparing a Model T to the best modern automobile. But here is the example for your review.


7. Why is Picking the Right Root Cause Analysis System so Important? – If you read article 4, you know you have to pay attention to the small stuff to stop big accidents. But you need the best root cause system to learn effectively. This explains the concept.


8. What makes a great root cause system? – If you are convinced that you need the best root cause analysis system, this article spells out what makes a great root cause analysis system.


9. The History of the Definition of a Root Cause – So many people use concepts that we developed but never reference there source. Thus, I thought I would document the history of the definition of a ROOT CAUSE that so many people use and how we have improved that definition in the TapRooT® System.


10. Why do people try to make root cause analysis so difficult? – Don’t make root cause analysis a philosophical argument. This article explains why TapRooT® keeps it simple.

More to Read…

The articles above are the TOP 10. But there are many other articles that you should have read or might have enjoyed. First, I always need a laugh (good for your health) … so always check out the FRIDAY JOKE. Also, if you need pictures for safety meetings to make a point in your PowerPoint presentation, see the pictures or videos in the How Far Away is Death? and What Does a Bad Day Look Like? articles. And, of course, you can always learn from the Monday Accident & Lessons Learned.

What have I left out? Tons of great articles. For example, here are a few of the “runners up” that almost made the list …

Why do we still have major process safety accidents?

What’s Wrong with Pharmaceutical Root Cause Analysis?

Root Cause Analysis Audit Idea

 How many precursor incidents did your site investigate last month? How many accidents did you prevent?

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

The Best Incident Investigation Performance Indicator

 What is Senior Leadership’s Role in Root Cause Analysis?

 Why Does Blame “Make Sense”

 New Study Suggests Poor Officer Seamanship Training Across the Navy –
Is This a Generic Cause of 2017 Fatal Navy Ship Collisions?

 The Reality of High-Reliability Organizations

I Hate Bad Advice!

I hope you take the time to read all of the above articles that apply to your organization and apply the lessons learned to make your root cause analysis and performance improvement programs better. Why? Because people’s lives and jobs depend on it!

Operational Excellence, Root Cause Analysis
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