March 7, 2008 | Barb Carr

Understanding the Limits of Some Root Cause Tools in the Hands of Your Company Experts

As a TapRooT® and Equifactor® instructor for System Improvements, I get the opportunity to meet quality, engineering, safety, manufacturing, operations and medical company experts from around the world. In two or five days these experts learn the basics of the TapRooT® System for finding the root causes of problems PLUS some attend one day of Equifactor® Equipment Troubleshooting Technique for root cause failure analysis of equipment problems. These are grueling days of lecture and hands on application that does not allow much time to teach people the science behind good root cause analysis. Just as important, I do not get to show people why being an expert in your field of work can actually impede your investigation due to “tunnel vision” of the mind.


Experts who are now using TapRooT®, have learned how to investigate with an open mind based on tons of research in human and workplace system interactions. But with all the knowledge our experts bring to the table why was this a limiting factor before TapRooT® use? After presenting at the ASQ Automotive Conference in Michigan this February, audience members wanted to know more about root cause tool limitation and expert use of rules-of-thumb. So if you want to understand more of our thinking processes in problem solving and why we have a tendency to assume we know why an incident occurred before we really know what occurred, link to the paper below.

“Why ask why when you should be asking what?”

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