May 23, 2023 | Susan Napier-Sewell

SnapCharT®: How it Helps Incident Investigators Understand What Happened


An incident has occurred and you have been charged with heading up the investigation; start with a SnapCharT®.

But why is a SnapCharT® important and how do you proceed? Why should you begin with a SnapCharT®?

The typical scenario at the outset of an investigation: You are scrambling to make sure you have all the information you need to do a thorough investigation — securing the site, identifying and interviewing people and witnesses, gathering physical evidence, etc. Wow, you have a lot of information to gather and organize.

  • Most importantly, how do you know you have collected ALL the information you will need to get to the real root cause of what occurred? 
  • How can you be sure there is no missing information?

In the TapRooT® 7-Step Process, root cause analysis tools are used throughout the investigation to make every investigation phase, including information collection, more robust — and the first tool is a SnapCharT®.

The first tool from the TapRooT® Toolbox that helps an investigator collect info is the SnapCharT®.

In TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis, a SnapCharT® is the visual timeline of what happened in the incident or event you are investigating. The SnapCharT® provides a clear picture of what happened and clarification of the incident/event so you can understand and identify all the areas of potential improvement. It can also be used as a planning and data collection tool. 

If you’re a TapRooT® User, you know that drawing a SnapCharT® is the first step in your investigation, whether it is for a low-to-medium risk incident or a major Investigation.

Your SnapCharT® is how you tell the factual story about what led up to your incident and also possibly the events directly afterward.

A complete SnapCharT® is the solid foundation for a great investigation. When you are gathering the evidence and information you need for root cause analysis, the organization of that information is critical. As you look at your SnapCharT®, you can tell if there are some unanswered questions or if there is more information you need to gather. Are there missing pieces, or holes, in the sequence of events that led up to the incident? You don’t want holes in your story or timeline because you have to find out what happened before you can determine why it happened and then fix it so it doesn’t happen again.

To help you explore more about the TapRooT® SnapCharT®, we’ve curated the following resources to build your understanding and expertise and that of your team.

  1. What Are SnapCharT®s & Why Are They Important?
  2. Starting Your Investigations: The Power of the SnapCharT®

Don’t know how to create a SnapCharT®? We can teach you!

Contact us for on-site training or view our public courses

Several of our clients are now booking TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis On-Site Training — call us to set it up.

Let us know when you are ready to book on-site training.

TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Training courses are taught all over the world. If you are interested in learning how to stop repeat incidents, find a 2-day or 5-day course. We are available to train you and your staff on-site at your workplace; contact us to discuss your needs. You may also call us at 865.539.2139 for any questions you may have.

Feel free to connect with us by phone: 865.539.2139, or email us.

We also offer ongoing support to our clients through free newsletters, root cause tip videos, and the Root Cause Analysis blog on our website.

Courses & Training, Implementation, Investigations
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