January 19, 2022 | Mark Paradies

5 Best Articles from 2021

Root Cause Network™ Newsletter

2021’s Best Articles About Root Cause Analysis and Performance Improvement as Voted by the Readers

At the end of each year, I review what people clicked on and read to find out what were the best articles (most read) in the previous year. Of course, articles published early in the year have an advantage. They have more time for people to find them in search results and click on them. But I still find the statistics interesting so here are the top five best articles from the 2021 Root Cause Network™ Newsletter…

Number 1: Why Human Error is NOT a Root Cause

This was by far the most clicked-on article published this year. Why were people drawn to it? Because human error is such a big problem. That’s why we created the Stopping Human Error Course. If you are interested in root cause analysis of human errors, you should attend one of our root cause analysis courses and find out why TapRooT® RCA works so well when analyzing human errors. You should also consider attending our upcoming Stopping Human Error Course.

Number 2: 10 Wrong Ways to Stop Human Error

Another topic on human error. How many of these methods are you using to stop human errors?

  1. Tell people to try harder not to make mistakes.
  2. Tell people to be more careful.
  3. Retrain people when they make a mistake.
  4. Train people when they are likely to make an error and tell them to be careful not to make an error.
  5. Train people when errors are likely and give them dozens of error prevention tools and tell them to monitor their own performance and use the right tool to stop the error.
  6. Put up signs with safety slogans.
  7. Punish people for making mistakes (make an example of them).
  8. Write a detailed procedure that any fool could follow.
  9. Hire fools to use the procedure.
  10. Punish fools for not following the procedure.

I know, this sounds like a joke. But I’ve seen these methods applied throughout many industries.

What should you try? Read the article for a suggestion.

Number 3: Conservative Decision Making

Another topic that involves human performance. This topic is covered in detail in our Stopping Human Error Course because we think it is so important. But we may approach conservative decision-making from a different angle than you might think. We base our teaching on Admiral Rickover’s principles.

Read the article to see if you agree.

Number 4: What Is SMARTER & What Does It Have To Do With Your Investigation?

If you want to learn more about TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis and SMARTER Corrective Actions, attend one of our courses.

Number 5: Six Root Cause Analysis Bad Practices

One of my favorite Doctor’s credos is:

“First, do no harm.”

In Greek it is “ὠφελέειν ή μὴ βλάπτειν.” Translated into Latinis is “primum non nocere.” The idea comes from the Hippocratic Treatise on Epidemics where Hippocrates writes:

“In illnesses, one should keep two things in mind,
to be useful rather than cause no harm.”

And when giving advice on root cause analysis, you should follow Hippocrates’s advice and not give bad advice.

What are the six root cause analysis bad practices? Do you fall into any of the six traps? Read the article and find out!

Read the Root Cause Network™ Newsletter Every Week

If you don’t get the Root Cause Network™ Newsletter, you can sign up for it at the bottom of this page. If you do get the newsletter, at least scan it every week and pick out one article to read. You will be surprised how much you can learn from short, to-the-point articles. Plus, when you click on an article, you will be voting on next year’s favorite articles!

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