August 31, 2023 | Mark Paradies

Improve Causal Learning with Advanced RCA!


Causal Learning & Root Cause Analysis

We’ve had several clients say that they are interested in Causal Learning. That’s great!

Did you know that advanced root cause analysis (TapRooT® RCA) can be used to improve a Causal Learning System?

Read on for more information…

What is Causal Learning?

That depends on who you ask. I’ve seen complex answers and some fairly simple ones.

A Causal Learning diagram looks like the Deming Cycle or the Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycles shown above.

A presentation I attended described Causal Learning as:

Causal Learning discovers and learns from
current experience to improve future performance.

This sounds like Continuous Improvement that W. Edwards Deming promoted.


One outline of the Causal Learning process included these six steps:

  1. Develop terms of reference
  2. Develop a problem statement
  3. Develop a sequence of events
  4. Develop a cause-and-effect chart
  5. Develop observations, insights, and conclusions
  6. Develop solutions

Concepts Familiar to TapRooT® Users

TapRooT® Users … do the steps above look familiar? Perhaps you’ve seen how TapRooT® can be applied in Continuous Improvement cycles. Compare the six steps listed above to the TapRooT® 7-Step Major Investigation Process…

But there’s more…

TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis has advanced tools to help with each step that go beyond the standard Causal Learning tools.

Three examples of advanced tools include:

  • SnapCharT® Diagram,
  • the Root Cause Tree® Diagram and Dictionary, and
  • the Corrective Action Helper® Guide

SnapCharT® Diagram (and the SnapCharT® Software Module) help the investigator understand what happened (the sequence of events) by displaying the timeline and the Causal Factors and Conditions in a simple-to-understand diagram.

The Root Cause Tree® Diagram and Dictionary help the investigator find the root causes of problems that they would have missed using the fundamental technique of cause-and-effect.

Finally, the Corrective Action Helper® Guide suggests ideas to develop effective fixes for Root Causes and Generic Causes that the investigator might have overlooked without the help of the guide.

Of course, in the TapRooT® System, there is even more:

  • Optional techniques to help with human performance and equipment reliability issues.
  • Tools to help with interviewing and information collection.
  • The SMARTER corrective action technique.
  • A simple investigation process to make investigations of precursor incidents easy.

If you want to supercharge your Causal Learning process, attend a 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Course and then put your new knowledge to work!

Do You Need TapRooT® Training?

See all the upcoming public 5-Day TapRooT® Course locations and dates HERE.

Don’t wait! Seats in these 5-Day TapRooT® Courses fill up, and you want to get your first choice of where to attend the training. Get your seat reserved today!

And if you need help seeing how TapRooT® can fit into your Causal Learning efforts, give us a call at 865-539-2139. Alex Paradies or any of our TapRooT® Implementation Advisors will be happy to explain how TapRooT® RCA works in a Causal Learning environment.

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