March 6, 2024 | Mark Paradies

World-Class Root Cause Analysis


Three Steps to World-Class Root Cause Analysis

There are three steps to world-class root cause analysis:

  1. Find a world-class root cause analysis system.
  2. Implement the world-class root cause analysis system.
  3. Continuously improve your use of the world-class root cause analysis system.

Sounds simple enough, but I will explain each step in detail below.

But first, some history…

World-Class Root Cause Analysis History

Back in 2005, I had a TapRooT® User ask:

What is world-class root cause analysis?

The answer was TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis … of course!

Our discussion continued. He told me that an associate had attended a conference, and a speaker said that you needed KPIs for your root cause analysis. The speaker said that one KPI should include:

Start the investigation within 72 hours of the incident.

This made me think. What are the factors that make a world-class root cause analysis system? What KPIs would indicate a great investigation? Could we develop a system to grade investigations and score them to provide feedback to investigators to improve their root cause analysis?

When this question was asked in 2005, it was after we wrote the old TapRooT® Mauals and the “green” TapRooT® Book, but before we wrote the first “black” TapRooT® Book (2008) and way before we started writing the 10-book set of TapRooT® Books (2015).

TapRooT® Books - 10 book set

So, there wasn’t a Book 2 with criteria for TapRooT® implementation.

improvement program checklist

Therefore, this question about world-class root cause analysis and KPIs started the development of the TapRooT® Investigation Grading System, which is now a part of the TapRooT® Software. It also started the development of the guidance for implementation of the TapRooT® System.

TapRooT® ® Software VI Grading

That question – “What is world-class root cause analysis?” – led to significant improvements in the TapRooT® System.

So, nineteen years later, let’s discuss world-class root cause analysis and how you can make your root cause analysis world-class using the guidance we have today.

First Step to World-Class Root Cause Analysis

To perform world-class root cause analysis, you must have a world-class root cause analysis system. At a minimum, the system must meet the root cause analysis fundamentals spelled out in this article:

Fundamentals of Root Cause Analysis

I won’t review all the requirements here, but I will say that implementing TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis meets the fundamentals of root cause analysis (and goes beyond the fundamentals – making TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis world-class).

If you have never been to a TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Course, pick one from THIS LIST and register to learn more.

Second Step – Implementing a World-Class RCA System

This step is covered in Chapter 3 of TapRooT® Book 2 – TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Implementation. THIS LINK outlines the book and will give you some ideas. But the best way to learn about implementing a world-class root cause analysis system is to read the book (about 90 pages). CLICK HERE to order your copy. I would suggest taking a 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Course to learn all the TapRooT® RCA has to offer.

Third Step – Continuous Improvement

If you want world-class root cause analysis, you must continuously improve your root cause analysis system. After all, no one is perfect. We continuously improve the TapRooT® RCA System. You will need to keep up to date with the improvements we are making and become more effective in your application of TapRooT® RCA.

Where can you get ideas to continuously improve your implementation of TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis? Where can you benchmark your TapRooT® Implementation against other industry leaders? How can you keep up with the latest improvements we are making to the TapRooT® System? Those questions are easy!


Make sure that someone (or maybe a whole team) from your site/company attends the Global TapRooT® Summit every year.

TapRooT® Summit General Session

What’s the Summit all about? Watch this video if you have never attended the Summit before…

Each year, we have sessions at the Summit to refresh your TapRooT® knowledge and communicate the latest improvements. In addition, TapRooT® Users share best practices to help you keep your TapRooT® Implementation world-class. The Summit is the perfect place to benchmark your implementation of the TapRooT® System against other industry leaders.

Find out more about this year’s pre-Summit Courses, Summit Keynote Speakers, and Best Practice Tracks by CLICKING HERE.

Get Your Implementation Evaluated

Would you like to get your implementation of the TapRooT® System evaluated by a TapRooT® Expert? Call a TapRooT® Implementation Advisor at 865-539-2139 or CLICK HERE to contact one and discuss your implementation with an expert.

TapRooT® Implementation Advisors

They will all be at this year’s Global TapRooT® Summit and would be happy to sit down with you to evaluate your TapRooT® Implementation and point out other TapRooT® Users you should network and benchmark with.

Root Cause Analysis Tips, Summit
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