Monday, March 25, 2013

Processes as Profit Generators or Destructive Applications?

Bush pilots are regularly operating single and multi engine airplanes into remote areas and places where the birds don’t fly. These airplanes are operated on wheels, skis or floats and on unprepared airstrips, gravel bars, mountain meadows, rivers or lakes, both summer and winter. 
When a bush pilot prepare for a flight, a Risk Assessment is done, but may not documented. A bush pilot knows that even if the flight goes to a place where they have been several times before, this flight may encounter other challenges than previous flights. Each flight is a new flight and risks must be assessed continuously as the flight progresses. 
A process is like an old airplane, it must be maintained to be operational safe. 
Then a bush pilot may go where “the birds don’t fly”

An operator may have flown for 30 years of more without any accidents, but possible a few incidents. Processes have been established and applied, and they work well. Over years customers were satisfied with service and come back and even recommend the operator to friends and family. 
With the introduction of Safety Management System (SMS) a new intersection on was made on the road to safety. Some operators were looking forward and found the road-signs when they arrived at the fork in the road, while others were looking back, admiring the past and missed the signs of directions and continued down this old road. On this old road there were not places to stop and maintain the system. If a system is not maintained and no matter how well the system had performed in the past there will be a time when it becomes beyond repair. 

Someone sitting on the fence might be in a better position to review and trace the merits of a process. 
Then, who decide what process works and should be acceptable?  Is it an operator who has flown in bush country, high mountains, off lakes and rivers for 30 years without an accident? Or is it the operator who was looking forward, followed the signs and changed their processes? It could be both or none of the above. What decides if the process works and is acceptable is the process itself. 
The process must on its own merits conform to regulatory requirements. These merits may be established by reviewing and tracing the process backwards from end to beginning.  A process needs a trigger to be activated which could be human, organizational or environmental factors. The process management are human operational inputs that must conform to regulatory requirements. 
After the process has been executed and come to a completion, that’s when it is possible to assess and determine if the process conformed to regulatory requirements and if the output was regulatory compliant.  After that, make a risk projection based on the processes fail to pass ratio. The objective is to keep as many as possible of the organizational processes regulatory compliant.   

When making a bond-fire the choice of location, effectiveness and fuel inputs are based on risk-assessment. What choices of inputs are given to organizational processes?

When a process is applied to what it was intended for, it is a fire producing energy and revenue. Should the same process be applied for other than intended for, it becomes a fire of destruction.  


1 comment:

  1. Yes, building a fire uses a risk analysis. Do you just build it on dry leaves next to trees? or do you think about what could happen if I build it here or there? This is the basics of Risk Assessment. I would even go further and say that we should include the "famous" 5 inputs in risk assessment as we do in Process Evaluations and Improvement. Machines, Materials, Environment, Methods and People. I could write an entire article on that alone. I do think that this article is useful for small operators.


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