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High Reliability Organization: Part 1

Spence Byrum Managing Partner Convergent HRS

So, let’s talk about some of our perceptions…

Becoming a High Reliability Organization (HRO) • Understand the scope and nature of errors in the service delivery process • Learn how other organizations manage risk of non-performance • Understand tools that can be implemented to reduce the potential for error • Apply lessons-learned from HRO best practices to improve quality of service

Errors are going to occur when service is delivered

The questions are: Where will they occur? AND How do we reduce their impact?



High Reliability Organizations (HRO): High-Risk, Error-Intolerant • • • • •

Nuclear power plant operators Infectious disease researchers Aircraft carrier flight decks Commercial aviation SWAT Teams + Special Operations Forces

• Wild-land forest firefighters • Nuclear weapons handlers

Who’s missing from the list?

What do HROs do? • Define roles and practice • Focus on constantly improving communication between all team members • Brief and debrief…every time, for every job • Report all incidents in an effort to avoid accidents • Religiously follow checklists and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) as agreed-upon “best practices”

Why “best practices”? • High Reliability Organizations (HRO) utilize proven “best practices” simply because they MUST • Failure of a HRO to perform can mean the death of some or all of the team • There’s a very good reason not tolerate errors…

Bringing the Science of Aviation and HRO Methods Service Delivery • Reporting and Understanding Errors • Crew Resource Management (CRM) • Human Factors and Decision Making • Situational Awareness (SA) • Simulation Training • Effective Communication Photo used with permission of US Navy:

How important is communication with your team and your customers? 8 out of 10 times when there is an accident or delivery failure, COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN is the main cause!!

Effective Communication Skills “Communication is the glue that holds a team together.” * * Pete Connelly NASA Air Crew Research Project

Checklists - The Key to Effective Communication

Checklists • Memory independent - “lapse errors” of omission • Non-critical tasks moved away during critical phases • Reduce impact of fatigue, stress, poor coordination, communication breakdowns, task fixation) • Help you use your time better

The key is to “standardize”

• Standardization is not a four-letter word • Procedural discipline is liberating – not restricting • Standardized processes and procedures make complex, multi-step tasks easier • These tools help make sure there is a complete transfer of control, information and responsibility • Standardizing processes and procedures allows you to save creativity for new situations • Standardize processes for yourself and your staff whenever possible

Do HRO Methods Work to Reduce Errors?

Fatal Commercial Accident Rate US Part 121 Carriers per 100,000 Hours (FAA) 50 40 30 20

There were 0 fatalities in jet powered commercial aircraft (FAA)in 2007, 2008 and 2010

10 0 1960





Bottom line

Standardization of process and procedure has dramatically reduced errors in HROs and made things that are extremely dangerous‌ very, very safe

In fact

To put it another way, you would have to fly every single day of the year, for the next 465 years, to have statistical probability that you would be in a commercial airplane accident!!!

What can you do? • Support HRO processes throughout your place of work • Reward your staff for standardizing the parts of their job where it is appropriate • Look for other areas to employ the HRO methods • Discuss what’s in it for everyone

What’s in it for everyone?

• Better service • Your teams operate more efficiently • Customer satisfaction is significantly higher Better yet: • You help your people avoid the mistakes that can harm themselves, your team’s reputation, or the customer

Conclusions • High Reliability Organizations share common requirements and behaviors • Your teams share many of the demands of HRO (high risk + low error tolerance) • The models that have made HROs so reliable will work for you • We can’t afford not to do it • It’s what is in the best interest of both the employee and the customer that we serve


HRO Skills Standardization Checklists

Minimize Risks Increase Efficiency Improve Performance

Session Evaluation Information


High Reliabillity-Part 1-Presentation  

High Reliability Organization: Part 1 Managing Partner Convergent HRS So, let’s talk about some of our perceptions… Becoming a High Reliabil...

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