High reliability organizations (HROs) are those organizations that are high-risk, dynamic, turbulent, and potentially hazardous, and yet operate nearly error-free while maintaining high levels of competence. Professional commitment means a combination of high organizational status and visibility for the activities that enhance reliability, and high reliability professionals in positions with ready access to senior management. Further, stakeholders operate the grid with high reliability and high levels of renewable generation.
Post-incident discussion intervention, of which there are many types, is commonly used in high reliability organizations to increase future workplace safety behaviors. The measurement, roles, and culture in a high reliability organization are, half the time, aligned with a set standard made by automated pathways and operating procedures, which can reduce complexity and variation while improving cooperation and communication and enhancing quality overall.
The first step in making your organization highly reliable is being keenly aware of the fact that you are engaged in high-risk activities and ensuring that you are dedicated to maintaining safe operations. High reliability cannot always be assured, and imperfect automation can add to uncertainty to your processes and thus degrade your performance. One way to keep track of this is to plot your data for these measures over time using a run chart, a simple and effective way to determine whether the changes you are making are leading to improvement.
As technology in these systems becomes more complex and the requirements for its deployment and use become pervasive, understanding the impacts of technology introduction on users, their attitudes, and their behavior on interacting with the technology is increasingly important. Some small groups perform tasks well in high-risk settings, where team leadership is crucial for the ability to deal with danger. Using a more comprehensive systems approach can help you to clarify the strengths and weakness of NAT and HRO, offering a more powerful repertoire of analytic tools and intervention strategies to manage and control post-modern risk in complex, high-tech systems with huge potential for catastrophic disruptions and losses.
Although individual sub-systems may be tested and certified for high levels of reliability (for example, managing the development of groups/teams to investigate and initiate a strategy for process improvements), there will always be a trade-off to some extent between safety and finance. Achieving the highest feasible levels of safety will cost increasing amounts of money that no organization will be able to pay.
Technology designed for high reliability is being replaced by redundant, cheap, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment, with most of the international variation being a result of exposure to known or suspected risk factors relating to lifestyle or environment. This provides a clear challenge to the safety and reliability of organizations across a variety of industries. Scholars and practitioners alike often conceptualize hazards as external to discursive processes, focusing instead on the role of strategic communication in representing pre-organized vulnerabilities to stakeholders rather than on the capacity of mundane discourse practices to shape how hazards emerge.
An example of a complex situation is when implementing a process change affects all organizations within your own. Studies suggest that only individuals with high levels of role overload are likely to increase their individual task proactivity as a result of problem-focused intervention. However, almost everyone can recognize the benefits of investments in security risk management when it comes to the basics of putting locks on the office door or factory gate.
Reliability statistics are critical to understanding how the performance of various assets impacts the power of a system and its customers. Introducing the right concepts to the right people is key to identifying, understanding, and utilizing quality tools with the aim of making fundamental process improvements. Failure to hold your managers accountable for near-misses is a foregone learning opportunity for both the relevant manager and your organization.
Want to check how your High Reliability Organization Processes are performing? You don’t know what you don’t know. Find out with our High Reliability Organization Self Assessment Toolkit: