Management System Success is Management Success


 Looking for SUCCESS? In safety, or in any other area?

To find out more, go to the Succes in Safety page to find out more.

[1] Risk Management, Safety and Control of Loss - Protecting Your Organization

[2] Making Your Future - In Business and in Other Parts of Life 



My books Success in Safety Improvement Model Management System Success Improvement Process 17-Step Process Improvement Process Rating Management System Structure Management System Content Improving the Management System The Audit Management System Rating International Safety Rating System Accidents and Incidents Accident Investigation Protocol Safety Opinion Survey

Performance level, supported by Plan - Train - Do

The Platform model below is a good starting point to raise a performance level - whatever its objectives - in your organization. The model contains the critical items that should be included in your efforts to become better. The model forms the foundation of the 17-step process.

Performance level resting on the three legs of the platform

Being able to quantify and measure performance is important as you want to know where you are and where you want to be.  

Performance Measurement

What gets measured gets done

You have probably seen or heard the above expression. While this may be true under circumstances, it also may not be right.

I like to think that: "What gets measured gets the attention". If you measure the wrong things, the attention may go the wrong way.

An example is the way that safety is traditionally measured: in terms of accident frequency rates but - look closer - it is in lost time accident injury rates. In fact, depending on where you are this may be lost time over 3 days. So the attention goes to .... injuries that result in lost time and often to the person involved in the accident, most likely the victim. This is why traditional accident investigation did not go much further than the direct cause. It does not tell much about the safety performance level and is an after the fact, end of pipe, measurement and relates only to a small part of the accidents that occur.

In line with the above: people will not fall from the roof because they do not wear fall protection and if you reward them for not having an accident (the "measurement") indicating "you did a good job so I give you a reward" , you may actually reward unsafe (= substandard) behavior.

 Measuring performance - more than output only

 To properly manage the control of risks or unwanted events you should be measuring input as well as output. If you do this wisely, you can get input (= management system activity) balanced with results preventing a "management overkill".

Lord Kelvin

Anything that exists, exists in a certain quantity and can be measured

Measuring performance input criteria may not be possible in an absolute, objective, way. However, you can always measure in subjective term and that may come close to objective if the measurement criteria are agreed upon by many people with professional knowledge about the subject. An safety system using a scoring method is a way to subjectively measure the input performance level (sample only). And the 17-step rating system which I made in relation to the 17-step process also provides a subjective numeric value. The 17-step rating in fact can be seen as the input measurement to obtain output results. The input performance level can also be seen as the

Below I mention some indicators allowing performance level measurement concerning risk control, health, safety and environment. I have not tried to be explicit and I am sure that you will be able to come up with a number of other indicators that are not on my list. 

Measurement opportunities

I have tried to arrange these indicators in three categories:

  • measurement of control (input)
  • measurement of direct and basic causes
  • measurement of consequences

Measurement of Control could include:

Measurement of direct and basic causes could include:

Measurement of consequences could include:

  • various injury rates (frequency/severity)
  • material damage rates
  • maintenance reports (abnormal/normal)
  • insurance claims
  • absenteeism rates
  • client complaints
  • environmental incident rates

Lord Kelvin

When you cannot measure, your knowledge is meager and unsatisfactory

Performance measurement can and should be done at several places in the cause-consequence sequence, not only at the end. If you manage performance on end of pipe criteria alone, you may have a very unpleasant surprise which could mean fatalities, catastrophe and termination of business.


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