Management System Success is Management Success


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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

Problem Solving

Problem solving is a major function of management and one of the top priorities of every management and supervisor. In fact it is a major task of anybody in the organization at his or her level of operation. 

Problem solving is the basis for all important business areas, whether that concerns internal matters such as safety, risk management, cost control, quality control, environment or external issues such as product safety, environment, market image, etc. THE basic question is: what can go wrong in what we are doing?

Problem solving preferably should take place in advance and measures should be taken to cope with the problem when it becomes visible.

Please note that, from my point of view, a "problem" is the same as an "accident, incident and other unwanted event" - see "terminology".  

A management team should be judged on it's capacity to prevent and resolve problems

Problem solving includes the following steps:

  1. Identification of the (potential) problem: What is the problem?, What can be the problem? What is wrong?, What can go wrong? What has gone wrong?”
  2. Evaluation of the problem: How large is it? How large could it be?, 
  3. Cause analyses of the problem: “What are the reasons that this problem exists or can occur?
  4. Establishing alternatives for treating the problem: "What can be done to eliminate the problem and its consequences or - if that is not possible - reduce it?”
  5. Selection of best alternatives : “Which action or combination of actions will provide the desired results with a minimum of effort and costs?”
  6. Execution of selected actions.
  7. Assessment to see that the selected actions have been executed and correction as needed if not done properly.
  8. Evaluation of results and correction of actions (more or different)  if desired results are not being obtained.
  9. Continuous investigation and analysis of deviations, losses, damages, accidents, etcetera  that nevertheless occur  leading to possible further  correction of actions 


The quality of the management team

is determined by:

  1. knowing in advance what problems can occur in their organization or unit
  2. the number and size of problems that may occur
  3. knowing what the causes of those problems would be and
  4. Knowing which actions to take to minimize the negative effects

A quality management team should only have known problems with limited consequences

Below is the simple cause - consequence model relating the management system to the accident, incident and other unwanted event and its consequences. Read the model from left to right and you basically have the problem solving sequences; this way it also indicates the various sources of the unwanted event. If you read the model from right to left you have the process to learn from what went wrong.

Risk and Loss Control: from cause to consequence, proactive problem solving:

 Problem solving sequences in reverse

 Risk and Loss Control: from consequence to cause, reactive problem solving:


The picture below illustrates the problem solving sequence. It should be clear that within the context of risk and loss control management, a "risk" is a potential problem, within the context of loss control  the loss includes both the potential as well as the actual loss consequence of the accident, incident and other unwanted event.  

The universal Problem Solving Process


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