Visual risk assessments 2017-08-08T14:15:24+00:00

How can you understand and communicate complex risk scenarios?

Bowties describe reality at just the right abstraction level to understand the entire picture.

The challenge

How can you understand and communicate complex risk scenarios?

The reality of risks is that they are often very complex and hard to understand. It can be a challenge to see the bigger picture through the maze of safety studies that are conducted.  How can you understand and communicate complex risk scenarios and improve risk-based decision making?

The solution

A picture says more than a thousand words

BowTies describe reality at just the right abstraction level to understand the entire picture and make it easy to communicate this to different audiences. The bowtie method is a risk evaluation method that can be used to analyze and demonstrate causal relations in high-risk scenarios.

How does it work?

All models are false – some are useful

The reality is often complex and hard to grasp. The bowtie method is a quantitative model that allows you to comprehend what is happening in your critical operations.

It builds on existing risk registers and turns these into pictures that show the overall context and a set of scenarios. These scenarios can be linked to your management system to understand how well you are in control.

A structured approach

The bowtie method can be used:

  • to create an easy to understand overview of complex risk scenarios
  • to identify weak spots and opportunities to improve
  • to structure thinking
  • to improve risk-based decision making
  • to monitor the status of barriers
  • to communicate risks
  • for training purposes

The model offers the opportunity to ‘chain’ bowties and to build a barrier based enterprise risk model, that integrates all your mission critical processes across the different segments of your organization, from the board to the work floor.

Tailor information depending on your context

Bowties can be used to describe process risks as well as personal risks. The perspective depends on what your role is and where you are in the process. A ‘top event’ for a maintenance manager can be different than a ‘top event’ for a driller, or environmental authorities.

The diagrams can be very detailed in the design phase and very process-driven in an operational phase. They also can be very detailed when describing a process on the work floor and very abstract when describing enterprise risks.

The software features making it possible

The features used for this solution:

  • Easily build up diagrams with the scrapbook
  • Drag and drop functionality
  • Barrier performance and effectiveness values

Learn more

Go to bowtiexp

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