Our software is under active development and new versions are being released regularly. We continue to make the software more user-friendly and add new features. Curious to find out which features are new in your software version and how to use them? Open the releases below and learn how to get the most out of your license.
In this version, some minor changes have been made to BowTieXP, AuditXP and IncidentXP. Most of these changes are so they work better in combination with BowTieServer. Many changes have been made to BowTieServer.
- System & parts (BowTieXP)
- Question aggregation (AuditXP)
- Link RCA events to bowtie barriers (IncidentXP)
- Integrated BowTieXP & IncidentXP action tracking (BowTieServer)
- Translatable UI and terminology (BowTieServer)
- New bowtie viewer + features (BowTieServer)
- HAZID revamped (BowTieServer)
- New review system (BowTieServer)
- Usability improvements (BowTieServer)
Systems & parts (BowTieXP)
System & parts have been changed. In BowTieXP it is now located in the tree view under system groups for easier integration with BowTieServer. Additionally, a 3rd option has been added: ‘unknown’. If the status of a part is ‘unknown’, you can still simulate its effect on the rest of your system.
In BowTieServer an easy integration of the tag item status is made possible through development of a new API. Next to that the system status tree has been added within the Systems report.
Question aggregation (AuditXP)
Audit results can now be aggregated. You can now group multiple questions into one group, and then link that group to a barrier. Instead of adding questions one by one onto a barrier, drag-and-drop the question group.
Audit context-sensitive questions, which were deprecated earlier, have now been fully removed as they are incompatible with question aggregation.
Audit results for a specific organizational unit are now only shown if that organizational unit is actually related to the bowtie. The previous situation led to unexpected audit results, e.g. Generic quality questions for USA showing up on Europe bowties.
A survey ‘type’ has been added: ‘quick-scan’ or ‘in-depth’ are the default values, but you can create other types as well.
Link RCA events to bowtie barriers (IncidentXP)
Root cause analysis elements can now be linked to barriers in BowTieXP. The BowTieXP Incident filter can now show failure percentages and will color based on the failure/success rate.
Integrated BowTieXP & IncidentXP action tracking (BowTieServer)
Action tracking is now fully integrated between the desktop software and BowTieServer. When going to e.g. Reports > Hazards and a bowtie, you can find a new tab called ‘Actions’.
Using the ‘Add’ button, you can make new actions that will be displayed on the hazard of the bowtie. This will make it much easier to continue your incident analysis in BowTieServer, after having started in BowTieXP.
Additionally, there are now also 2 new reports: ‘Actions on bowties’ and under Incidents ‘Recommendations’.
Translatable UI and terminology (BowTieServer)
Most of BowTieServer is now translatable in multiple languages. Thus far the interface has been translated to Dutch and French, but companies can add their own languages and add their own translations to them Terminology can be managed in Server and translated like in BowTieXP. Observation questions can be translated too, so that users get questions asked to them in their own language.
New bowtie viewer (BowTieServer)
The web viewer has been renewed and feels much smoother now and is more user-friendly with a search function on the left, to make it easier to find the bowties you’re looking for. Additionally, barrier grouping is now also available if saved in the display profiles.
To be able to view changes you have made in bowties over time, it is possible to use a slider at the bottom of the web viewer. Click the small clock icon and slide left to right to move in time. On the left-hand side of the slider a specific date can be entered manually.
It is also possible to select audit or incident information by toggling these options within the filter pop up. Define specific surveys, organization unites and/or dates to see only results that fall into your filter set.
In the observations module you are now able to review a follow up. Additionally, you can create a set of custom questions for the follow up stage to get additional information about an observation. Another improvement is that there is much more flexibility when configuring a workflow.
HAZID revamped (BowTieServer)
The HAZID module has been simplified. It is much easier to build bowties now, even for smaller bowties. It only takes 3 short steps to make bowties now:
- Click on the ‘Start session’ button, fill in the required information.
- Then add a hazard with the ‘add hazard’ button.
- Use the ‘create bowties’ button. Pressing OK will give you a bowtie which you can then finish building in BowTieXP.
Additionally, a review button has been added here, see also the next paragraph. A HAZID session is never truly finished as it could require yearly reviews.
New review system (BowTieServer)
Reviews can now be done using the review button under HAZIDs or by going to the review section on a bowtie.
Reports > Hazards > a bowtie
A person can be assigned, who will then get notifications to review those items that were assigned to him.
Usability improvements (BowTieServer)
General usability improvements all around:
- The filter button has been added to leave more space on a webpage.
- Excel export has been added to the hazard register.
- Custom questions can be added to observation follow-ups. Risk matrices are now optional.
- Audits – it is now easier to start and schedule a survey¸ it acts more like a checklist. Fewer steps required than before, use the ‘Create’ or ‘Ok and start’ buttons.
- The permissions system is now more flexible with extra options such as ‘Actions’ and ‘system groups’ for system & parts.
In July 2017 we have launched the latest releases of BowTieXP 9.0 and BowTieServer 3.0. These releases have many changes, relating to the following topics:
- Incident grouping (BowTieXP)
- Multi-edit in all versions (BowTieXP)
- Easy access to compliance frameworks (BowTieServer)
- Easy registration of incidents, observations and occurrences (BowTieServer)
- Integrated action tracking (BowTieServer)
- BowTieServer application programming interface (BowTieServer)
- Customizable homepage widgets (BowTieServer)
- Barrier first – scenario based incident registration (BowTieServer)
- Hosted solutions (BowTieServer)
Incident grouping (IncidentXP)
In the Treeview you have the opportunity to group your incidents by date – e.g. by year, quarter or month.
Multi-edit in all versions (BowTieXP/IncidentXP/AuditXP)
This feature allows you to make multiple selections on elements in your diagrams to which you would like to make identical changes. Example: set criticality on 15 random barriers at once, or edit the text on 7 occurrences on the same barrier. This handy time-saving feature from the Advanced edition is now to be made available on all editions. Which can come in handy on the case overview functionality as well.
Easy access to compliance frameworks (BowTieServer)
Since BowTieXP v2.2 and BowTieServer v8.2 you have been able to work with CGE’s compliance frameworks feature. For instance, ISO27000, COSO, API or JCI standards could be installed and elements from the standards linked to specific barriers, with a view to tracking and demonstrating compliance. In the release, these frameworks are more easily accessible.
Easy registration of incidents, observations, occurrences and complaints (BowTieServer)
In this release of BowTieServer it is possible to capture observations as an integral part of your verification process – or as a separate means to capture observations, complaints and any other type of occurrence that needs attention ‘first hand’.
Integrated Action Tracking to manage and monitor improvement actions and recommendations (BowTieServer)
Once the observations are registered, this release of BowTieServer allows you to manage and monitor the actions and recommendations that are a result of the registration of incidents, audits, ad-hoc observations, etc.
BowTieServer application programming interface (BowTieServer)
For many years BowTieXP has offered a standard way of accessing data in the .btf files by means of the API. This release of BowTieServer and BowTieXP allows you to now also access BowTieServer data via other systems, and, with care, even change data stored in BowTieServer. This allows you to integrate valuable functionality and data in BowTieServer with your existing systems.
Customizable Home Page Widgets (BowTieServer)
In the release you can find new functionality that allows you to have your personal ‘landing page’ as you would like to have it.
‘Barrier first’ scenario based incident registration (BowTieServer)
Ever since the first release of BowTieServer we have offered the possibility to capture and manage your incidents in a ‘scenario-based’ manner. This release offers more flexibility in the manner in which you prefer to record incident data.
Hosted solutions (BowTieServer)
If your organization has a preference for a hosted service, CGE can host BowTieServer for you ‘in the cloud’. You can choose the plan that fits your requirements.
This release of BowTieXP focuses mainly on a new Incident Manager and TOP-SET integration. It combines the well known rigor of a TOP-SET investigation with the flexible tools of IncidentXP. There are of course also smaller enhancements like the direct edit on all diagrams and a new Hazard Type field.
Direct diagram edit
If you double click any text field in a diagram shape, you can now edit it directly without opening an editor window. This greatly enhances the speed of editing. We promise you won’t know how you ever lived without it.
IncidentXP now includes an incident manager which guides a user through all the steps of an investigation. This easy to follow process will help a user make sure a thorough investigation process is done. At the end of the incident process, a standardized report can be generated. This report can be based on a company template that adheres to the company standards.
TOP-SET Root Cause Analysis
TOP-SET is an incident investigation method which we have integrated into IncidentXP. At the core of the method is a simple Root Cause Analysis tree which you can now use to analyse incidents. Following the TOP-SET method has three main phases: Plan, Investigate and Analyse. In each of these phases, IncidentXP can assist you in the process.
Audit aggregation on barrier families
Audit results will now be aggregated on barrier families to make it possible to see audit results for a complete barrier family and then split those results out into the underlying barriers.
Work Bowties in BowTieServer
Work BowTies now has an operation selection which automatically selects the right BowTies, instead of manually selecting each hazard. A risk matrix is also added to risk assess the Work BowTie analysis and there is a new optimised report for operational use which includes a list format instead of the traditional BowTie view.
New features in BowTieXP version 8.2 are related to:
- Compliance & audits (BowTieXP, AuditXP and BowTieServer)
- Full Tripod-Beta support (IncidentXP)
Compliance and Audits
The audit functionality in BowTieXP/AuditXP and BowTieServer can be used ‘stand alone’, and in combination with a ‘barrier model’ (‘bowties’ describing your core business processes from a barrier based risk management perspective). The audit functionality will be extended so you can use it both for operational audits and external compliance audits. BowTieServer will also incorporate a library of Standards and Regulations that you need to comply to. The Wiki module enables you to incorporate all your controlling documents that you have for compliance purposes. The module assists you in decomposing these documents, and link these to the applicable controls in your business processes.
What does this bring you?
The software will allow you to include the complete audit trail: (external) Compliance Frameworks, Control Objectives, Maturity Levels, (internal) Controlling Documents and Procedures, Controls/Barriers, Activities, Audits and Recommendations. All these elements “live” in the same barrier model, which is the basis of the software.
Furthermore, you will be able to maximize your audit efforts. The software allows for Risk-Based Audits. This approach will help you to set priorities and to allocate your valuable resources (time, people, money), because the barrier model shows the controls/barriers from a risk perspective. And the software allows you manage your audits in such a way that you can ‘audit your audits’. This allows for a more systematic approach to which you can rely on work that is done by people in the operations. The audit functionality includes audit plans, approval processes and evidence gathering.
The holistic approach allows you to do your compliance and audit activities in an efficient manner.
It also allows you to make a link between the different ‘worlds’ of Compliance, Risk Management, Operations and Audits.
And it allows you to look more to a barrier based approach, by creating bowties to describe your critical processes in a barrier based manner.
Full-fledged Tripod-Beta diagrams in IncidentXP
In the upcoming release of IncidentXP, the Tripod-Beta incident analysis model will be updated to the latest convention. Furthermore, various usability tweaks have been made that make it easier to construct the diagram. Some new customizable reports have been added with clear graphics which help prepare an incident report. With this update, the Tripod-Beta diagram in IncidentXP is once again fully up-to-date and ready for the future.
Method update: The Inadequate Barrier
A relatively recent addition to the Tripod-Beta method is the inclusion of the Inadequate Barrier. A rare type of failed barrier that is used when a barrier functioned as intended by its design, but was unable to stop the sequence of events. It indicates an issue with the design specifications. Furthermore, it is now also possible to add a full causation path to a missing barrier.
Full control over the layout of the diagram
As any Tripod analyst will tell you, creating a Tripod-Beta incident analysis diagram is an iterative process. Sometimes new facts found in the investigation will shed new light on the incident and will require the analyst to rethink the diagram. This means that the diagram needs to be reordered, drawn together or pulled apart. With some new usability tweaks, the user is now more in control over the layout of the diagram. Shapes can be freely distributed in the diagram space and with simply cutting and pasting movements, diagrams can easily be rearranged. Rearranging groups of preconditions and underlying causes can make it easier to see how they are connected.
Reporting: full integration with Microsoft Word
Full graphical cut-out reports have been added. This report breaks up a Tripod diagram in its individual Trios and discusses the failure modes of each represented barrier. These reports can be customized with company logo’s, title pages, table of contents and custom chaptering like a regular Word document.
All about the barriers
Most of the upcoming changes in BowTieXP version 8.0 are related to barriers:
- Barrier families
- Dynamic barrier monitoring
- Barrier performance
- Extended barrier descriptions
- Thesis import
- Layers of Protection (LOPA) plugin
- Various improvements
Bowties are great for communicating risk-related information. Sometimes however, bowties can become quite large, making it more difficult to get their message across easily. BowTieXP already has expand levels, collapse buttons and various filters to help you navigate through the diagram and present the bowtie step by step. In BowTieXP v8.0 a new powerful feature will be added to this suite: Barrier Families.
A Barrier Family contains multiple individual barriers. The individual barriers can be collapsed into barrier families and expanded back to the individual barriers. Barrier families can be used to indicate the higher level, more generic plan or procedure that contains the individual barriers. For example:
Barrier families can also be used to indicate a form of barrier type and be able to navigate through the bowtie per barrier type. This example is illustrated with the picture below. Which barrier categorization is most suitable depends on the way you want to present your bowtie. When discussing a line in the bowtie, you might want to start first with all the threat prevention barriers and then all the threat control barriers. Alternatively, you might want to discuss critical barriers first or you might want to differentiate by your own categorization of barriers. Barrier Families provide the user with a tool to navigate visually through the bowtie in a flexible and adjustable manner.
Dynamic barrier monitoring
Technical barriers usually consist of systems that are made up of multiple parts. Currently, a new feature set is being developed in BowTieXP to display the system status below barriers as online or offline. The status of the system is determined by the status of its parts and the business rule or criteria for online status. As this feature set is still under development, the following short description provides a snapshot of the status and workflow as of July 2015.
BowTieXP will be expanded in the following ways:
- Have a new treeview element called ‘Parts’, in which components can be listed and the status (offline/online) can be indicated per component.
- Extension of the Systems and User Systems hierarchies in the treeview to allow linkage of parts to systems.
- Added tab to the Systems, User Systems and barriers edit screen to be able to enter criteria for online status and see the current status.
- Extension of the diagram display options to be able to visualize the online status below the barrier.
Use of the new features
Below screenshots of the Beta version of the software which show that in the Treeview a new data element has been added: Parts. This data element corresponds to the ‘tag’-items of an external maintenance management system. The Parts can be imported directly from your maintenance system.
These Parts can then be linked to Systems. In this way a ‘logical’ hierarchy can be built and maintained, representing a view that corresponds to the functioning of barriers in major process safety hazards. Once the Parts are in the system and linked to Systems, business rules need to be added to define what it means for the system if 1 or more Parts are offline. This online/offline status can then be visualized below the barriers.
In version 8.0 it will be possible to track the effectiveness of barriers per organizational unit. This means that in addition to the overall expected effectiveness value of a barrier, the actual effectiveness can now be adjusted per organizational unit. For example, the barrier ‘Airbag’ in a car can have an expected effectiveness ‘good’, but for the organizational unit ‘Amsterdam’ the actual effectiveness may be classified as ‘poor’ since that organizational unit is behind on the maintenance of the airbag systems in their company cars.
Extended barrier descriptions
In BowTieXP it is already possible to have document links to external (procedure) documents on the internet, your intranet (e.g. Sharepoint) or your file system. In the upcoming release of BowTieXP we will extend the capabilities of the existing barrier descriptions. The long description field on barriers (and all other long description fields in BowTieXP) will support rich formatting (e.g. making text bold). This allows the user to enrich the description by for instance adding emphasis on parts of the information.
For even more advanced contextual information management, there is a functionality in BowTieServer which allows you to create Wiki pages. These pages can be assigned to bowtie elements and to much more.
Thesis migration tools
In 2015 a number of clients have decided to migrate from Thesis to BowTieXP. For this purpose, CGE has decided to improve the Thesis import and to add functionality to BowTieXP to match the expectations of existing Thesis users.
The import functionality for Thesis files has been extended, so that work that has been done in the past with Thesis can be re-used in BowTieXP.
Layers of protection (LOPA) plugin
The functionality of the LOPA (Layers of Protection) plug-in has been extended and improved.
- Added support for selecting which classic LOPA scenarios are to be ignored.
- Added LOPA comment field to consequences.
- Added LOPA comment fields to reports where logical.
- Added new risk assessment summary sheet report.
- Added checkbox to exclude threat from scenarios.
- Fixed calculated frequencies in classic LOPA report.
- Added support for enabling factors on threats. Enabling factors are multiplied with the threat frequency to get the actual threat frequency.
- Added support for conditional modifiers on consequences. Conditional modifiers are multiplied with the top event consequence and all PFDs to get the actual consequence frequency.
- If either of those values is left empty, a value of 1 will be assumed (no contribution).
- Fixed null reference exception in report. Minor tweaks to RAS sheet report – unlocked some cells, fixed some formulas.
- Fixed consequence calculation to snapping to unknown if consequence target frequency is empty, unreadable or zero.
- Changed how the calculation engine deals with empty values. Empty or unreadable values now will yield ‘unknown’ for calculation results.
Click here to read more about the LOPA plugin.
- IncidentXP free layout
- Rich formatting of multiline fields
- Plot plan support / extends org unit
- Commit messages
- Hierarchical job titles
The major changes in BowTieXP 7.0 are centered around BowTieServer. In the background, the software has had a makeover that makes it ready for the future. But besides that, other features have been added as well. In this article, you will find an overview of the latest additions.
To interact with BowTieServer, the BowTieServer explorer has been introduced. Users browse the contents of the BowTieServer from BowTieXP and download diagrams in read-only mode, or edit mode depending on their BowTieServer permissions. This way, users can view, generate reports, edit and save new diagrams to the Server.
BowTieXP: Organisational units
To keep track of all BowTie diagrams, it can be useful to collect them all in one case file (.btf file). That way, the case file becomes a BowTie library for the organization and all diagrams are stored in the same place. Because not all BowTie diagrams stored in this library are relevant to all departments, it is now possible to define organizational units (e.g. departments, sites etc.). The organizational units can then be linked to BowTie Groups that are relevant to them.
BowTieXP: Display profiles per BowTie Group
It was already possible to create display profiles. These custom display options could be used to quickly show your preferred linked information (e.g. a predefined profile showing you: Effectiveness, Job Title and Activities). When many BowTie files are collected in the same case file, there may also be a need for more display profiles. To maintain the overview, the display profiles can now be linked to specific BowTie Groups. For example, the BowTies for the Upstream BowTie group can have different profiles compared to the Downstream BowTie Group.
BowTieXP: Additional reports
In BowTieXP 7.0 some new reports have been added by frequent demand. Amongst others, it is now possible to generate a report containing all diagrams. Also, to improve readability of added information, it is now possible to generate a report which makes cut-outs per Threat / Consequence arm.
AuditXP: Support for multiple audit frameworks
When rolling out barrier-based audits in a larger organization, it is likely that different departments will be using different audit questions and surveys. When the collection of questions grow, the need to separate these questions and surveys grows as well. In BowTieXP 7.0, it is now possible to have multiple audit databases in the same case file.
IncidentXP and AuditXP: Filter per Organizational Unit
In larger organizations, it can be helpful to compare the audit and incidents statistics of different sites. This allows a company to benchmark within their own company and see where additional effort is required. To make these comparisons easier, an organizational unit filter has been implemented. This allows the user to show the data of a specific Organizational Unit on the Bowtie.
IncidentXP: Linkable RCA diagrams
When analyzing complex incidents with the Root Cause Analysis technique, the resulting trees can become very large in size. Instead of keeping the whole causation tree in one diagram, it may be better to split some of the bigger branches to a different diagram. This may improve readability but can also facilitate group work. Each group of investigators can work on their own branch of the incident. A clickable linking icon can be shown on the diagram to move to the linked RCA tree.