Steps to Organizational Reliability

The Steps to Organizational Reliability



  • Reliability equals performance over time. To become sustainably reliable, an organization must obtain a scientific understanding of reliability, beginning with first principles.

    - Scott Griffith

    Step One: Understand the Hidden Science of Reliability

    Simply put, reliability equals performance over time. High reliability requires sustained high performance, at the system, individual, and organizational levels. How is this different from what organizations already do? To be successful, organizations must be good at preventing what they never intend to do.

    There’s a pattern to how bad things happen, and a science to preventing them. Our work is about that science, and how it helps organization achieve better results — improved financial performance, greater employee and customer satisfaction, and fewer adverse events. We combine multiple disciplines into a cohesive, connect-the-dots strategy for success. Our work concentrates on making organizations sustainably reliable, and helps improve performance before things go wrong.

    Introductory Session

    SG Collaborative Solutions will conduct an onsite introductory session to present an overview of high reliability to organizational leaders. We will explain the fundamentals, describe what reliability is, and how it should be applied within an organization for sustainable success. We’ll take organizational leaders through the Hidden Science, and describe our Sequence of Reliability. The result will be a clearer picture of the organizational path to high reliability success — sustainable performance over time.

    Schedule an Introductory Session

  • Engage Leaders & Obtain Commitment

    Here is how your organization benefits from reliability, the level of resources you will be committing over time, and what you can expect when sustainable high reliability is achieved:

    Greater employee and customer satisfaction Fewer adverse events
    Improved financial results Improved operational performance
    Higher productivity Sustainable reliability

    Resource Commitments Decline Over Time

    Specific, Measurable, Transparent Progress

    SGC uses OKRs to measure and manage progress as an organization advances toward becoming sustainably reliable. Objectives and Key Results (OKR) is a proven framework for defining and tracking objectives and their outcomes. OKRs comprise an objective (a clearly defined goal) and one or more key results (specific measures used to track the achievement of that goal).

    Step Two: Train Transformation Advisors

    Transformation Advisors (TAs) are the lead advisors who help inform leadership and secure commitment. Once this is accomplished, the organization begins prepare for the journey ahead. Transformation Advisors play an important role in developing a Reliability Management Team, described in steps 3-5.

    A small cross-functional group (typically three to five people) is selected for TA training. This 2.5 day course begins at noon on the first day, followed by a full day and then a half day instruction. During the course, TA candidates will gain insight into:

    — Organizational transformation and journey to high reliability
    — Reliability Management Team composition, development, and mentorship
    — Integration with organizational development and existing programs
    — Demonstration of high reliability principles and applications

    TA participants will also receive:
    — Five complimentary LMS licenses to share within the organization:
    Performance vs Behaviors
    Using the Reliability Response Guide
    Essential Supervisor Skills
    — One complimentary interactive SGC video conference (2-3 hours duration) for other organizational leaders interested in becoming Reliability Management Team members
    — Additional periodic SGC interactive video conferences and onsite sessions for ongoing mentorship are scheduled after the course.

    Schedule an Advisor Workshop

  • Learning Management System for Reliability

    SGC’s advanced online learning management system (LMS) is designed for adult learners of all backgrounds, cultures and levels of academic experience. It begins by providing an essential foundation in the core concepts and language of reliability for every person in an organization, transferring knowledge in a progressive, sequenced manner that achieves high levels of cognition and long-term retention.

    For RMT members, the LMS provides advanced courses in the application of reliability strategies, tactics and tools, ensuring consistent usage of these methods across an organization. Click here for a free 14-day trial

    The SGC LMS is a mobile-first design accessible from any browser-enabled device, with a viewing experience optimized for all screen sizes and levels of Internet connectivity. Courses are comprised of short, progressive modules that engage learners, and, in certain domains, CE credits are provided for continuing education requirements.

    Step Three: Develop Organizational Reliability

    SG Collaborative Solutions is invested in your success. Where other companies try to sell a “one-and-done” training and focus on using an algorithm, we collaborate with organizations to become sustainably self-reliable. To do this, we begin with the following:

    — Work with TAs to establish a Reliability Management Team (RTM), comprising leaders and change-agents from across the organization. We mentor and guide the RMT to develop their own expertise and become qualified to expand their knowledge and reliability skills.

    — Once Reliability Management Team members achieve qualification, they’ll gain access to the online RMT Collaboration Forum, connecting with other Reliability Management Team leaders from multiple industries and organizations. Participation in the RMT Collaboration Forum requires current qualification based on sustained proficiency. Forum members share reliability best practices, participate in discussions, and communicate directly with other leaders who are facing and solving the same challenges.

    — Inside the organization, the RMT will apply the Sequence of Reliability to build internal capacity. This starts with organizations seeing and understanding risk first, then building internal capacity and managing risk in the following order:

    System Reliability Workforce Reliability Organizational Reliability
    Policies, processes, procedures Executives Reliability Management System (perpetual)
    Socio-Technical components Departmental leaders Reliability Management Team (perpetual)
    New technologies Entire workforce Organizational sustainment
  • April 2019, Peel Region, Ontario, Canada. One of several methods the Reliability Management Team at Peel Regional Paramedic Services uses to proactively manage risk is a comprehensive review of known and near-miss events. Here, members of the RMT meet and discuss potential proactive measures for addressing system, human performance, and behavioral risks that were identified during a recent case analysis.

    Step 4: Sustain Organizational Reliability

    An organization wouldn’t rely on people to manage operating budgets without an accounting system. So why would an organization look to people to manage risk without a system to identify and manage risk across all values? A Reliability Management System does exactly that.

    Organizations are combinations of people working inside and in collaboration with systems. Just as the development step requires a highly proficient Reliability Management Team, the sustainment step requires a functioning Reliability Management System. It’s a structured platform that combines the way an organization sees, understands, and manages risk. An RMS dives deep below the waterline — beyond adverse events and audits — providing a clearer picture of the everyday vulnerabilities within an organization. Departmental leaders and staff work together to sustain reliability through active engagement and documentation. Each department manages their reliability records while allowing visibility into enterprise progress.

    SG Collaborative Solutions developed RMS from aviation’s Safety Management Systems, then evolved it to embrace all organizational values. A combination of platform and integrated programs, RMS provides a sustainable way for the organization to see, understand, and manage risk. RMS also includes proactive methods of predictive risk management — from collaborative case reviews to socio-technical probabilistic risk assessments. Organizational cultures will change over time, but an effective RMS will guide the organization to sustainable reliability far into the future.


  • Step 5: Achieve Organizational Qualification

    Organizations that demonstrate reliability sustainment for one year have the opportunity to receive the SGC Enterprise Leadership In High Reliability award, a qualification valid for two years from date of accomplishment.

    The qualification process requires an onsite assessment of the Reliability Management Team, combined with monitoring and assessment of the organizational Reliability Management System. Every two years, this renewable qualification demonstrates organizational success in all aspects of SGC high reliability, and offers several key advantages and distinctions, including:

    — Recognition of having met SGC organizational reliability standards
    — Enterprise-level access to information sharing with other SGC High Reliability Qualified Organizations
    — Reduced insurance premiums through participating insurers
    — Improved relationships with regulators and oversight agencies
    — Demonstration of high reliability to customers and the general public