Learning From All Operations

In an increasingly interconnected and complex aviation system, it is imperative to learn not only from things that rarely go wrong but also from things that go right. Data collection needs to expand from a focus on hazardous events to analysis of routine operational data. The Foundation believes it is time for a fundamental shift to learn from all operations and events — not just from those that are unwanted. In July 2021, the Foundation published a whitepaper, entitled Learning From All Operations: Expanding the Field of Vision to Improve Aviation Safety, as a call to action to managers and executives who are accountable for safety in their organizations. 

Download whitepaper

Concept Notes

In order to facilitate learning from all operations there is a need for a conceptual framework that incorporates taxonomies and concepts based on the existing risk and hazard terminology but expanded to include resilience and adaptation, best suited for use for both abnormal and normal operations. The suggested framework should be suitable for understanding of work-as-done and for collecting and analysing diverse sources of data on the real world resilient behavior of operators.

To define the Learning From All Operations conceptual framework, the Foundation plans to publish a series of concept notes. As the notes are published, they will appear on this page and will be available for downloading. 

Concept Note 1: The Need for Learning From All Operations

Concept Note 2: Systems Approach 

Concept Note 3: Safety Envelope and Operational Limits Assumptions

Concept Note 4: Patterns of Operational Resilience

Concept Note 5: Three Forces Model of System Adaptation

Concept Note 6: Mechanism of Operational Resilience

Concept Note 7: Pressures, Adaptations and Manifestations Framework

Supporting Documentation

How Operators Can Create Safety in an Uncertain World, a paper by James Burnell, Tom Laursen and Joji Waites, examines the evolving understanding of “complex adaptive systems” in which it is accepted that uncertainty is part of everyday operations. The paper also explores “adaptive capacity,” which helps achieve high reliability despite the challenges brought by complex operations.

Download the paper