Foreseeable Risk - INVEST
Introduction to INVEST Methodology
The INVEST methodology (Incident Navigation for Vigilant Exploration and Systematic Tracing) is a comprehensive approach to incident investigation that focuses on uncovering root causes, analysing contributing factors, and identifying systemic vulnerabilities to prevent future incidents. INVEST emphasises an proactive, learning-centric culture where incidents are viewed as opportunities for improvement rather than blame.
Key Principles of INVEST:
- Learning-Centric Approach: INVEST shifts the focus from assigning blame to understanding why incidents occurred. It encourages organisations to learn from mistakes and near-misses, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.
- Systemic Analysis: INVEST recognizes that incidents are often the result of multiple interconnected factors, including human, technical, and organisational elements. It promotes tracing the incident's path through these elements to identify systemic weaknesses.
- Root Cause Emphasis: The methodology aims to uncover not just immediate causes but also underlying systemic issues that contribute to incidents. This approach helps prevent recurring incidents by addressing fundamental problems.
- Collaboration and Communication: INVEST encourages open communication and collaboration among all levels of an organisation. Effective communication helps gather accurate information, reduce biases, and create a comprehensive picture of the incident.
- Continuous Improvement: Using INVEST, organisations can implement effective corrective actions that not only address immediate concerns but also create lasting improvements in processes, procedures, and safety measures.
Key Steps of INVEST Methodology:
- Incident Reporting and Documentation: Prompt and accurate incident reporting ensures that essential information is captured for the investigation.
- Data Collection: Gather relevant data, including witness statements, documentation, and physical evidence.
- Incident Timeline: Construct a detailed timeline of events leading up to the incident, considering interactions and contextual factors.
- Causal Factors Analysis: Utilise a structured approach to identify immediate and underlying causes. Trace back through the causal factors to identify systemic issues.
- Root Cause Analysis: Dig deeper to discover the fundamental causes behind the incident. Use techniques like 5 Whys, Fishbone Diagram, or Barrier Analysis to unveil systemic weaknesses.
- Recommendations and Corrective Actions: Develop practical recommendations and corrective actions that address both immediate causes and underlying systemic issues.
- Reporting: Compile a comprehensive incident investigation report that clearly communicates findings, root causes, and proposed actions.
- Learning and Continuous Improvement: Encourage the organisation to learn from the incident, implement changes, and continuously improve processes based on the lessons learned.
Benefits of INVEST:
- Preventive Culture: INVEST cultivates a culture where individuals and organizations proactively seek to prevent incidents by addressing root causes.
- Comprehensive Insights: The methodology provides a structured framework for thorough incident analysis, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of contributing factors.
- Sustainable Solutions: By addressing systemic issues, INVEST helps implement long-lasting corrective actions that prevent recurrence.
- Enhanced Communication: INVEST encourages transparent communication, reducing biases and fostering a shared understanding of incidents.
- The INVEST methodology serves as a valuable tool for organisations seeking to create a culture of safety, continuous improvement, and proactive incident prevention through structured and comprehensive investigation.
Adopting Foreseeable Risk into an Organisations Mission, Vision and Values
Organisations need to review their Vision, Mission and Values, with senior management "The Leadership Team" creating a management review agenda focused on risk avoidance and foreseeable risks as a key agenda item.
For an organisations Vision, Mission and Values to be beneficial, a regular review must include a mandate for risk avoidance along with the appropriate metrics and processes such as INVEST. A simple process needs to be mandated across the organisation to embrace.
- OBSERVATION - exercise powers of observation for the detail;
- ASSESSMENT - check the detail for correctness;
- ACT - if doubt exists in compliance/correctness, say something immediately; and,
- Monitor and Evaluate - Monitor, measure and report on progress.
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