Aviation Safety Database Tools

Flight Safety Risk Management Database Software

Customizing SMS Pro Classification Parameters for Aviation Risk Management

Solving problems in the aviation industry require good critical and creative thinking. We need to be able to define the problem, analyze the nature of the problem, and come up with effective solutions. The ability to solve problems is a very important skill for aviation Safety Managers.

Having defined safety problems, the next step is to know what type of problem it is so we can assign corrective actions and later determine whether the company needs to focus additional resources to mitigate recurring risk. Classifying issues also allows managers to identify trends and monitor performance.

Classification taxonomies are very important and SMS Pro comes pre-loaded with default classification parameters that you can customize. If you require additional taxonomies loaded to suit operational needs, contact NWDS and we'll load them for you.

Available Taxonomies that are not included by default are ICAO's

  • Aerodrome Classification
  • General Aircraft Operation Classification
  • Aircraft System Component Classification
  • Air Navigation Services Classification

The work flow for customizing classification parameters is basically the same for each type. Classification schemes are typically managed in Setup >> Customize Settings. Each division can have their own unique classification system; however, for consistency, you may not want to deviate too much when you are comparing similar operations.

SMS Pro issues can be classified by:

  • Types of Issue; and
  • Types of Affected Business Process.

Furthermore, when conducting investigations, you can classify issues by:

  • Root Cause; and
  • Human Factors.

Finally, the "Benefits Realized" classification system is only available for corrective actions.

By default, classification schemes have three layers. Think of classification categories like this:

  • Category;
  • Sub-category; and
  • Sub-sub-category.

When you look at a classification parameter, you will notice several elements. Two elements that stand out are "Require Investigations" and "KPI," which is a key performance indicator.

Notice there are also Global configuration properties for "Require Investigation" and "KPI." When these properties are selected, they apply to every division within your company.

When the "Require Investigation" property is selected, an issue's work flow is affected when this classification parameter is assigned to an issue. A task is created for the person who classified the issue and the issue is visibly flagged in several places so everyone knows this issue requires an investigation per company policy.

Key Performance Indicators or KPIs are beyond the scope of this discussion. You can read more about KPIs on the www.aviation-sms.com website. Do a search under the "Blog."

There are also "Form Detail" and "Section Risk" elements. Please disregard these items, as they are associated with the Custom Reporting Form Creator module that auto classifies and escalates issues based on their risk level. This is not available with the free version.

You can edit multiple items at one time. To edit any classification parameter, simply change the name and/or select any checkbox desired. Then save your changes below with the button provided. To add a classification parameter, simply enter a classification in the provided textbox and select the respective "Add" button.

To gain access to an item's children, (which are the sub-categories and sub-sub-categories), simply select the "Select" button in the respective row. A grid opens below the selected grid with the item's children.

For Sub-Sub-Categories you will notice there are three additional elements:

  • Threshold;
  • Financial Threshold; and
  • Interval.

These elements are used to configure automated alerts of developing trends. When the number of issues that are classified for a particular classification parameter meets or exceeds the set threshold value, an automated alert is sent to those users who are configured to receive threshold emails in the User Roles Setup.

There are several intervals at which to set threshold intervals, such as Quarter, 6 months, one year, 2 years and 5 years.

This is the most common method to customizing your classification parameters for beginners. There is another method in Issue Manager in Classify tab that we will not discuss here.

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