Engineering Reliability: The Organizational Link

by M. Elisabeth Paté-Cornell, Industrial Engineering, United States,
J. Paul Seawell, Industrial Engineering, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Probabilistic Methods in Civil Engineering


Organizational factors may significantly affect systems' reliability, but they are not typically included in modeling. This paper discusses how the stochastic models of system reliability can be extended to include the effects of some organizational features (e.g., structure or procedures) on the probability of system failure. Using Bayesian probability and experts' opinions whenever necessary, the goal is to assess the effectiveness of proposed remedial actions, understanding that some of them may have conflicting results. The method is to link the functional diagram of the product ('physical system') with the map of the organization (communication channels, decisions to be made, and actions to be taken) in order to determine the organization failure modes and their consequences on the performance of the physical system.

Subject Headings: System reliability | Organizations | Failure analysis | Systems engineering | Stochastic processes | Probability | Failure modes | Communication systems

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