SMS Pro Aviation Safety Software Blog 4 Airlines & Airports

7 Best Aviation Lagging Indicators in Aviation SMS

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jun 3, 2019 6:08:00 AM

What Are Lagging Indicators in Aviation SMS?

Lagging indicators are an extremely important element of system performance monitoring in aviation safety management systems (SMS). Safety professionals and the accountable executive should become familiar with lagging indicators as these managers are responsible for regularly reviewing organizational safety performance and detecting substandard safety performance.

Lagging indicators show the historical performance of your aviation SMS implementation. They answer 3 essential questions about safety in your risk management program:

  • What safety events are happening?
  • How many safety events are happening?
  • Where are safety events happening?

These questions can be broken down further to ask specific questions about safety performance. Understanding historical safety performance is a prerequisite for identifying underlying causes and leading indicators in your aviation SMS implementation.

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Topics: Key Performance Indicators

Signs of Good KPIs in Aviation - with Free KPI Resources

Posted by Tyler Britton on May 25, 2019 6:01:00 AM

What Is a Key Performance Indicator in Aviation SMS?

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are data metrics used to track performance in aviation safety management systems (SMS). This “performance” was not intended to measure only safety, but also quality and financial performance as well.

Understanding what is a key performance indicator is an essential component of being able to identify signs of good KPIs.

Here are the 4 most important things you need to understand about what KPIs are (ideally), and how KPIs are used in aviation SMS:

  1. KPIs directly reflect performance of company safety goals and objectives;
  2. Key performance indicators show only the “key” data – the most important data for operational performance;
  3. A KPI is always SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound); and
  4. KPIs are organization-specific, which means every organization will have a unique list of KPIs, as well as many shared industry-relevant key performance indicators to compare performance across their industry.
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Topics: Key Performance Indicators

5 Rules for Selecting KPIs in Aviation SMS - with Free KPI Resources

Posted by Tyler Britton on May 21, 2019 6:09:00 AM

Difficulty of Selecting KPIs in Aviation Safety Programs

Selecting key performance indicators (KPIs) in aviation safety management systems (SMS) is neither simple nor always intuitive. In addition to being time consuming and costly, selecting and monitoring KPIs can also be a stressful experience.

Lives depend on choosing good KPIs. Your job may depend on selecting good KPIs.

Fortunately, selecting KPIs is helped by the fact that:

  • There are proven steps for choosing KPIs in aviation SMS implementations;
  • There are documented “rules” for choosing key performance indicators; and
  • Having specific safety goals and objectives will inform which KPIs should be chosen.
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Topics: Key Performance Indicators

What Should Be the Number One KPI in the Aviation Business?

Posted by Christopher Howell on May 2, 2019 6:01:00 AM

Questions on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Aviation

Aviation safety professionals frequently email our subject matter experts (SMEs) for opinions regarding aviation safety management systems (SMS) and advice as to managing key performance indicators (KPIs). Goal setting relating to key performance indicators is also another very common thread we are asked about.

In the case that follows, I was asked:

"If I were to join the one KPI on Quality & Safety for a CEO in the Aviation business, what would you recommend me to suggest? My intention is to open this in the CEO’s KPIs as a performance target. Please assist if you can and thank you in anticipation!"

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Topics: Key Performance Indicators

Understand Aviation SMS KPIs Lagging and Leading Indicators

Posted by Tyler Britton on Mar 16, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Why Aviation KPIs Lagging and Leading Indicators Are Important

Lagging and leading indicators for aviation safety management systems (SMS) key performance indicators (KPIs) are often confused or misunderstood.

Even various online sources have conflicting, vague, or incomplete explanations of the difference between lagging and leading indicators.

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Topics: Key Performance Indicators

3 Goal-Setting Tips Using Aviation Key Performance Indicators - with Free KPI Resources

Posted by Christopher Howell on Mar 12, 2019 6:44:00 AM

Why Use Aviation Key Performance Indicators As Goals or Objectives

Setting goals and objectives for your aviation safety management system (SMS) is a requirement, i.e., not optional.

Become accustomed to this requirement. Embrace it. Realize organizational value from this requirement and stop squandering an excellent opportunity to improve operations and show that the SMS can become the promised "profit driver."

Don't believe you can pencil whip this requirement like so many safety managers today.


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Topics: Key Performance Indicators

3 Best Tips Selecting Aviation SMS Key Performance Indicators - Free KPI Resources

Posted by Christopher Howell on Jan 22, 2019 1:03:00 AM

Safety Managers Suffer Common Problem Selecting Valuable KPIs

A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) measure how effectively aviation service providers are achieving key business or safety objectives. Civil aviation authorities also use KPIs to evaluate their success at reaching safety targets.

When focusing on safety, there is a tendency of some safety professionals to use the term "safety performance indicator" (SPI) to differentiate pure business metrics with safety metrics. Rest assured, SPIs are subsets of KPIs.

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Topics: Key Performance Indicators

Choosing Key Performance Indicators in Aviation SMS - with Free KPI Resources

Posted by Christopher Howell on Nov 20, 2018 7:56:00 AM

Using Safety Key Performance Indicators in Your Aviation SMS

Most aviation safety professionals today are managing their aviation safety management systems (SMS) using automated tools. These full-featured SMS database tools allow safety managers to easily classify issues according to many criteria.

Safety managers benefit from using SMS databases because they can more easily analyze trends to bring pressing concerns to management.

An SMS database also allows other department heads to analyze data and discover trends to focus on. These are excellent opportunities to actively involve managers in the SMS, thus reducing resistance to the SMS from managerial staff and adding value to these manager's decision making processes.

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Topics: Key Performance Indicators

Tips Using Aviation Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Statistics - Free KPI Resources

Posted by Christopher Howell on Nov 13, 2018 11:49:00 AM

How to Use Key Performance Indicator Statistics?

Aviation safety management systems (SMS) revolve around the four ICAO pillars:

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Topics: Key Performance Indicators

How to Automate Key Performance Indicator KPI Monitoring in Aviation SMS

Posted by Christopher Howell on Nov 11, 2018 9:39:00 AM

Why Monitor Aviation Safety Key Performance Indicators?

Safety assurance is the third ICAO pillar or component of aviation safety management systems (SMS). While practicing safety assurance, aviation service providers focus on safety performance monitoring and measurement. Monitoring activities include constantly reviewing the effectiveness of established safety risk controls.

Safety risk controls are established under the safety risk management process and typically performed during proactive hazard analysis when safety teams perform safety risk assessments. The output of the proactive hazard analysis is the Hazard Register, also commonly called Hazard Risk Register.

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Topics: Key Performance Indicators

Site content provided by Northwest Data Solutions is meant for informational purposes only. Opinions presented here are not provided by any civil aviation authority or standards body.



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