The CRIOP methodology step by step - scenario analysis

The aim of this section is to describe how to conduct Scenario Analysis, when it might be appropriate to perform it and give a framework of types of scenarios to be developed for analysis.

This section presents the elements of the Scenario Analysis in detail. The Scenario Analysis comprises a detailed assessment of the control room operator's responses to abnormal situations.

Particular emphasis is made on the operator's possibilities of observing / identifying deviations, interpreting the situation, planning / making decisions and taking action / executing following given abnormal situations in the process.

The Scenario Analysis should be carried out after the General Analysis. In this way, the group will be more familiar with the control room in question. The Scenario Analysis is highly detailed, and a good knowledge of the process and information presentation in the control room is required.

Participants in the Scenario Analysis are described in “3.3 Establish the analysis group”. The most important participants during the Scenario Analysis are operations and instrument personnel. Process personnel could be required for outlining the main steps of the scenarios.

The analysis group should aim at completing the analysis of one scenario in approximately one work day, see Table 5-1 below. The first scenario may take longer to complete, depending on the participants' knowledge of the method and the control room, and availability of information and key personnel. Subsequent scenarios will be completed in shorter time, because certain topics will already have been thoroughly discussed.

Group discussions
The Scenario Analysis should be carried out as a discussion of problems related to the events described in the scenarios. It is, however, important that discussions are open and free. One should therefore not limit discussions to the scenarios, but allow discussions to drift around other topics. In this way, the participants trigger each other, and many findings are identified which are not directly related to the tasks in the scenarios.

The needs for documentation cover the following areas (see Table 3.2 for more information):

  • Control room layout and control room equipment
  • Alarm strategy and design
  • Process characteristics
  • Organisation
  • Installation layout

Number of scenarios
Analysis of two or three scenarios will give a good indication of problems in handling abnormal situations from the control room.

Pedagogical effects
Note that the method has important pedagogical effects on the personnel who participate. By participating actively in the design of scenarios and subsequent evaluations, the personnel's awareness to handling abnormal situations seems to be heightened.

Arena for organisational learning
The Scenario Analysis will be an important arena for organisational learning by actively using the findings to not only correct weak points directly, but also change the “governing values/variables” in the organisation. This means that findings in the analysis should activate change in governing procedures, documentation and design material.

Published August 25, 2011



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