Saturday, March 14, 2015

Management of Change in Aviation SMS Programs w/ Video

Management of Change for Airlines & Airport Safety Systems

Management of Change Documentation Software for Airlines Airports
Documenting Change is Tough Work
Management of change for aviation service providers has become an increasingly important topic with the enforcement of required aviation safety management systems (SMS).  Management of change (MOC) offers a standard process for submitting, documenting, and reviewing changes in operations. MOC helps aviation service providers to identify what changes to make, the authority for approving changes, the support for implementing changes, and the process for evaluating implemented changes.

Change management processes provide orderly, effective time-tested procedures. Many software programs exist today to manage requests for change, including the overly complex Microsoft Project, MS Excel, MS Word, etc. SMS Pro's Simple Management of Change module (Simple MOC) was designed to reduce the complexity of documenting the change management process.

Simple Management of Change Software Integrated w/ Aviation SMS Program

Simple MOC offers a template approach to documenting change, identifying hazards associated with proposed change, and managing tasks leading to the implementation of the change. Simple MOC is integrated into SMS Pro's Risk Management framework, thereby allowing automated notifications for overdue tasks and tracking and reviewing tasks. Airlines & Airports Hazard Register is also integrated into this management of change software tool.

Aviation SMS Software for Management of Change in Airlines Airports
Simple MOC has been more widely accepted then SMS Pro's original management of change software module, which proved to be too complicated for most organizations. See original MOC below: It is very complete and a nice tool.

Original Management of Change Software Module for Airlines & Airports

Limitations of Simple Management of Change 

Until recently, Simple MOC was tied indirectly to a reported issue in Issue Manager. As long as the proposed change was simple and affected only one division, everybody was happy. But what happens when an airline is attempting to bring on another aircraft type, or adding routes to war-torn regions? These types of changes require the ability to easily manage and document complex operations involving many people scattered across several departments. How can this be managed using SMS Pro's Simple MOC?

Unique Challenge From European Carrier Managing Change

Adding a new aircraft type MOC was presented to us recently by a European carrier using SMS Pro. They created an Excel spreadsheet with over 200 items to address. The objective was to assign these 200 items to different managers. For this example, we want to assign 20 items to ten managers.

SMS Pro Past Limitations Managing Complex MOCs

As most know, SMS Pro only allows one manager for each issue. Each MOC was related to one issue, thereby the tasks could only be managed by one manager. For an MOC with 200 tasks, this solution would not meet the European airline's immediate needs.

New Management of Change Solution

SMS Pro has the concept of "Linked Reports," which associates issues to one another. The complex MOC issue has been solved by adding another section in MOC called "Associated Action Items." An "action item" is an issue managed in Issue Manager (SMS Pro's risk management module). All action items are conveniently listed in the MOC. Action items can be assigned to different managers, who then manage tasks (corrective/preventive actions).

At a glance, MOC managers can see the status of these MOC tasks, as well as their deadlines and priority. See below:
Management of Change Software for Airlines Airports

More information about aviation SMS software can be found at:

About NWDS - founded in 2003 by six software engineers, NorthWest Data Solutions (NWDS) provides custom computer programming and systems design services. NWDS creates many types of software, including e-commerce, financial, defense, engineering, logistics, aviation and more. In 2007, NWDS developed SMS Pro™ a web based SMS application that supports an organization's overall SMS through safety reporting, safety documentation, safety risk management and safety assurance. SMS Pro™ is currently used by aviation organizations in the U.S., Canada, Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East to help manage their SMS programs. NWDS continues to support SMS Pro™ and add new functionality. NWDS offers custom contract programming services in the U.S. and Canada and is managed by Chris Howell, one of the founders. Their headquarters is in Anchorage, Alaska. For information on NWDS visit their website at and to learn more about SMS Pro™.