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The Little Book of Big Decision Models by Dr. Jim McGrath

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MODEL 67

ORLANDELLA AND REASON: THE SWISS CHEESE MODEL AND HOW TO STOP PROBLEMS ESCALATING

Use this to remind you of the need to design compartmentalised systems that stop errors from spreading to other parts of the system.

The Swiss Cheese Model was originally developed by Dante Orlandella and James T. Reason at the University of Manchester. The model suggests that every step in a process has the potential for failure. The holes in each piece of cheese are the pathways through which errors can move from one stage to the next. Although an error may slip through one hole it will be blocked by the next slice of cheese because the holes will be in different positions. By compartmentalising individual errors they are blocked and cannot feed off ...

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