Activities per year
Safety investigations fall under the typical definition of a project since they have definite start and end dates and offer a specific end-product, meaning the safety recommendations which must be considered by the respective stakeholders as a means to improve the safety of daily operations. The scope of this study was to investigate whether safety investigations could benefit from project management. The research consisted of the following steps: (1) a gap analysis between the PMBPOK standard of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and the ICAO/USAF manuals regarding the main activity/knowledge areas and techniques/tools mentioned in these representative investigation standards, (2) based on the findings of the previous step, administration of a questionnaire to examine the degree to which project management areas and activities are present in regional safety investigation standards, and the perception of the participants about their usefulness. The findings suggested that the project management areas and activities are present in regional investigation standards at levels varying from 10% to 97%. Also, risk, quality, communication and stakeholder management are underrepresented in investigation standards. Most of the areas and activities of project management were perceived as very useful by the participants, who expressed some concerns about the danger to increase bureaucracy and complexity of safety investigations. Similar research can be conducted by other industry sectors and regions to detect whether project management principles can be introduced in safety investigations with the aim to increase their effectiveness and performance. Future research can focus on the project management tools and techniques that can be used in safety investigations as well as the examination of the latter through the lenses of agile project management.