Executive Summary - Aviation SMS Software Modules for Airlines & Airports

Safety Assurance Modules

Introduction to the Executive Summary

The success of your aviation safety management system depends on top management support and the support of the managers tasked with the SMS implementation. This means from the top most accountable executive down through the ranks of the staff managers. When top management supports your aviation safety management program, the staff managers and remaining employees understand that this endeavor is important to top management and that upper management will devote energy to achieve successful SMS implementation.

Simply because top management supports your SMS implementation does not mean that top management wants to get into the details. And believe me, there are many details. Upper management has many responsibilities, and the SMS implementation may be one of many projects that they are ultimately responsible for.

Purpose of the Executive Summary

Top management does not have the time to analyze mountains of reports. The need a high level report and this is where the executive summary comes into play. The executive summary is a simple report that speaks volumes when one understands where the numbers come from. The executive summary must say as much as possible in the shortest amount of time.

The Executive Summary report may be presented by the director of safety during the routine meeting with the accountable executive. Alternatively, the accountable executive may review the Executive Summary at any time to gauge the health of the airline or airport's aviation safety management system.

What is the Executive Summary?

The Executive Summary is a simple, tabular report that consists of six rows and seven columns. This tabular, Web based report is generated in real time, that means the report is current when the user comes to the Executive Summary page. By viewing the Executive Summary, a manager can see the high level activity of the airline or airport's aviation safety management system.

Sums of important safety key performance indicators that are available immediate for view are:

  • Reported Issues
  • Corrective Actions
  • User Tasks
  • Investigations
  • Formal Update Requests (from managers not completing tasks on time)
  • Financial Costs

Viewers of the Executive Summary can filter the list of items by division. For each key performance indicator listed above, managers will see sums of:

  • Total items
  • Open items
  • Items created within the past 30 days
  • Items created for the previous 30 days
  • Items overdue between one and 30 days
  • Items overdue for more than 30 days

Why Is the Executive Summary Used?

The Executive Summary is used to provide upper management with a glimpse into how the organization is accepting the regulatory requirements of the formal aviation SMS implementation. When managers see that no activity has transpired within the past thirty days, they may question why the airline or airport is not taking the SMS implementation plan seriously.

Another reason why the Executive Summary is useful is for comparing the past month with the current month. Were more hazards reported this month than last month? If so, they may question why? If hazard reporting has suffered a sharp decline, top management may also question what factors contributed to the sharp decline in hazard reporting.

Gauging an airline or airport's responsiveness to reported hazards is also another valid use for the Executive Summary. How many issues are overdue? Are safety managers doing their jobs? Or are Department Heads stalling the safety management process by not completing their assigned issues on time? The Formal Update Requests is a great measurement that illustrates the frustration a safety manager may feel as he attempts to influence manager on the same level of the organization chart, or perhaps higher up.

Finally, the Executive Summary demonstrates to upper management what the reported hazards are costing the organization. These costs are broken down into total costs, costs of open issues, costs from the past thirty days and costs from the previous thirty days.

Who Prepares the Executive Summary?

The Executive Summary is generated in real time. Filters may be applied to divisions and the data exported to MS Excel, PDF or MS Word. In most circumstances, there may be no legitimate reason for the report to be printed off, as the report can be called up in real time.

The Executive Summary can be included in final, year end reports or other company documentation that refers to the airline or airport's aviation safety management system. In the case that the report needs to be extracted and placed into external documentation, any user with SMS Department Head or SMS Executive roles can view the report.

How Is the Executive Summary Prepared?

The Executive Summary is prepared by summing up key performance indicators that arise from reactive issues. Proactive issues are not included in the Executive Report because proactive issues can easily skew reports in ways that make the report useless. For example, a proactive issue may not have to be closed with the same urgency as reactive issues.

The same logic applies to formal investigations and corrective actions. Proactive issues are excluded because responsiveness is not a high priority. In most cases, there is no urgency to close a proactive issue; therefore, proactive issues are not factored into the Executive Summary.

When Should the Executive Summary Be Reviewed?

Top management should view the Executive Summary on a monthly basis. These are high level numbers and there is no value gained by viewing the Executive Summary on a more frequent interval.

Sources of More Information for Executive Reports

The Executive Summary is a great report for top management. There are other reports that may also be of value to an accountable executive who is hungry for more detail. These reports include:

  • Performance Monitor Report
  • Risk Exposure Report
  • KPI Trend Monitor Report
  • Risk Analysis Charts
  • Financial Risk Analysis Charts
  • Risk Trending Analysis Charts
  • Predictive Analysis Tool

Viewing the Executive Summary in SMS Pro

The Executive Summary Module eliminates the exhaustive details and displays only the big picture to Management.

With this module, a manager can view the number of Reported Issues, Corrective Actions, User Tasks, Investigations, Formal Update Requests, and Financial Costs by either the Total Quantity, Number Open, Quantity within the last thirty days, Quantity from the Previous thirty days, Quantity Overdue by between one and thirty days, and those Overdue by more than thirty days.

This information can be viewed for all divisions, or you can filter it by division. You can also export the summary to Excel, a PDF, or to a word document.

More Information About Executive Summaries

Wikipedia Executive Summary


SMS Pro Modules