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PT Notes

Leadership Skills for PHA Facilitators - Rules of the Road and Ground Rules

PT Notes is a series of topical technical notes on process safety provided periodically by Primatech for your benefit. Please feel free to provide feedback.

Psychological and human factors that influence the performance of PHA teams were discussed in the PT Note, Leadership Skills for PHA Facilitators - Managing Teams . At the outset of studies, facilitators should establish guidelines for how team members should behave during studies and rules that govern how the PHA will be conducted.

Guidelines for behavior by team members are sometimes referred to as “Rules of the Road” and rules to govern how the PHA will be conducted as “Ground Rules”. Essentially, these are checklists of what is expected from team members in terms of what is acceptable and what is unacceptable. Examples are provided below.

Rules of the Road

  • Do not criticize other team members
  • Be punctual and attend all sessions
  • Be open-minded
  • Participate actively
  • One person speaks at a time
  • Avoid digressions
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel, i.e. don’t keep going over the same issue

Ground Rules

  • There are no stupid questions or bad ideas
  • Consensus is sought for worksheet entries
  • All participants are considered to be peers for the performance of the PHA
  • Everyone contributes
  • Studies will start on time and end on time
  • Frequent breaks will be taken

Typically, each facilitator will customize their own checklists based on their experience.

The presentation of this information at the beginning of studies sets expectations for team members. Also, periodic review of the lists during a study helps to reinforce the rules.

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