INTEGRATING OPERATIONAL COMPLEXITY IN DESIGN PROCESSES AND IMPROVING DESIGN RISK IDENTIFICATION
Simplifying strategies are useful and often necessary to make the design process tractable. They are also a generic human reaction to cope with complexity. Yet if a design is modified or put to use in combination with other designs and in interaction various human operators, some of these assumptions may be invalidated, leading to serious risks. The midair collision over Überlingen in 2002 is discussed as an example where members of multiple organisations and several layers of defence systems failed to interact as intended. Based on document analysis, aspects of complexity and presumed simplifying strategies are analysed. A method of improving risk identification be reflection on simplifying strategies is proposed.