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A Systemic Bowtie Method for Risk Assessment in Complex Projects

Rithu Balu, MPM (Australian National University)

Dr Richard Barber, PhD (MD RiskIQ Global)


The Bowtie method of risk assessment was developed in the early 1990s to better manage complex causal risk factors in large projects. It has gained wide acceptance as a method to examine and manage specific risk scenarios (called ‘Top Events’).


Since the 1990s management thinking and practice has moved on significantly, especially with the development of applied systems thinking for working in complex work environments.

During 2019, Rithu Balu (ANU Master’s student) in collaboration with Dr Richard Barber of RiskIQ Global (Australia) conducted a review of Bowtie from an applied systems thinking perspective. The aim was to discover whether and how Bowtie could be updated to better deal with risk in complex project systems.


Click on the below link to access the complete article.


R. Balu, R
. Barber - A Systemic Bowtie M
Download BARBER - A SYSTEMIC BOWTIE M • 393KB





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