Using FRAM beyond safety: A case study to explore how sociotechnical systems can flourish or stall

in Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, Journal article


FRAM (Functional Resonance Analysis Method) is a relatively new method that has been proposed to explore how functional variability can escalate into unexpected, and often unwanted, events. It has been used for accident analyses and risk assessments in safety. We apply (and slightly modify) FRAM, to analyse how functions are configured to create systems that excel. Our case study focuses on how functions in human factors project work positively resonate to improve the delivery of value. From interviews with 22 practitioners we derived 29 functions and 6 subsystems showing how functions are coupled. Practitioners validated this model through respondent validation. Our case study evaluates the applicability and usability of FRAM. It shows how we adapted the method to make it more usable. It shows that FRAM can be used to examine positive and negative resonance in systems, to investigate how complex sociotechnical systems can flourish or stall.