Bowtie Master

5 Ways to optimise your bowtie diagram view

Optimising your bowtie diagram view easily with these five steps


If you work in a safety-critical industry, chances are you’re familiar with bowtie diagrams. These diagrams are used to visualise potential incidents and their consequences, as well as the preventive and mitigative barriers that can be put in place to prevent them.

However, bowtie diagrams can be complex, and it’s essential to optimise your view to ensure that you’re getting the most out of the diagram.

Here are five ways to do just that:

  1. Show all hidden elements
    The first step to optimizing your view of a bow tie diagram is to show all the hidden elements. These include the barriers and escalation factors. Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a complete view of the diagram and a better understanding of how the different elements fit together.
  2. Use the slider
    Bow tie diagrams can be complex, and sometimes it’s helpful to focus on specific areas. The slider along the bottom row of the diagram allows you to show and hide different levels, making it easier to get the information you need.
  3. Use pan mode
    If you need to move around the diagram or zoom in and out, pan mode is the way to go. This button allows you to move around the diagram easily and zoom in and out as needed.
    *Pro tip: hold down the shift key while using pan mode to move around the diagram quickly*
  4. Use zoom in and zoom out
    In addition to using pan mode, you can also use the zoom in and zoom out buttons on the left-hand side of the diagram. These buttons allow you to focus on specific areas of the diagram and get a closer look at the different elements.
  5. Use metadata analysis
    Finally, if you need to analyse the metadata associated with the diagram, metadata analysis is the way to go. This tool allows you to select a specific type of metadata, such as barrier condition, and see how it applies to each branch of the diagram. This can be incredibly helpful for identifying potential weaknesses in your preventive and mitigative barriers.

Optimizing your view of a bowtie diagram is essential for getting the most out of the diagram and ensuring that your preventive and mitigative barriers are effective.

By following these five tips, you’ll be able to navigate even the most complex diagrams with ease.

Watch more video tutorials or see our How To Guides