In German-speaking regions a HAZOP analysis (Hazard and Operability Studies) is also known as a PAAG process. This acronym stands for prognosis (Prognose), finding (Auffinden) of the cause, assessment (Abschätzen) of the effects and counter-actions (Gegenmaßnahmen).
HAZOP / PAAG is a qualitative analysis methodology which is mainly used during the conceptualization process. It may be used at a very early stage of development to enable early detection of weak areas in the system concept.
The objective is to identify hazards and malfunctions of a system in order to enable suitable modifications to be made to the concept as needed based on the results of the analysis. This analysis produces no quantitative results of any kind but investigates any conceivable deviation of a system from the required state to the maximum extent possible.
This also reflects the basic philosophy on which this analysis is based. It says that hazards are exclusively caused by deviations from the system requirements or the prescribed operator interventions.
The process is exploratory. Possible causes and consequences of potential deviations are identified and defined during the course of several meetings held by a circle of experts.