Aircraft maintenance is a highly regulated, safety critical, complex and competitive industry. There is a need to develop innovative solutions to address process efficiency without compromising safety and quality. This paper presents the case that in order to improve a highly complex system such as aircraft maintenance, it is necessary to develop a comprehensive and ecologically valid model of the operational system, which represents not just what is meant to happen, but what normally happens. This model then provides the backdrop against which to change or improve the system. A performance report, the Blocker Report, specific to aircraft maintenance and related to the model was developed gathering data on anything that 'blocks' task or check performance. A Blocker Resolution Process was designed to resolve blockers and improve the current check system. Significant results were obtained for the company in the first trial and implications for safety management systems and hazard identification are discussed. Statement of Relevance: Aircraft maintenance is a safety critical, complex, competitive industry with a need to develop innovative solutions to address process and safety efficiency. This research addresses this through the development of a comprehensive and ecologically valid model of the system linked with a performance reporting and resolution system.