Organizations are in desperate need of creating predictable outcomes and managing the risk inherent in almost all of their project management initiatives. This is true whether they are designing products, performing services for clients, managing technology, implementing a government initiative, or any of a number of different projects. The purpose of this white paper is to identify five lessons (there are many more) that project management can learn from the aviation field to accomplish this objective of predictable outcomes and managed risk.Why Aviation?
Aviation is a rich source of information because it has already gone through the pain and consequences of not having predictable outcomes and has largely come through the other side. That is not to say that aviation is perfect, but aviation has done a stellar job of taking an inherently risky activity (flying) and creating safe, predictable outcomes. It has learned what is necessary.Project management does not pursue predictable outcomes to the same degree as aviation has pursued them. This may be due to the fact that the consequences of a failure in aviation are far higher than the consequences of a failure in the typical project that we manage.This idea of consequences is we target aviation as a good source. Aviation has been forced to develop methods of dealing with risk and creating predictable outcomes. Many of these same lessons that aviation has already been forced to learn can be applied directly to project management.Implement Predictable and Standardized Processes
When you fly, you cannot do things on a whim. There are specific procedures that you must follow. When an airliner comes in to land, there are certain things you do at certain times – when the flaps come down, when the landing gear comes down, the specific route to fly for a specific airport. If there is an emergency, there is a procedure for it. Pilots do not wonder what to do. They have been trained to follow certain procedures.Aviation has recognized the great importance of creating these predictable processes where risk is involved. For example, when approaching a major airport, there are documented, published procedures that every pilot must follow called Standard Terminal Arrivals (or STARs). A pilot will review these procedures even before they take off. When they are assigned by air traffic control what the currently used STAR procedure is, they know exactly what they will do and how they will fly. There is no “I wonder how we should fly into Atlanta today?” Project management cannot create predictable outcomes if it does not similarly implement predictable and standardized processes to deal with normal operations as well as contingencies.Here are some of the specific guidelines we can learn from aviation as to the implementation of these processes:The processes must be well documented and accessible.
Everyone must follow the processes.
Everyone must be continuously trained on the processes.
The processes must be continuously evaluated and improved over time.There are several advantages to implementing this in our project management practices. These advantages include:Eliminating confusion (everyone knows the proper steps and activities).
Providing a clear plan for how to produce a desired outcome.
Communicating the desired outcome.
Reducing workload by eliminating needless communications, decision making, and activities that should be routine.Just like aviation has created standard procedures to create the predictable outcome of landing at a major airport (thus making it safe and routine), project management needs standard procedures to create the predictable outcome of a new product, a customer implementation, a new service, or whatever your desired outcome happens to be.Defining Clear Roles and Responsibilities
Clear roles and responsibilities are critical in aviation. Each pilot knows their responsibility for each phase in flight and for every contingency. For example, when an airliner takes off, one pilot is the flying pilot and is focused on flying the airplane. The other pilot is the supporting pilot and does almost everything else such as talking with air traffic control, calling out airspeeds, and raising the landing gear and flaps at the appropriate times.In the Hudson River incident for US Airways flight 1549 was ditched in the Hudson River, there was a brief but interesting exchange on the cockpit voice recorder transcript. First Officer Skiles was the flying pilot, but after the incident with the birds, Captain “Sully” Sullenberger said “My Aircraft.” No additional explanation or instruction was given, but both pilots knew that their role had just changed. Captain Sully was now the flying pilot and First Officer Skiles focus shifted to getting out the emergency engine out checklists.The reason for these clear roles and responsibilities is because of the repercussions when they do not exist. In a lesser known event during the Apollo space program, Gene Cernan and John Young found their Apollo 10 lunar module (the one before the moon landing) spinning out of control. They were able to correct the situation, but the root cause was a simple misplaced switch. One pilot put the switch in one position. The other pilot inadvertently put the switch in the other position, not realizing what the first pilot had done. There was not a crystal clear distinction on who would throw the switch.How many times in project management has there been a lot of unneeded activity, lack of decision making, duplicate effort, or competing initiatives simply because roles and responsibilities have not been clearly defined? Aviation’s experience would offer valuable lessons to implement in project management including:Documenting roles and responsibilities (as opposed to assuming).
Setting roles and responsibilities for every project.
Setting roles and responsibilities for every process (that may be used across multiple projects).
Routinely communicating roles and responsibilities (instead of assuming everyone knows and understands them).
Continuously reviewing and updating responsibilities as needed.
Making sure that someone has the authority to make a decision.There are several tools and methodologies for accomplishing this, including creating a RACI (responsible / accountable / consulted / informed) matrix.A common argument is that people do not have the time for such definition. However, that is one of the benefits of doing so: to eliminate all of the time wasted because people do not understand everyone’s role. Additional benefits include:Understanding who has the authority to make a decision.
Preventing competing activities.
Knowing who to keep informed.
Implementing proper accountability.If your projects seem to be slowly spinning out of control, defining roles and responsibilities may be a good place to start.Implementing Accountability
Aviation does not assume that everyone is following the standardized processes and maintaining their responsibility. It implements accountability measures to ensure that this is the case.Pilots are required to attend training regularly where they learn new procedures, but they are also evaluated to ensure they are following proper procedures and have maintained a proper skill level. It doesn’t stop there. New pilots initially fly with an instructor pilot to ensure they are following what their training taught them. All pilots must occasionally fly with a check airman who evaluates the pilot’s performance in real-world operations. Captains hold First Officers accountable for following proper procedures.When procedures are not properly followed, there is a clear course of action. That may be as serious as action from the FAA, or dismissal, or perhaps a visit to the airline’s chief pilot’s office.Accountability is sometimes a bad word in project management but it is equally important. If people are not held accountable for following standardized procedures, how valuable are the procedures? Not very. If you are trying to implement predictable outcomes, how can you predict the outcome of a series of activities where people are not accountable to perform those activities in any sort of predictable fashion? You cannot.Accountability provides many benefits to project management as it does to aviation:It provides a clear view of what is expected of everyone.
It provides a clear understanding of what happens when the expectation is not met.
It ensures that activities are performed in a predictable fashion, thus contributing to a predictable outcome.Employ Effective Training
Most people assume that the pilots that are flying their airliner have been properly trained, but they do not give it any more thought. The fact is that training is a huge part of the aviation paradigm and for good reason. Who wants to go on a flight with their family and put their lives in the hands of poorly trained pilots? There are a couple of key facets of aviation training that stand out:
Training is continuous.
Training is comprehensive and diverse.We often view training as a one time event in project management. We train on a new system or to get a certain certification or learn a certain methodology. In aviation, training is a continuous part of the culture to create a safe, predictable outcome.Pilots go through weeks of training when they first hire on with an airline. After that initial intense training, they perform additional training through on the job supervision and one on one training. It does not stop there. At least once a year, pilots are required to attend extensive classroom and simulator training.The continuous training they undergo is also comprehensive and diverse in scope. It is not focused on a single area, such as technology or how to fly an airplane. Training includes at a minimum the following aspects:
Training on policies.
Training on standardized procedures.
Training on rules and regulations.
Training on roles and responsibilities.
Training on cockpit resource management (how to work better together).
Training on how to fly the airplane (skills).
Training on how to utilize the technology in the cockpit.
Training on the aircraft systems of the aircraft they will fly.
Training on contingencies.Our training in project management is often a single event or is focused on technology instead of on ensuring that everyone has the knowledge and skills to create a predictable outcome for the organization.Applying the experience of aviation, our project management training should turn into a continuous program. That does not mean it needs to always be formal training, but it does not to be continuously intentional.Training also needs to cover the following essential areas:
Training on the organization’s standardized processes and how to follow them.
Training on roles and responsibilities.
Training on skills (how to be a good project manager or team member).
Training on the technology that will be used to accomplish the processes and predictable outcomes.You cannot expect a predictable outcome if you do not regularly train people to create that predictable outcome.Utilize Proper Tools and Technology
There was an article in a recent aviation periodical that referred to a newer generation airliner as a “650,000 pound laptop.” This referred to the fact that there is a lot of technology in today’s airline cockpits. In fact, when a pilot moves to a new airplane, much of the training is not on how to fly the airplane but on the technology and aircraft systems that need to be mastered.Aviation uses technology to perform a number of support roles such as providing situational awareness during each phase in flight, and performing routine tasks that can be automated.If we take this lesson in the perspective of what we have learned so far, it should also be recognized that utilizing tools and technology is an important but balanced part of the predictability of aviation. This simply means that:Technology is not put off as not important to the overall goal of predictable outcomes.
Technology is also not overly emphasized over other aspects such as creating standardized processes.There are clear lessons to learn in project management. Too often in project management we either focus too much on the tools and not the processes, or we focus on the processes but use poor tools such as spreadsheets. Either way, it is hard to create an environment of predictable outcomes.Specifically in project management we need to use the right tools that:Support our standardized processes.
Provide situational awareness.
Provide up to date information that the organization needs.
Provides insight into problems.
Automates things that can easily be automated.
Provides data from which to learn and improve processes.Technology in the right context and usage provides another pillar from which to create those predictable outcomes.ConclusionAviation has already learned through much experience (some good and some not so good) the important lessons of how to create predictable outcomes and manage inherent risk. It provides a good source of information that can be applied to our project management practices. Specifically, project management needs to:Implement predictable and standardized processes
Define roles and responsibilities
Employ effective training
Utilize Proper Tools and TechnologyWhile certainly not an extensive list of the lessons that can be learned, these provide a good starting point to create the predictable processes in project management that our organizations today desperately need.
5 Lessons Project Management Can Learn From The Aviation Field
Digital Marketing – Revolutionized Marketing and Different Innovative Strategies
Digital Marketing is much like modern architecture in many ways. It is the way of the world and these guidelines are just a start to get your business off on the right foot. Mastering digital marketing isn’t a cakewalk. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, it is the required result of digital channels to promote or market products and services to consumers and businesses. It believed to be wavering these days as many companies that once used the old style of marketing are now going digital. It is essential in today’s world that a company which exists physically, must exist digitally as well. It is believed that existing digitally enhances advertising process. There exist a different and more approachable digital marketing tools like web designing, pay-per-click marketing, SMS, and email marketing. The following article will educate you in not one but many ways.Direct marketing and advertising is an advertising in which companies offer physical marketing and advertising materials to consumers to communicate details about a service or product. Inbound marketing can likewise be an essential tool in the continuing retention of present customers, by creating communication with those customers and enabling business to engage with other customers by giving informative, educational result together with product promotions. While outbound marketing could reach a larger audience, additionally, it runs the danger of barring uninterested consumers also. If you prefer to do better marketing without harming your finances, direct marketing will probably be somewhat decent for you. Second, content promotion is a pull, instead of a push, strategy. To the contrary, it is a refreshingly new concept in marketing which provides a unique comprehension of consumer behaviour.Content can typically be about a service or a product, it might be item, price, service charges or the selling of digital products like books, movies or software. It is something that helps in relaying old customers and thereby helps in pulling traffic from popular search engines. The very first and most crucial issue is quality content, try using attractive words that could connect nicely with readers. Step one on any advertising (or indeed, marketing) campaign needs to be to recognize the aims and goals of the campaign and the way they fit into the aims and goals of the business all around. Digital advertising and marketing campaigns will need to rely on these limits to be prosperous. Together with creating great advertising text (copy), you may want to study the way you can earn a corporation’s marketing campaigns visually appealing, through the usage of banners, images, videos and more.Although these facts may be true, but sometimes it gets difficult to do all these techniques in the company. Therefore, known and recognized companies and firms may hire a digital marketing agency to do on behalf of them. Most renowned digital marketing agency may not only offer quality and dependable benefits, also they have a digital marketing and advertising strategist which may help plan the most helpful campaigns. To be successful in today’s day, companies need to continuously create new content that doesn’t only get them found but also lets them capture leads. Soon it won’t be enough for businesses to understand what you might want. All businesses wish to strengthen their relationship with clients and prospects. Now everyone is aware of what the business is shooting for. It is essential that businesses optimize their online properties effectively to be able to get to the top of the entire important search engine result page.Even though many mistake digital for internet, to their surprise online marketing is only a part of the huge digital marketing framework. In a broader sense, the net is the centre of digital marketing. It has made easier for marketing managers to measure the results of a campaign. Since you can see the internet is by far not the only spot for marketers to assemble success, even in past couple of years. The web and the world have brought in an entire new perception of the advertising market. Thus, if you need to effectively advertise your business on the internet then seek the services of a renowned digital advertising company at the earliest.
7 Things to Look For in a Home Based Business
What are the things you should look for when you choose a home based business? That is a question often asked to me. Now, I’ve tried many different things, made a lot of mistakes, and also I’ve wasted a lot of money online. In my opinion, it is okay to waste money trying new things but when you waste money on things people already tried and failed on, then you’re just being a complete idiot. I’ve failed many times and wasted a lot of money, so learn from my experiences and failure so you don’t need to fail anymore.So what are the things you should look for when choosing a home based business:1. A Unique ProductThe first thing you should look for in a home business is a business that offers a unique product. You should never join a business that product is already filled with competitors, where the niche is already saturated. Perfect examples for this are vitamins, juices, pills, and lotions, these kinds of products are often found in MLM opportunities.These kinds of old school marketing niches are bad businesses or products if you want to get a decent amount of income online or a successful business going for a long time.Now, what you want is a product that appeals to many people but doesn’t have too many competitions yet. When you sell pills to lose fat, you can only sell that to fat people, correct? Try finding a product that can be sold to all people.2. A Great Support Team And NetworkThe second thing to look for when you choose a home based business would be a great support network. Unless you’re someone that is an expert on Internet Marketing or you’ve many experiences you would want to choose a home business that offers a great support network that you can rely on when you run into problems and you need solutions.A great support network would be like a forum, this is the place where you get personal and specific solutions for you problem. A 1-800 number would be perfect, it allows you to call and talk directly with the support team. A personal sponsoring consultant or mentor like me, I often get questions from my members and it’s my responsibility to help them and answer them. So having a personal sponsoring consultant is a great idea. Webinars and live conference calls that is held on a daily basis would be great too, this is the place where you could interact with the other members here.So when you choose a home based business, make sure that your business has all of those. Those are the things you must look for in a home based business.3. An Honest Company ManagementThe third thing would be an honest company management. When you choose a home based business to start on, make sure you know the company management. This is a must when you decided to be on a long term business with the company. You would want to know what type of individual runs the company. A person with a good track of success record and good reputation is someone you want to work with.Now, you don’t want to wake up one day and watch that your CEO has ran away with all your money in the news.4. A Great Marketing SystemThe next one is a great marketing system; this is a really important thing to look for in a home based business. Now, it doesn’t matter if you have the greatest product in the world but you’re not marketing it or you don’t have a great marketing system to help market your product, it’s useless. It’s completely useless because you won’t be making any success or any money if you don’t market your product, which having success is the whole point on why you are in this business.Now, let me give you an example, my mom makes a better burger than McDonald but McDonald makes billions where my mom don’t make any money. Why? Because my mom never markets her product, that’s why she never make money from making burger.There are three things you want to look for when choosing a great marketing system:1. Would you want to do it?The first thing is you need to ask yourself would you want to do it. Now, you need to know a lot of old school MLM systems actually tell their members to go out and chase their friends and families. Now you ask yourself, do you want to do it? Are you thick skin enough to go and chase people to buy from you? Now even if you are thick skin enough, you would not want to do that for the rest of your life, correct?2. How would you respond to it?The second thing is you ask yourself how you would respond to it. If somebody chases after you with that kind of old school marketing method, harassing you until you buy their product or maybe join them in their business, what would you do? Would you buy from them? I don’t think you would. If you don’t even want to buy from people like them, just imagine yourself doing their marketing method, nobody would buy from you.3. Does it apply leverage?The third thing is does your company’s marketing system apply leverage? Internet is the biggest leverage of all; 1.4 billions users are on the internet every single day. Your product would be seen by 1.4 billions of users online. Now imagine that kind of leverage. Now, time leverage, for example does your company have a call center that will help you close sales while you’re doing your things? A predesigned website, prewritten emails follow up? So that you can concentrate on doing your things while your marketing system works for you 24/7, these kinds of marketing systems are what you should look for in a home based business.5. A Global Reach – Making Sales GloballyThe fifth thing is global reach. Does the home business have a global reach, meaning you could make sales globally from any part of the world?For example, when your market has ran out in the U.S, will you be able to sell your products in Europe, Asia, Australia, or any country in the world?Products like vitamins, pills, lotions, and health products are those that are hard to be sold globally. Every country has its own rules; you will have a lot of hoops to jump through before you’re approved to sell your products in other country.Information and financial education products are preferable. You can sell them in any country in this world you want. If the product is unable to be sold online then there’s no use in doing a home based business because the strength in a home based business it’s that you’re going to be making money from global sales.6. A Decent Compensation PlanThe sixth will be a decent compensation plan. A good compensation plan is one that offers a simple to understand, big upfront income, and also a decent residual income built in.What I meant by simple is that it is easy to understand. When you ran into compensation plan that is so confusing that you can’t understand it then don’t do it, chances are nobody will understand it.Second, always look for a home based business that offers a big upfront income, about $1,000+ per sale. So that you could quickly get out of your job and re-invest in your business so that you could achieve financial freedom really quick.After a big upfront income, you’d want a compensation plan that offers a decent residual income. So that you don’t have to work forever but still get paid for what you’ve done before, a lifestyle that you want without having to be bound by your job. I love what I’m doing.7. Giving Back To The SocietyNow last but not least, this is the thing that everybody overlooks and regards it as an unimportant aspect in a business, is your company giving back to the society? Now, every time your company does charity, giving back to the society, donating for social causes, they are indirectly building credibility online and offline.When people like your company, it will be easier for you to market and sell your products, correct? If you want to receive, first you must learn to give. That may sounds so cliché, but that is the universal law in all business, will it be home based business or brick and mortars.Now let’s summarize, what are the things to look for when you choose a home based business:1. A unique product2. A great support network3. An honest company management4. A good marketing system5. A global reach to sell your products6. A decent compensation plan7. A charitable companyIf the home business you’re looking for has all that criteria then you’re in good shape. It would be a mission impossible for you to fail in that home business. Now the main reasons I were able to present these advices were of course, I had those experiences. Where do I get it? The company I work with of course.