Many people react with surprise when I tell them that my favourite TV show is Air Crash Investigations (I even have the DVD box set, which is ingeniously packaged as a flight black box).
“Doesn’t it make you afraid to fly?” They ask.
On the contrary, it makes me feel safer.
Why? Because after an incident has occurred, investigators go to extraordinary lengths to determine exactly why there was an accident or a near-miss. Then, changes are implemented to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
After any air crash, investigators go to extraordinary lengths to determine exactly why there was an accident and then ensure that it never happens again.
How do planes falling out of the sky relate to NAV implementations? In fact, it relates to all projects and arguably the most important element of project management – Risk Management.
Managing risk is simply thinking about every foreseeable scenario which may impact the success of the project and then, doing something about it. We all do it in our day-to-day lives. We lock doors; we wear seat belts; we drive at 40km/hr through school zones and we purchase insurance.
Project Risk Management is about placing an agreed structure around the management of all the things that could impede your project’s success.
Just as every air crash results in an overall increase in aviation safety, any issue throughout the course of a NAV implementation is an opportunity to improve the process, which then benefits the future projects. No two NAV implementations are ever the same but the process – analysis, design, development, testing, training and go-live – is repeated; and having over 40 years of systems development experience goes a long way to keeping projects in flight, on course and landing safely.
In my future blogs on risk management, I will discuss identifying risks, stating risks, controlling risks and how we measure project success. If you’re a fan of Air Crash Investigations, fasten your seat belt low and tight, stow your tray table and ensure your seat back is in the upright position because you’re not going to want to miss it.