From where I stand (ok - sit).... I was on a plane this morning, and had the opportunity to view the captainâ€™s cockpit for a brief while, while they ran through some of their pre-flight checks. As usual, my mind began to wander and ask the "what-if" questions, what if they didn't have a history of best-practices, how would they know what to check for pre-flight? Are all the gauges real-time or do some gauges offer "historical" data? How many of these gauges "manage data" for a single context? And then it hit me, all the gauges and knobs are really a "visualization" of the information they need to prepare for flight, fly, land, and do all the things a captain and co-captain need to do to move an air-plane through the air safely.
This entry is more about unanswered questions than it is about speculation. I'd love to hear about your experiences as management, executive level, or otherwise - and what you might do in this situation.
Well, that got me to thinking. I know cockpits are complicated, I can see that. It takes hundreds of hours (if not thousands) to learn to fly a commercial jet safely, to understand all the switches and knobs, and "heads-up" displays that constantly stream information at them. I started to reason: if getting a commercial pilots license requires all this training, should CEO's, executives, and board-of-directors also go through rigorous training? Where are the instructors for "running a company?"
I also began to wonder: what would happen if some of these fancy "real-time read-out displays" were not computerized, or visual? Maybe there's a pilot out there who can comment on what it's like to fly through a storm without visual aids, knowing what's up/down, or broken gauges that needed to be repaired.
I began to wonder - why isn't there a "cockpit" approach to running corporations? Would it or could it become that standardized? Is there a way to visualize all the information in a corporation? If you could visualize corporate business management in a cockpit manner, how would you describe the nature of the graphs, charts, landscape / horizon layouts? What kinds of knobs and dials would you have?
I began to think of the cockpit as Master Data Management (all data in the right place at the right time, attuned to the right purpose) for an airplane. Share with us how this might affect your visualization or MDM efforts.
Posted March 13, 2006 8:58 PM
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