Mundane issues of life sometimes can be a powerful reminder of the diificulty in managing technology. Mundane issues of life sometimes can be a powerful reminder of the diificulty in managing technology. A mechanical problem with an airplane underscores the difficulty in managaing technology.
For the majority of the last five years I've managed to keep my feet on the ground - literally. I'm not terribly fond of flying. Mind you I'm not afraid of it. I've just spent so much of my adult life in airplanes that I'd just as soon wallk, drive, ride a bus, take a mule - anything to keep out of the big aluminum cylinder in the sky.
Lest you think that I'm complaining, I'm not. I have pretty close to an honest 3 million air miles with one carrier.
I've had my fair share of delays, missing aircraft, missing bags, hysterical passengers, and other "issues" of professional travel.
I recently attended the TI developers conference in Dallas. Great information from a variety of sources.
BUT, I spent all day trying to get home. The aircraft that I was to fly in blew a tire on landing. Mechanical issues are nothing new to me.
The aircraft spent more than an hour on a Dallas Fort Worth runway, impacting all travelers as traffic control switched landing and take off patterns.
I learned that my flight was cancelled, not from the airline's public addresses, but from CNN. And that brings me to my point:
Product development is no longer an isolated, controlled process that permits us to parcel out information on our own time schedule. Today, engineers and engineering managers need to assume that information is transmitted to customers, the press, and competitors instantly.
Today's managers need to think about HOW they will verify silicon or software when it's delivered, WHEN they will release information to customers and the world at large, WHO will be the spokesperson, and WHAT the information policy will be.
Communcation and setting expectations are the name of the game more than ever.
Oh, my air carrier for my flight back to Phoenix? They failed on all accounts.