Sunday, October 23, 2011

CDM lesson from the movie 'Men in Black 2'

We all agree on the expected benefits from Collaborative Decision Making (CDM), but not necessarily about what it really means and how to implement it. What I like about it is that people start thinking out of (their) box. CDM illustrates the benefits from avoiding silo thinking and silo decision making. The silos that still exist at many airports.

Rembember the movie 'Men in Black 2'? There is a race of minuscule extraterrestrials inside a storage locker at Grand Central Station, the locker encasing their whole world. At the end of the film, there is even a much larger locker in an enormous alien version of Grand Central Terminal which seems to contain the human world. What about the lockers at the airport?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Airlines, tell us your punctuality

The Association of European Airlines (AEA) used to publish the on-time performance (punctuality) of their associated airlines. It seems that their airline members would not allow this anymore. Certainly you can use Flightstats, however, the information may prove inaccurate and incomplete. Wolfram search has a nice feature to learn more about airlines (US only) delays. Just enter the search term 'causes of delay of delta airline' and you will find a nice summary of Delta's performance as an example.

In a bold new move, South African domestic carriers have agreed with Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) to publish their punctuality on the ACSA web site. Passengers can take this into consideration upon choosing their carrier and the Airport makes a clear statement about the strategic value of on-time performance.

I'd rather have this continuous level of transparency than campaigns of carriers or airports which coincidentially happened to be the most punctual recently - irrespective of their size, number of cancellations, and number of passengers affected.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Airport retailers part of Airport CDM?

In a recent meeting I was told that a retailer had approached the airport operator to become part of Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM). They found this rather strange and wanted to find out more.

The retailer had done some research on the passengers waiting in the gate area. They discovered that passengers waiting for the boarding of their delayed flight would not give up their seat - even though they might be hungry or thirsty. The retailer would take this opportunity and approach those passengers to take their orders. In order to be ready for those situations the retailer would like to have early information about delays.
What a great example of opportunities created by information sharing! However, this will require reliable and accurate information about an expected delay and most probably the retailer will not be happy by just providing a FIDS screen to monitor himself all the time.

Just another thought. Suppose that the delay is rather long? Why not changing the gate to keep passengers moving through the restaurants and shops?

Monday, October 3, 2011

There is no such thing as 'Collaborative Decision Making'

Group Decision Making or Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) is about bringing people together to solve problems with the idea that they are more effective than individuals. But how are collaborative decisions actually made? By vote? By secret ballot?

When was the last time we actually made a 'collaborative decision'? Sure, we may have listened to arguments, we may have taken every possible information into account, we may have thought about all possible impacts of a decision. But in the end, for what is considered as my responsibilty and accountability, the decision will be mine. There is no such thing as 'Collaborative Decision Making'. There is information sharing, collaboration, decision making and performance.