Change and disruption are hitting the aerospace world at an unprecedented pace. Aircraft market demand on short to mid-range segments is so high that a single supply chain issue drives the entire manufacturing process out of control. One misstep can create a black hole of lost value. An example of that is engine performance issues on single-aisle aircraft or cabin supply chain issues on
Aside from digitalization trends like collaboration, artificial intelligence and big data, all the major players have launched strategic initiatives for transformation, performance, and innovation. This, of course, adds complexity to the day-to-day business and proves difficult to tackle as a company-wide effort (see Quantum and SkyWise).
In this dynamic era of dramatic changes, companies must be agile to succeed in transforming organizations, culture, people, and process. For example, how does a company choose which digital workplace technology brings the best value? Or which software service will bring the most value to ultimately enhance aircraft operations and/or maintenance performance? Decisions like these are never quick in a traditional organization.
At a much larger scale, project management complexity is now seen as a huge risk. Projects are driven so much over budget (sometimes up to 4 times the original estimate), suffer delays (by years), and are exposed to maturity challenges. Now, few dare to launch a new aircraft program.
Corporations have to rethink their entire model to cope with this new dynamic environment. Development cycles and costs need to be reduced dramatically to sync with market expectations and to match efficiencies of new entrants such as Space X and Hyperloop.
Agility and collaborative project governance are key enablers to meet those targets. Agility comes with people and culture change. Leaders must show the way. Agility means failure is welcome, asking for help is legitimate, and bad news can be shared openly. To create an agile ecosystem, a proper working environment needs to be set up with:
- True collaboration where everyone has access to critical information,
- User-friendly tools for all participants, from task managers to executives,
- Clear, simple and easy technology that supports the overall goals,
- A single, actionable data engine to refer to for real-time decisions,
- Forward-thinking technologies that further reduce project complexity, and focus man power on expertise and value added tasks.