How Your Operations Job is Like Being a Jet Fighter Pilot

David Pate | March 7, 2017 | 

4 Ways a Daily Management System Can Keep You On Track All Year

Imagine that you’re operating a fighter jet and you’re in the middle of a dogfight. Even if your current mission is part of a much larger strategic plan, what you really need to know right at the moment is where your enemy is and where the threats are. Fighter jets have a heads up display (HUD) to keep this essential information in the pilot’s line of sight at all times. Without the HUD, the fighter jet pilot would be endlessly searching for the critical data they need instantly. Imagine distracted driving at 500 knots plus the consequences could be disastrous for both the current mission, as well as the larger overall plan.

Daily Management can keep you on track

Of course, operating a business usually isn’t a matter of life of death. But achieving your AOP goals is still pretty darn important. And if the people handling the every day “missions” involved in operating your organization are heads down searching for critical information or even worse, flying blind—in other words, if they don’t have a constant and clear picture of what’s critical in the moment—then meeting those goals is a whole lot harder, if not downright impossible.

Organizations miss their AOP goals because they lack information needed to take the right actions right now

While many organizations have comprehensive and strategic annual operating plans in place, executing against those plans can be a problem. AOP misses occur for multiple reasons, but some big culprits include:

  • Day-to-day work isn’t clearly aligned with bigger picture objectives.
  • When things start to go wrong, there’s no immediate warning system in place.
  • People don’t have easy access to the information they need or the plans in place to course-correct quickly and stay on target.
  • The organization strays too far from its goals before any action is taken, and it’s too late to recover the losses.

Our new eGuide, The Key to Hitting AOP Goals: Data Driven Daily Management, shows how a daily management system, like the newest module in our Dploy Solutions suite, provides management with actionable, timely information for keeping the business on track every day to meet or exceed AOP goals.

4 Daily Activities Critical to Achieving Annual Goals

Dploy Daily Management acts a lot like a heads up display for businesses. It’s a tool that enables businesses to do the right things each day to make progress toward achieving annual objectives.

With a daily management system, you can:

Keep critical information always in your line of site. A daily management system gives everyone a clear look at what issues are currently hampering performance. Just like a fighter pilot needs to know if someone is on his tail, performance dashboards let you know when and where you have issues, and how serious they are.

Take immediate action to course correct. A daily management system empowers people at the point of impact with a framework for taking fast action when a miss happens. This helps the organization quickly correct performance issues and stay on track to meet the day’s goals, which are directly aligned with the annual operating plan.

Get help when you need it. Actionable data encourages people at all levels of the organization to get involved in keeping the business on track. Many times, employees can resolve an issue without involving management. But a daily management system is designed to bring in reinforcements as needed. So if a problem isn’t corrected in a specified timeframe, then higher-ups will be notified as needed. The daily management system ensures that your leaders get involved in the corrective action process at the appropriate time —which is likely much faster than they are able to do today.

Bring people together to solve problems and drive performance improvements. By highlighting performance issues and creating a culture where people are informed quickly and are enabled to take fast action to avoid missing the day’s objectives, a daily management system improves problem solving and collaboration across your organization. People work together to better understand why misses occur and to develop plans for correcting problems both in the short and long term. This problem-solving culture is key to staying on track with your annual objectives.

It’s all in a days’ work

As we continually remind our clients, wining the day is the key to wining the week the month, the quarter, and, ultimately, the year. With a daily management system, you get the information and tools needed to achieve the day’s goals, putting you one day closer to realizing or exceeding your AOP.

To learn more about how a daily management system is critical to executing your AOP, download or new eGuide, The Key to Hitting AOP Goals? Data-Driven Daily Management.

David Pate
David Pate

A skilled business leader with experience in both process and discrete manufacturing. Learn More About David Pate.