Check and Act

Just before takeoff and landing, the cabin crew are informed by the pilot to prepare/plan for takeoff (or landing). Preparation includes communication of timely passenger safety reminders.

The passenger safety reminders are standardised. The more you fly, it gets rather monotonous, but not to the flight attendant, the pitch of her voice is always tuned to “excited”.

She starts to speak (do) – “The pilot has just informed us to prepare for takeoff (or landing), all passengers should please be seated at this time, raise and lock your tray tables, seatbacks in upright position, seat belts securely fastened, carry-on luggage stowed in the overhead locker or under the seat in front of you, window blinds up, and all personal electronic devices turned off”.

Interestingly, she does not assume her communication is clear and understood. She gets up and does something extra. She walks down the aisle of the plane and checks compliance. There has never been a flight I was on that she has not had to stop and act (correct a deviation).

Noncompliance is independent of the flight experience of the passenger.

People forget, people disobey, people do not like being reminded, people are stubborn, people do not listen, people feel familiar, people do not want to be disturbed, people are undisciplined, people are people. She knows.

Noncompliance is corrected and she does not move on, until compliance is satisfactory.

PDCA is an acronym for Plan-Do-Check-Act.

Most individuals and organisations Plan. Societal pressure ensures we plan at the start of the year. The first separation of individuals and organisations starts at how they execute (do) the plan. Initial success is without a doubt, hinged on the quality of execution.

However, the chasm between those built to last and the flash in the pan is in Check and Act. We must check the output/results of our execution and its alignment with the vision. Typically, following any check, action is required. That action sometimes includes a tweak to the initial plan.

Your plan is great and no one executes better, but when last did you check to ensure that the plan and your execution is still on course and/or relevant to the vision.

The safest means of transportation executes PDCA on passenger safety like clockwork.

Check and Act.

– Osasu Oviawe

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