Randomized Services as a Security Precaution

IT Business

The other day a muslim terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab who was on a no fly list failed to blow up a flight to Detroit. He successfully sent the panic and travel standards back to Fall of 2001.

This is a business post. Apologies in advance to my Vladville fans who were expecting a rant 🙂

What ensued is an combo of outrage, despair and conflicting coverage of processes and procedures that are in place for flights:

  • “You will not be allowed to use bathrooms or gadgets during the last hour of your flight”
  • “You will not be allowed to bring more than 1 hand item on board”
  • “You will be required to check your baggage”
  • “There is a different set of policies TSA follows for domestic and international flights”
  • “There is a different set of policies TSA is advising the airlines and it’s clients”

Oh my.

What TSA is actually doing here is creating a randomized security protocol so that the would-be-terrorist-hopeful could not efficiently execute their plans.

Every time I get upset at the way I’m being treated I look at the way we treat our clients. Are we doing the same? What have (many) past mistakes taught us about efficiency, standardization, protocols and consistency?

Here are a few takeaways:

  1. Every time expectations and deliverables are changed, the overwhelming result is negative – clients that got disappointed by the change are 10x louder than the ones that got a benefit and are silently content.
  2. Every time deliverable parameters are changed, dozens of other processes used in the service delivery had to change and the finesse of executing a new process takes a performance hit. In simple words: Monkey’s aren’t experts at pealing a banana in new ways.
  3. Conflict from point #2 generates confusion and increases workload on the entire organization and the overall system. The client is upset. The staff is confused. The management is unsure how it all failed.
  4. No matter how insignificant the change, or how great the communication: your message will not be received correctly by a large share of your audience.

The biggest message here is that focus should always be to get the basics done right and vigorously address every instance in which you fail. Because everyone (staff, clients) is aware of what the core values and basic deliverables are, there is no argument over what failed – so we all share a responsibility in resolving it to the mutual benefit.

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