People are naturally resistant to changes. Doing things in a familiar way feels safer for us, even when a more efficient approach is available. This is a cognitive bias and unconscious process wired into humans by evolution. Employees that have been in the industry for a long time are used to a certain already efficient routine. Undoubtedly, innovations that tend to break it will be met with resistance. However careful and efficient change management practices can support the change process.
Safety always comes first in aviation and it is managed with comprehensive regulations. Any changes in processes will require multiple rounds of studies and verifications before any implementation. Moreover, even if an innovation has proven to be beneficial and safe in a test environment but doesn’t comply with the existing scope of regulations, proceeding to real-life trials wouldn’t be possible or easy as regulatory approval can’t be granted. The UK Civil Aviation Authority supports development with a Regulatory Sandbox where companies can test innovative solutions in a safe and real environment.
Fresh new ideas come often with new companies disturbing the existing status quo of the main players. Even though some cutting-edge solutions intend to revive the industry, vendors may lack the maturity and understanding of the specific needs of the airlines and MROs.
On the other hand, more experienced and legendary backend systems can be protective of their technology, which can result in constrained integration possibilities.
Some feature requests might be overly complicated to develop due to system limitations although they would seem small simple changes from the user perspective. Good communication and understanding will bring the groups together to find the most efficient ways to improve the systems from a user perspective without overly complicated implementations “under the hood”.
Inflexible schedules tied to budgeting deadlines, quarterly steering groups, or a late start of a project before a regulation, organization, or system change are usually doomed to fail. In innovations and R&D, companies should think from a long-term perspective, focusing on potential future benefits.
In a hurdle of personnel and organizational changes, the responsibilities are often lost, knowledge transfers are never perfect if even done at all and the focus is easily lost. These can lead to frustration and a lack of team motivation to develop and apply new technologies.
The curse of the current times is multitasking. More simultaneous projects in less time and with a smaller number of people working in the project with the minimum possible budget. This results in lost focus and implementing only the bare minimum required. This leaves no space for enhancements and innovations. Process and methodology, clear structure, and framework are crucial when it comes to innovations.
Anything to add or discuss? Get in touch with our team.