Delivering in COVID times
Jun 2020: In the midst of COVID19, while battling all odds, meeting delivery deadlines became a daunting task. But team LAMINAAR was determined. A one-of-a-kind implementation success story.
A situation never experienced before: Travel ban and closed establishments meant everyone had to work in virtual offices. Project Managers were forced to simulate the onsite ecosystem, adjust time-zones and bio-clocks to match that of a globally separated client four time zones apart. It was not for one presentation or demo, but an actual implementation, that took at least nine hours of continuous effort in a day – though deployment, testing, training, customizations and constant monitoring of adoption progress at individual user level.
It was not just about ensuring business continuity: The project was in the intensive care stage which is typical before a cut-over and also, JinAir was the first Korean client. The go-live had to be flawlessly managed.
The usual challenges got compounded, e.g.:
- End-user training, normally covered in multiple classroom sessions onsite for an audience that spoke another language, had to be accomplished remotely. More hours and repeated sessions had to be conducted via video-conferencing.
- Managing a dispersed team – all in their own virtual offices – and monitoring progress became difficult. The huddle, the discussion over coffee, the off-line ironing out differences, were missed.
- Infrastructure and applications support teams had to work without the standard tool sets. They had to use home devices, PCs and broadband connections, minus the usual redundancies.
- There was a need to create a new set of rules and SOPs, for both support staff and client for additional failover and security.
New technology was rapidly deployed for virtualization: Infrastructure teams responded in real-time, switching to rehearsed business continuity plans and fail-proofed them a notch beyond. These plans were made to work with offices closed and movements banned. New alternative technologies were harnessed, e.g., remote video conferencing over standard teleconferencing; home networks were augmented, secured with firewalls; virtual support ecosystem were created.
People made a cultural shift: A new set of shifts were created that helped teams live and work in virtual time-zones, shifting from the normal work routine paradigm. The new normal was to be able to take on tasks anytime in a 24-hour day, most often in the hours matching Korea, not to forget, ensuring adequate rest and leisure between shifts.
A new process handbook was written: New SOPs were made to ensure output was not compromised. These were disseminated to suppliers and customers, internal and external, and followed as the new normal.
Plans were discussed and shared: And their subsequent actions carefully orchestrated. Blessed with a responsive client, the PMO team and their counterparts walked through the nuances and obtained consensus before execution.
The devil in the details were addressed: Many trainees did not speak English. With interpreters assisting in every session, trainers took additional cues from on-screen facial expressions of trainees, to gauge if a point was understood. This became a new SOP.
JinAir successfully went LIVE amidst the lockdown in May 2020 as scheduled.
“A more connected and intuitive system enables an airline to become more efficient in resource management and effective in strategic decision making. It is more important than ever that we support our customers to ensure that critical operation data gets transmitted in a timely and accurate manner.” Clotilde Enel-Rehel, General Manager, Commercial Aviation & Network Services, Collins Aerospace
“As the first airline globally to implement the full suite of ARMS® and the first in South Korea to utilize Collins Aerospace ARINC Integrator, we recognize the importance of leveraging on technology innovations to support a more robust system for our operations.” Jung-ho Choi, CEO of Jin Air
“We did the impossible, delivering a solution needing no less than the most intricate handling, 100 percent remotely. I thank Jin Air for believing in us and to Collins Aerospace for their support all the way. To my team all I can say is, ‘you’ve done us proud’.” Vivek Sheorey CEO, LAMINAAR Aviation Infotech CEO