Using Fighter Pilot techniques to manage our weekly
Flawless Execution by James D. Murphy shares the techniques of
fighter pilots to achieve peak performance
¨ The essence of all successful execution is:
¤ Plan. Evaluate multiple courses of action, evaluate
them, and take the best parts.
¤ Brief. Tell everybody how we're going to carry out the
plan and what we're going to do today.
¤ Execute. Act out the script you created in the brief.
¤ Debrief. Evaluate execution errors and successes.
Connecting execution with strategy provides alignment of
outcomes with activities
¨ Where are we going to be?
¨ What are we going to apply resources for or
¨ How are we going to do this?
¨ When are we going to stop doing this?
An approach to applying Murphy’s work to create an execution
culture can move us to the next level of performance
¨ Monday Vision
¤ what does DONE look like for this week?
¨ Daily Outcomes
¤ do I know how to get to the end of the week?
¨ Status progress on Thursday
¤ am I going to make it to Friday as planned
¨ Friday Reflection and corrections needed to start
the next week anew
¤ What didn’t make it?
¤ How am I going to make up the lost cost, schedule, and
The Monday Vision starts weekly stating our intentions
¨ Each Monday Identify the most important outcomes
for the week.
¤ Work backwards from the end in mind.
¤ Focus on outcome not activities.
¤ Ask questions such as, "if this were Friday, what would I
feel good about having accomplished?" ... "if this were
Friday, what would fell bad about it wasn't done?"
Daily Outcomes provide the fine grained feedback needed to
make fine grained corrections that keep us on course
¨ Each day make a short To Do list.
¤ Start by listing MUST items
¤ Next, list SHOULD or COULD
¤ Use this list throughout the day
¤ The streams include meetings, email, conversations, or
bursts of brilliance throughout the day
¤ Have a good sense of priorities
¤ Deal with potentially randomizing scenarios
Friday Reflection is the opportunity to assess our progress to plan,
make high level corrections, and define the work for the next week
¨ Evaluate what got done or didn't get done and why
it didn’t get done
¤ Review a week's worth and look for patterns for
¤ Trends stand out, look for the trends
¨ With this reflection, gather from the team, the work
needed to improve the process
Why this works
¨ It's self–correcting through daily and weekly feedback
¨ Course corrections can be made throughout the week.
¨ Unimportant items slough off
¨ Manage using small and simple list
¨ It's not technology bound. Pen and paper work fine.
¨ Keeping the working set small,
¨ It's a system with simple habits and practices
¨ Next actions are immediate and obvious, in relation to
SHOULDs and COULDs