The case of the missing information - Communications in Public affairs
EUROCONTROL OverallATM/CNS Target ArchitectureThe case of missing information
EUROCONTROL EUROCONTROL: the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation Intergovernmental organisation 39 Member States and the European Community
EUROCONTROL Overall ATM/CNS TargetArchitecture - OATA ”Plug-and-play” management system Integration of technology and operations to simplify air traffic management in EUROCONTROL member states Several working groups One steering group Several working meetings per annum Four annual steering group meetings
OATA – Main working documents Concept of Operations (ConOps) providing detailed description of the Operational Concept for OATA Associated Operational Scenarios and Use Cases Logical model of the proposed Overall ATM/CNS Target Architecture Detailed specification of ATM 2000+ Strategy system enablers Architecture Evolution plan for European Civil Aviation Conference Transition plans for selected stakeholders Initial Validation, Safety, and Implementation Assessment reports
OATA Steering committee received all documents for review and input Steering committee supposed pass on the documents to senior engineers in their organisations for further review and input All developments were done in UML language Rational Rose
Problem – Project side Developments were advancing at a rather advanced pace Not enough input from steering group and corporate engineers Project members needed more input and reviews to ensure development were accurate Project members felt as they were developing “in the dark”
Problem – Steering committee High-level engineers which hadnt worked with technical analysis for years 27+ nationalities, including the US and Japan Steering committee didnt provide necessary input Wasnt going to stand up in front of a large audience of international peers and admit that they didnt understand the information sent
Communications situation ”Neutral” position Not an engineers myself Can turn technical information into non-technical texts Senior managers felt they could speak to me without “loosing face”
OATA – situation and problem tosolve Steering committee didnt provide input Developers werent certain the covered the ground they needed IF there was input the input came too late Corporate engineers complained about not being engaged enough in the process
OATA - communications With communications you start with the solution Here the solution was more and timelier input Preferably also more contacts with the stakeholders
OATA – how to advance What would you do? Why? How?
Way forward and Findings Conducted several interviews 1-2-1 with steering committee members Unanimous result: couldnt read Rational Rose documents Management summary too long for the time steering group members could allocate to the documentation Didnt know whom to forward the documents too
SolutionA newsletter of maximum three pagesWritten and produced by me in a non-technical languageReceived a lot of criticism from theproject team for “treating the readersas fools”Web siteSeminars, workshops etc.
Results - Readership They liked reading it Quick, simple and cheerful The readership (Steering committee) got document they could digest Based on its content they forwarded the programme documents in their organisation for evaluation and input
Results – Programme group Necessary evaluation and input was received Better contacts with stakholder engineers and developers Better development as result Both groups − Better co-operation
How do you learn this? Personality trait – curious and want to know how “things” work Ask, ask, ask Learn to ask the right questions Its OK to be “stupid” Easiest way it to try to put yourself in the audiences shoes
Why do I think this fun? Engineers are solution minded Matter in our daily lives Look into the future Interesting to figure out how to ”sell” technical concepts to a non- technical audience Actually make a difference in 100 years!