The US Airways crash yesterday in the Hudson River (well, I guess it was really an unscheduled landing) is all over the news for obvious reasons. It’s truly amazing that no one was seriously hurt and that everyone survived. While I still hope I never get to find out personally, it just goes to show you that the flight attendants being there for your safety does appear to work. Fortunately, that need doesn’t occur to often, so while they may excel in that area, the day to day still suffers (but I digress, as usual).
Several things struck me as amazing about the events yesterday and I suggest that one of the key reasons things worked out well is that all parties involved had flexible, adaptable processes that worked. Unlike FEMA, which seemed to be clueless during Katrina, the various parties in this case, including the flight crew and the first responders, had processes in place that worked and they were trained to execute those processes.
The crew got all the passengers onto the wing and ferry boats arrived within minutes of the “landing” to move people to safety. The secret to getting it done right on time as needed in an ever changing environment is business processes (including emergency processes) that are appropriate including their ability to be flexible and adaptable as needed.