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Battle For Attention. What Airline Operations Department Must Do Now!

I genuinely believe that we have to change the way we discuss airline operation information and KPIs. We have to move from purely content-based to a "getting-the-attention" discussion.

Let me explain that step-by-step. When talking to colleagues from airlines —regardless of their business department, role, and position— everyone agrees on the fact that the technological world is changing faster than ever.

Today’s Technology Is Creating Challenges

We are fortunate to live in a world that offers these vast opportunities when it comes to technology. However, the emerged possibilities created two challenges.

Firstly, people feel confronted with an information overflow. Instead of one monthly report, people feel bombarded with information through various internal and external sources: email, chat, mobile apps, etc. That leads to the situation that employees are drowning in information and subsequently have to select the information they are consuming carefully. 

Secondly, time —more than ever— is considered a rare good. People and employees have the feeling (and obviously it is the truth) that they have to do more at the same time and have to concentrate on several different topics instead of focussing on only one.

Employees treat information carefully

Both aspects lead to a situation that employees treat information carefully. Carefully in this context, means that the consumed information not necessarily is the most important but the one that can be easily absorbed — easily in terms of required time and gathered content.

One Thing Airline Operations Departments Have To Understand

Now, there is one thing an operation department of an airline —or to be more precise, the department that deals with operational KPIs and the one who wants to create awareness for that information— has to understand. Although operations KPI are essential, they find themselves in constant competition with other —internal and external— information that floods employees continually.

Accordingly, they have to develop concepts that enable them and the information they provide to stay on top of the information funnel.

Unfortunately, the problem I observe is that lots of time are spent discussing KPIs down to the very, very last detail. Operations departments want to achieve the goal of a 100% perfect KPI. However, since everyone —really everyone— has an opinion on KPIs, this turns out to be a never-ending story.

Stop Overthinking Airline Operation Information And Start Executing

The problem I see is that overthinking KPIs to the very detail prevents people from thinking about how to get the attention of their audience. And as mentioned in the beginning, this is the real challenge.

You can have the perfect KPIs — as long as nobody pays attention to it, they are a waste of invested time and money.

Having high-quality KPIs, of course, is essential. Nonetheless, getting attention for your KPIs or creating awareness for your KPIs is even more critical.

Day-Trading Attention

In this context, I love the term “day-trading attention.” 

This is what the challenge really is about. What are the measures, the solutions, the functions you implement that make people pay more attention to your KPIs than to other —from your point of view— less important internal and external information. 

How can you achieve that people take a look at your operations KPIs whenever they have a minute —instead of checking their Facebook timeline. People —employees— have to see a higher value in your KPIs than in information from other sources. 

And I’m repeating myself: Value isn’t only represented as important but also as the way you can consume the information and the time you have to spend to consume it.

That means instead of solely concentrating on developing KPIs you have to think about measures to ensure that you’re on top of employees’ information funnel — at all times.

As already mentioned —and unfortunately— most airlines and operations departments don’t pay attention to that aspect. They concentrate on developing KPIs and keep wondering why nobody is paying attention to it.

Fantastic Opportunities To Put Airline Operation Information On Top Of The Funnel

The thing is: There are fantastic opportunities available today that enable you to win this race. 

  • Seamlessly integrated KPI solution across all devices (mobiles, pad, etc.)
  • Solution that pays the highest attention to visualization, making it easy and “fun” to consume.
  • Additional functions that constantly brings employees back to your solutions (push notifications, alerts, etc.)

And these are only a few examples.

Summarized — How Airline Operation Information Stays On Top

Creating awareness for operations KPIs isn’t only about defining and setting up KPIs. Quite the contrary, operation departments that solely focus on that aspect will lose the game in the long run.

Creating awareness, in today’s world, is much more about day-trading attention and developing solutions and functionalities that keep your KPIs —your information— on top of employees’ information funnel.

What Do You Think?

Always happy to receive your feedback and thoughts. Just hit me up on Twitter or get in touch on LinkedIn.

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Benjamin Walther

CEO, Frankfurt

Benjamin is Information Design's CEO and a proven content-maniac. Besides running a successful business and developing pioneering ideas, he's dedicated to writing blog posts and creating content.

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