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I hate flying.

Posted on Mon 15 June 2015
Written by Keith Turkington

Written by Keith, MD of Fluent Technology, grant management guru, process engineer, frequent flyer, father of 3, ufology geek and keen cook.

I hate flying. While I don’t like heights it’s nothing to do with that. What gets to me is the chaos that invariably ensues during boarding. I can hear you sighing and saying “Is that it?”. Ok, I admit it, I am a process nerd. I like things orderly and running smoothly, that’s when I’m at my happiest. Try boarding a plane and watching what happens. Try sitting on a plane that’s full and listening to the Flight Attendants’ continual announcements that passengers should stow small baggage at their feet as the overhead bins are too full. A good test of their patience (passed with flying, excuse the pun, colours), not so good if you are listening and wondering why everyone didn’t understand it the first 3 times.

On a recent flight I complimented a Flight Attendant on the early boarding. Interestingly she told me that UK airlines can leave up to 15 mins ahead of their designated departure time and that Aer Lingus (other airlines are available!) was making a conscious effort to do this. In response to my reply that passengers should make the most of this she commented that many delays were actually caused by passengers themselves.

The process engineer in me often sits and observes how passengers ignore basic instructions e.g. being at the gate in time for boarding, where to place their luggage, getting on the plane by the right door (how difficult is that?!?) etc. If all passengers followed some basic principles the vast majority of flights would leave on time. It is similar with grant management i.e. if all applicants followed basic principles e.g. read guidance notes, applied eligibility criteria correctly and started their applications earlier, the overall quality of applications would improve.

I have said it before and will say it again – it is essential that we start the implementation of any grant management solution by carefully considering the processes the solution is to support. By putting much needed effort into the design of robust grant management processes we will ensure we have no delays at our boarding gates and our grant applications will fly off on time!

 

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