Lean Oops! – Airport Information Screen

Posted on February 5, 2012 | in Defects | by

Oops! The system managing the screen updates behind the counter at this airport gate is having a BIG problem.

It looks like there’s an issue with the computer supplying the data…along with the fact it’s still running on Windows XP . (Time to upgrade!)

When I took this photo it didn’t appear this was a process problem and no employee worked to get the issue fixed right away. There was no sense of alarm during the two hours I was at the gate but the employee behind the counter didn’t seem too bothered by it.

This is a prime example of a poor customer facing. This unnamed airline, by not rushing to address the screen/system issue, demonstrates that there’s little pressure to make things right and thusly little interest in providing the best customer experience possible. (Well, unless you don’t care about reading the gate screens and arrivals/departures as you pass by the desks.)

Is it a symptom of a greater systemic issue in the processes and culture? Maybe, but seeing how I’m not an employee of this airline or a frequent customer I can’t spot a trend. However, what I do know is that an organization that has strong focus on customer satisfaction and implements lean, the little details matter.

Organizations that say they care about customer satisfaction should walk the walk and demonstrate it. That means not avoiding the details.

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5 Responses to “Lean Oops! – Airport Information Screen”

  1. Mark Graban says:

    It’s American Airlines at DFW… I’ll name them. That airline is a mess. Management repeatedly “saves” the company by slashing the pay of pilots and workers and then management gives themselves big bonuses. So, when I encounter disgruntled or indifferent employees, I remind myself they aren’t bad people – rather, they are in a bad system.

    • Chad Walters says:

      Ha! Yes, you are correct. I took this when I was flying back from the Baseball Winter Meetings.

      For being such a large company and especially for being in the news for all the wrong reasons recently, maybe this is a time for AA to start thinking about making changes for the better. Time to correct the system. Adapt or die.

  2. Jason says:

    This lack of attention to detail is not only found at airports I have also seen it on highway repair signs and electronic billboards along the highway. I think of all of the money, time, and effort invested in creating these devices and the fact that it all goes away because no one is willing to sustain it.

    • Chad Walters says:

      I read somewhere that a town can prevent vandalism and create a culture of caring by fixing any visual problems as they occur – when a street light goes out it gets changed out, broken signs get repaired and repainted, etc. – because if management shows that aesthetics are important the culture eventually will too.

      The opposite effect is also true, as you laid out – if management doesn’t make visual beauty a priority, no one else will.

      Thanks for sharing, Jason.

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