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December 2008

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday, we sure did. Our UCDS team and families celebrated Thanksgiving in Sedona, Arizona. This is probably one of the most beautiful places on this earth. Dave and Rusty took their families to see the splendor of the Grand Canyon, enjoying the steam train ride into the Canyon from Williams. We spent one night visiting the Christmas lights, which Jason and Melinda’s daughter Ava really enjoyed.

It was not all fun! We did do some work during the week, as we completed our annual review and did our planning for next year. We reviewed all our workshops and completed updates to ensure they are fresh and relevant to our customers’ needs.

We foresee the need for a new “Management of Organizational Change” initiative in 2009 and are rewriting our workshop manuals and presentations to meet this need. We are providing a new HMI workshop, which is going to be designed around our new book the High Performance HMI and we will be providing attendees with a signed copy.

We hit the road immediately after our time in Sedona. I went to Norway for a follow-up meeting on a control room and staffing re-structuring with our customer there. I knew traveling the Sunday after Thanksgiving was going to be a mistake but did not anticipate the knock on effects. I had a hard time getting my flight from Phoenix to Philadelphia and then found that the US Airways pilot did not allow enough time to get to the airport for a flight to Frankfurt…he turned up 2 hours late which meant that I missed my next flight to Holland. Fortunately I had allowed delays in the planning and the next scheduled flight would allow plenty of time to get the flight to Oslo. Unfortunately, it got cancelled due to mechanical problems so the next available flight was too late to get my next connection. KLM re-scheduled me and I eventually made it to Oslo but not in time to meet up with good friends Mark & Marie for dinner. In addition, the car I had booked was not there and I had to take another car from another company. What a trip! At least I made it to all my customer meetings on time and had a good time with a great customer.

Dave also had fun heading to Newfoundland in the cold and snow. The weather will not be getting any better for us as we are both in Cold Lake Canada all next week. I do hate the cold, and the desert is so much more civilized. Still it all makes for a great business.

In 2009…

UCDS will be designing a standard console based on ergonomic studies and recommended screens for operators based on International Standards.

Watch out for our new website. Jason has some great new ideas for it and it is going to be even more friendly to mobile users with RSS feed deployment. We are excited about all the enhancements we are making; it is always good to invest some time to our own continuous improvement and quality initiatives. Dave and Rusty will both be blogging in 2009. We will also be doing Podcast and iTunes messages.

Watch out for a new articles being written by me on operator performance. We will also have some new guideline documents available on lighting and acoustics.

Hope everyone has a great Christmas and that 2009 will be a prosperous year. We definitely do not need any more challenges that 2008 and the housing disaster has caused the world.

Best wishes from us all at UCDS –