Do you know your Process’ Sacred Six?


My first lesson in Human Factors was a memorable one as evidenced by the fact that it has stuck with me for over 20 years. As I remember the talk during World War II, the fatality rate of US Navy aviators, due to pilot error in training and in action, had become unacceptably high. It was thought that perhaps technology had finally outpaced man’s ability to control it. In an attempt to find a solution, the military at that time brought together engineers, mathematicians, physiologists; anyone they thought might bring insight to the problem.

It was discovered that the instrument layout of every aircraft was different with no “rhyme or reason” to it. The solution was the establishment of the “Sacred Six,” the six pieces of information that a pilot needs to know to understand the status of his aircraft. Thereafter the layout and positions of the instruments comprising the “Sacred Six” were duplicated on all military aircraft. The improvement in the fatality rate was immediate.

When I was first introduced to High Performance Graphics, that lesson immediately came to mind. The summary graphic, called the level one graphic, is all about finding your operators’ “sacred six.” Visualizing your control operator as your pilot, what does your operator need in front of him that allows him to know at a glance how your process is running?

The process of determining your operators’ “sacred six” and the other content for higher level graphics is called a task analysis. It is accomplished by utilizing the knowledge of your best operators and usually takes about a week per control operator position. It is what we here at UCDS excel at. Done properly, these graphics can greatly improve both your operations efficiency and online time. Let your operators soar! Contact us. 

Rob Brooks
+1.623.551.9057 (Ext 901)