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UCDS news for September 2013

Hello and welcome to the User Centered Design Services news for September 2013. Thank you for your interest in what we do and for allowing us to have fun while we do really important and serious work that makes a difference.
The team has just completed a CRM review that has passed the PHMSA auditors. We are receiving really good feedback from many of our Pipeline Customers. We have been busy doing a number of control room upgrades for different customers in a variety of different industries. It is exciting to see many come to a realization that their control rooms do not have to be dark caves with poor ergonomics.

We are currently working across multiple time zones. Dave and I will soon be leaving for two weeks in Hawaii where we will be working for an Electrical Transmission Company. We have a growing knowledge having worked for several Transmission companies over the years. I was at this facility just before my Archeries surgery last December. I am so glad this time I will be able to walk and enjoy the trip. I nearly missed my surgery date as my nighttime flight was cancelled at the last minute, but good old US Airways got me home via a United flight.

As soon as I get back, I will be in Sulphur, LA, which has been my home for quite a few weeks this year, doing HP HMI Task Analysis, Alarm Management and Control Room Modification Projects. Dave and I will then be heading back to Norway for continuation of the Borregaard project. We will be meeting up with our good friend’s Mark & Marie Green as well. I anticipate good food, great wine and the best fellowship a man could wish for.

UCDS has some exciting new news to share. Chris Heil, an Architect from Denver, has joined the team and will be working on our control room projects with us. Does that mean UCDS is going to become an Architectural firm as well? No, we have no intention of being Architects but we do want to improve our interface to architects and to provide customers with renderings of conceptual designs. Plus Chris is going to be helping me get my next book finished. We welcome Chris to the family and hope he has an enjoyable time working with us. He has already been involved in a number of projects and some of our customers have met him and enjoyed the benefits of his vast control room experience.

Christi has been doing a number of different projects. Having mastered the workload studies for operators and Supervisors, she is now travelling with me learning the High Performance HMI Task Analysis methodology I have developed.
I wanted to let you in on a secret project we are working on…a new company has been formed to do research into Human Factor issues. A training team is going to be involved in a new research study on the human error issues with operator training. UCDS will be an Associate member of the research consortium and I have been invited to initially Chair the kick-off of the new Consortium, which will be announced in the press shortly and we will have a web link to the new website that will going live soon.

We will soon be considering names of companies that want to participate in this study. For their participation of allowing the team to review their training systems and talking to their operators, participants will get a free copy of the report and the learning, together with recommendations to improve their systems.
We will also be launching several workshops. The first one will address Human Error & Human Factors – Managing the Risks of Organizational Accidents. The other one will be the most inclusive control room workshop ever offered. It will be full of practical examples and guidance, discussing, style, methods, and new technologies available for control room operators.

So, as you are preparing next year’s budgets please plan to be with us and consider research topics you would like to see the consortium address. As long as the topic is human factor or ergonomics related, we will consider them. A board of Directors will be reviewing and authorizing the research studies and we want to make sure our customers get the first say in what they should be.

Next year, we will be introducing the High Performance Alarm Management solutions together with some new tools and techniques. Perhaps we will run an additional workshop later in the year if we get some feedback from our customers.
I am excited! We have had one of our best years with a lot of new customers and many returning customers addressing different problems. As we go forward, we want all our customers to leverage some of the breakthroughs that a handful of customers have experienced. Why only a handful? Well, to be honest, they have trusted us fully and followed all our advice and they are seeing the difference and are getting the ROPI we talked about.

We have a great two hour presentation available and if you would like to get your operating team up to speed, Steve Maddox can organize a webcast to your entire operations team. I have been asked to go to many sites and present this vision, but there is a limit to how many sites I can visit in a year. So, in an attempt to meet the growing needs of our current and future clients, we will be utilizing webcast technology.

We are going to launch some e-learning classes on shift handover, fatigue mitigation, alarm management, HP HMI Principles, Training, Procedures and other management system best practices. Again, please let Steve Maddox know if you want to learn more.

Thank you to our current customers for the confidence you have placed in us and for another great year. If you are considering using UCDS and would like to know more please either contact Steve or me, we would be delighted to help you out. We have one of the most experienced team of experts that are clued into the industries best practices and leading techniques and we count it a privilege to develop a working relationship with you. Distance is no barrier and we know how to travel cost effectively and are used to working across multiple time zones.