Defining and understanding the problem first is the first step to finding the solution.

The Initial Consultative Workshop (ICW™) is the critical first step in any project.

Starting at the Start

Closed Loop believes that upstream effort applied to projects, ahead of decisions about particular suppliers and specific technology, delivers a higher percentage of successful and sustainable outcomes than starting a project with decisions about technology or suppliers.

In other words, start at the start.

This is the key tenet of Closed Loop's program philosophy and underpins the airline industry specific methodologies we have developed to assist your projects and programs to successful outcomes. The ICW™ will demonstrate the importance of project and program starting points on the outcomes of projects quite profoundly. It will set up the project with direction, momentum and focus from the first component. It will drive the project forward based on systems principles and requirements-driven outcomes. 

The ICW™ is your first step in considering any project.

Whatever the subject, the ICW™ is designed to develop an organisational understanding of the problem that has driven the need for a project. The ICW™ will provide pan-organisational scoping for the project or program. Conducted as a facilitated workshop, the ICW™ is intended for as many of the potential stakeholder group as possible. The workshop is critical in the discovery and management of initial assumptions and understanding and expectations of project outcomes from the airline, stakeholder and user perspectives across all touch points of the project - whether internal to the airline, or reaching more broadly into alliances, ATM solutions, ANSP services and joint user facilities at airports.

How it Works

The Initial Consultative Workshop (ICW) is a process designed to obtain and aggregate information about how the impending program will affect the whole organisation. It is aimed at:

  • Minimising overlap between departments.
  • Providing other departments an opportunity to benefit from the program.
  • Reinforcing the commitment from the C-level of the airline.
  • Framing the potential parameters for the program.

The Detail... for those who have time.

Whatever the project, the workshop is designed to:

  • Discover notional concepts, ideals and project vision among the stakeholder group, align these in an organisationally holistic manner and remove or reduce competing perspectives.
  • Generate understanding of the critical aspects of the program journey and cement the importance of organisational and managerial commitment to the processes of the project.
  • Provide a briefing regarding the organisational and project considerations necessary to mitigate the unfortunate statistics, which plague our industry projects.
  • Provide understanding of the importance of a strategic, systems-based and requirements driven approach to the project and be able to string eventual outcomes and requirements back to overarching organisational strategy.
  • Provide an introduction to the recommended Closed Loop methodology for the project, structure, roles & responsibilities and approach.
  • Outline the work and administrative considerations required to complete the next stage based deliverable, the ConOPS to the stakeholder and management group.
  • Discover the logical project structure and organisation and define the requirements of the role and appoint the Project Executive.
  • Garner initial commitment from the Project Executive to proceed with the start-up activities and inject momentum to the project.

The ICW™ Structure:

Initial investigation and development – Closed Loop works with the department that will notionally own the program, gathering as much relevant information as possible. This ensures that the onsite step is as productive as possible. This work is supplemented by independent research by the Closed Loop SME team to ensure information related to the project is based on the latest contemporary information.

Onsite workshop – depending on the nature of the program, the workshop typically takes between four hours and two days, though all participants may not be required for the entire duration. The project stakeholders and senior management that require representation include:

  • Flight Operations.
  • Cabin Services and Cabin Crew.
  • Engineering.
  • IT.
  • Manager of Operations Control.
  • Manager of Dispatch.
  • The heads of Training.
  • Airports/Handling.
  • Provisioning (Catering).
  • The Chief Pilot.
  • The COO and if possible, the CEO.

The workshop involves exploring the information obtained in the previous step and discussing it with all participants. Although the workshop is structured and lead by a presentation, the workshop is highly interactive as it provides an opportunity to speculate about the possibilities.

Report of findings – this includes a brief of all information collected prior to and during the workshop. It includes observations about the organisation, areas with potential benefits, and recommendations for progressing the program. It may also contain opinions about industry capability and without violating confidentiality, how other airlines have approached a similar program. The report is a project artefact and is designed to act as a formal mandate for progressing the program, providing all stakeholders and management with a clear understanding of the high-level objectives.

The cost of the ICW includes all preparatory effort, attendance on site by at least two consultants with different but complimentary disciplinary backgrounds, the creation of the report, and all travel, accommodation and incidental costs. If the ICW results in significant further program involvement for Closed Loop, 30% of the full fee will be credited to the next engagement.



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