Peter Varhol

Company: Technology Strategy Research

Role in Company: Managing Director

Country: United States

Presentation Takeaways

1. How commercial aircrews have achieved their enviable record of teamwork, reliability, and safety in a complex operating environment.
2. Why the lessons from aircrews can be applied to teams in other fields, including software development, testing, and DevOps.
3. How testing teams can apply the lessons of aircrews to improve their teamwork, resiliency, and efficiency under pressure.

Speaker Biography

Peter Varhol is a well-known writer and speaker on software and technology topics, having authored dozens of articles and spoken at a number of industry conferences and webcasts. He has advanced degrees in computer science, applied mathematics, and psychology, and is Managing Director at Technology Strategy Research. His past roles include technology journalist, software product manager, software developer, and university professor.

Presentation Description

United Flight 232 should have crashed with all 296 lives lost. Asiana Flight 214 should not have crashed at all. But the reality is very different. Peter Varhol explains that the critical difference between the two flights was the interactions of their respective aircrews. United Flight 232 divided up responsibilities and worked as a team, using Aircrew Resource Management (ARM) to guide how the crew behaved during the flight, and especially in a crisis. Asiana Flight 214 deferred to the captain, neither communicating nor questioning his decisions in crisis.

ARM helps cockpit crew members work together to best utilize the whole team’s skills to make flights safe. Using ARM principles, a testing team can bring their project safely home. The leader of a team is the final authority, but leaders must acknowledge team members’ knowledge and experience. This can make the difference between success and failure. Join Peter to learn how you can apply aircrew practices to your team’s delivery of high quality applications through complementary expertise, collaboration, and decision-making. You’ll learn how blind deference to authority and automation can be detrimental to a testing team, and how to use everyone’s skills to achieve success.