Angry Birds and Process Control

Alaska Airlines has made an interesting step in process control.  (For all of you rolling your eyeballs at the thought of process control you should remember that aeroplanes that are out of control are generally a bad thing.)

They have replaced the 11 kilos of paper flight manuals that pilots are required to carry when they fly.  Now they carry iPads onto which the information is loaded.

I imagine the business case put forward was an interesting read:


  • Pilots have facts at their finger tips (damn tricky leafing through 11 kg of paper when plane is about to crash)
  • Pilots information is updated simply and reliably from one source
  • Reduced fuel consumption with weight reduction


  • Cost of stolen iPads
  • Pilots playing angry birds not paying attention to angry birds

Bit of a slam dunk really.

If the initiative is successful Alaska Airlines plan to also add aeronautical navigation aids to the iPad.  Saving an estimated 2.4 million pieces of paper and killing off the need for flight bags.

Unfortunately making sure that all of your agents / chefs / sales men / debt collectors are following the right process isn’t as easy as buying them all an iPad.  Customer specifications need to be written, processes mapped, people trained, KPI’s measured, roles and responsibilities agreed, risks assessed and controls developed.

Now, if I could buy an app that would do that…

Angry Bird

Image by carterse


  1. Michael Thompson says:

    Maybe if I buy my kids an iPad I can load up some work instructions to get them out of bed in the morning

  2. Michael Thompson says:

    Mind you, they will probably spend all evening playing with it, which kind of defeats the point

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