One of the often-heard terms used by NASA over the last five decades has been “you have a GO for…” You have a GO for launch. You have a Go for staging. You have a GO for landing. It has become part of our lexicon and is dramatized in movies such as Apollo 13.
Behind the scenes, there was an extremely complex business model at work that resulted in issuing a GO command. The comprehensive process checklist at Mission Control during Project Apollo had to be 100% successfully completed before the words “You have a GO for…” were spoken by the Flight Director (FIDO) to the Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM).
Behind the scenes was a cadre of specialists and support staff manning the dozens of consoles monitoring each and every parameter of flight readiness, life support and safety. Without unanimous GO orders, the event was scrubbed and diagnostics initiated. The event clock was reset to zero.
Are you the Flight Director for your organization? Do you “go around the room” for affirmation that all critical parameters are “nominal” before you issue a GO command for any critical business decision? Are your specialists and support staff in harmony before you get a report that all variables have been assessed and are functioning to plan before you give any GO command?
We sent men to the moon and returned them home safely, six times. The business model we used to win the space race in seven years is just as viable today for creating an organizational structure that ensures all staff members are accountable for their individual tasks and that the entire chain of command is in sync to give a GO order that will ensure mission success.
Whether you ae running a restaurant, manufacturing consumer products or building rockets, ensuring that all processes are functioning to their “nominal” levels of performance is critical to product and service reliability, safety and profitability. It will also avoid getting a “NO-GO” response from a customer.
Tom Taormina has written 12 books on business process excellence and leadership.