Very Simple Software May Have Precluded Deadly Software Disasters

Research has shown that 1st Notice’s Notify application could have precluded the 1986 Challenger disaster. Now there are the same concerns about the October 2018 and March 2019 Boeing 737 MAX crashes in which 346 people died.

 

These two related tragedies also highlight the shortcomings of the SOX requirements to prevent and detect bad things from happening, which Boeing like all virtually all other public entities, meet. Although the benefits of compliance alone are significant, only about 4% of nonpublic entities meet the Federal guidelines.

 

To understand why compliance isn’t enough, compare Boeing’s Ethics and Compliance page to what we’ve learned from seminal and significant research :

 

Speaking up is a cornerstone for building an open and accountable workplace culture. At Boeing, we believe that creating an environment where employees are comfortable raising issues and concerns without fear of retaliation enables openness which can lead to improved business performance and inspire greater innovation. Boeing maintains policies and procedures to encourage employees to report concerns and seek guidance, using confidential and, when preferred, anonymous methods, including contacting local ethics advisors, using toll-free phone numbers and accessing web-based portals. Retaliation against employees who raise concerns is not tolerated and is cause for appropriate corrective action, up to and including dismissal.

Boeing promotes awareness of the company’s reporting system and non-retaliation policies in recurrent employee communication, command media and posters that are displayed in high-traffic work areas across the enterprise. Managers also are asked to encourage speaking up within their own teams by using materials and resources developed by the ethics group to foster dialogue and increase openness. As part of the company’s Speaking Up initiative, managers and employees have access to a series of modules with supplemental team activities that emphasize the importance of speaking up, listening, and taking action. Electronic cards, or e-cards, can be used by all employees to recognize colleagues for speaking up and demonstrating leadership.

Boeing offers a number of confidential channels for seeking guidance or reporting concerns about possible violations of regulations or company policies. Those contacting Boeing may choose to remain anonymous or self-identify.

The Boeing Ethics Line (1-888-970-7171) is staffed during U.S. business hours (8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday) and is available to Boeing employees and others inside and outside of the company.

U.S. employees with access to the Boeing Intranet may also submit questions and concerns 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the internal Ethics website.

The Ethics Line is promptly and cheerfully answered, “Thank you for calling Boeing,” which isn’t reassuring to someone calling about highly sensitive information. There are four major reasons why people don’t make or complete those notifications:

  • Lack of trust that confidentiality will be maintained.
  • “I don’t want to be associated with anything bad.”
  • “If administration/management hasn’t done anything yet, they won’t.”
  • “Reporting may adversely affect me.”

 

If an organization really wants to hear from its constituents it should provide a system so that people can submit notifications when they want, how they want and what they want :

  1. Managed by Independent Third Party
  2. Available 24/7
  3. Accessible
  4. Simple & Quick
  5. Identity Cloaked
  6. Archives Copy of All Submissions
  7. Confirms Receipt
  8. Easy to Check Status
  9. Cloaked Messaging
  10. Completely Secure

If an organization really wants to optimize the timeliness, quantity and quality of notifications (and feedback and suggestions) it should look for a solution with these features. Or just contact 1st Notice, we have these 10 and a lot more.