Opinion

Human behaviour: the final frontier in efficiency and operational performance management


by Melvin Mathews - published on 23 November 2020 98 -

This article was already published on Mel´s Musing blog on Aug 30th 2020
(see link at the end of the article)
(Photo by Ibrahim Boran on Unsplash)


In recent decades, every industry has tested different strategies and technologies to maximize operational efficiency. Mechanical and software-based solutions have pushed the boundaries of human possibility by making equipment, machinery, and engines not only tremendously efficient but also extremely safe.

The arrival of machine learning and artificial intelligence has taken efficiency to a whole new level. Software platforms can now suggest maintenance routines, recommend spare-part changes, and even predict breakdowns of machinery. Some argue that we have unlocked most of technology’s possibilities when it comes to machinery efficiency and performance. However, data shows that machines are rarely operated within their efficient zones or optimum performance ranges.

Having advanced machinery is no doubt important to any operation, but only when paired with well-trained and skilled personnel can operation be optimized at the systemic level, especially when several systems are running simultaneously. In other words, having the most sophisticated and advanced machinery is virtually useless, unless it is operated efficiently by competent operators. This is where monitoring, benchmarking, and improving human behaviour comes in, perhaps as the final frontier to further push the boundaries of performance.

Crew behaviour plays a significant part in any operations chain and includes perception, situational awareness, planning, decision making, execution, reporting, improvisation, and improvement. Of course, lack of training, competence, skill, and experience naturally leads to lower operational performance, higher risk, and uncertain safety. However, other underlying factors, such as attitude, character, motivation, and emotions, also impact performance.

A “good day” for a given worker can lead to overconfidence, more risk-taking, and safety issues. A “bad day” can lead to a loss of motivation, only completing the bare minimum, and a lack of focus on efficiency or alertness towards risks. Companies are now waking up to the impacts of human behaviour on operations. In the past, due to absence of relevant data, it was nearly impossible to monitor human behaviour continuously, especially in remote work environments, but this difficulty has been significantly reduced in recent years.

While companies have clear expectations for their employees, they have limited control over human behaviour and decision-making, especially when working remotely. It is now possible to use various data sources to better understand and improve human work behaviour. There are several ways of soliciting this higher behavioural performance, including incentives, motivation, inspiration, gaming, rewards, and gain sharing.

In a world where companies easily reach a level playing field through the power of machinery and technology, understanding human behaviour and finding ways to improve it will give them a much-needed competitive advantage.


Let me know your thoughts.
Editor's note:
Opinion pieces reflect the personal opinion of individual authors. They do not allow any conclusions to be drawn about a prevailing opinion in the respective editorial department. Opinion pieces might be deliberately formulated in a pronounced or even explicit tone and may contain biased arguments. They might be intended to polarise and stimulate discussion. In this, they deliberately differ from the factual articles you typically find on this platform, written to present facts and opinions in as balanced a manner as possible.
What's your opinion on this?
Login or register to write comments and join the discussion!
Read more...

Opinion Should the Captain go down with the ship?

by Melvin Mathews - published on 10 November 2020

At one point, the Captain on the Ship while being highly respected, also carried great responsibility and had the ultimate accountability for everything on board. But this respect, responsibility and accountability has not come overnight, or just when the Captain wears his four stripes.

0

Opinion If you facilitate 90% of the world's trade, would you influence change?

by Melvin Mathews - published on 1 December 2020

Without a shadow of doubt, shipping is a key enabler of our current way of life and the globalized world we live in today. The irony is that the average person is unaware of the significance or contribution of the shipping industry and how much we rely on ships working without disruption

1

Opinion Titans: Google Maps versus ECDIS

by Melvin Mathews - published on 3 November 2020

Google Maps and ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System) can be considered to essentially serve the same purpose. While Google Maps is used for finding our way on land, the ECDIS facilitates navigation at sea.

1

Video The Insane Amount of Power Tugboats Pack to Move Giant Ships

published on 6 October 2021

Welcome back to the Fluctus Channel for a feature on the important role of tugboats in navigating the bigger vessels in harbors and canal, as well as the open seas.

0

Video Captain Matt Glass - Houston Pilot (2012)

published on 22 December 2021

Captain Matt Glass, a deputy pilot with the Houston Pilots, boards and guides the UAL Capetown on the Houston Ship Channel from the landing area outside Galveston Bay to the Manchester docks in Houston, a voyage of about 7 hours.

0

Article Five questions for John Redman, Co President at Jacksonville Docking Pilots

published on 26 February 2021

In our new new section “Five questions for ..." Marine-Pilots.com introduces pilots and other market players to our readers in short interviews.

Today we have talked to John Redman, Co President at Jacksonville Docking Pilots.

1

Video Pilot's Diary Frank 1 3

published on 5 February 2021

A maritime pilot tells us about why he loves switching ships in midstream.

0

Video Should the Captain go down with the sinking ship?

published on 9 November 2020

1:19 What is the history? 2:14 If we fast forward to the modern era, what has changed? 3:00 How have things impacted the modern Captain? 3:33 What are the typical laws on the subject in some countries? 4:05 How is it different from other leadership positions? 5:34 What needs to change? Blog - https://www.melvinmathews.com/ Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/melvin-mathews/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/melvinsmathews Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/melvin.mathews.37 Instagram - https:...

1

Video New 17m Pilot Boat - A. H. Wadia Boat Builders, India

published on 8 November 2020

Twin Screw 350 HP Engines achieving top speed of 15 Knots.
Excellent maneuverability and stability.
Effortlessly performing Pilot operations at sea.
www.ahwadiaboat.com

0

Opinion New guidance for PBAs with trapdoors. Released 4.11.2020 by NZMPA

by New Zealand Maritime Pilot's Association - published on 6 November 2020

New guidance for PBAs with trapdoors. Released 4.11.2020 at NZMPA Conference in Dunedin, NZ. Distinct difference to suggestions in many other countries, is that we challenge operators who have the ladder suspended from the accommodation ladder (gangway) and not secured to the ship. SOLAS states that pilot ladder shall be secured to the ship, and securing strongpoints, shackles and ropes shall be as strong as the sideropes.

1