SecurOps (SO) is a fairly new company specializing in high-tech security systems for airports. SO’s innovative products include a new hand-held “wand” (model HH1) that is not just a metal detector but also a “sniffer” for the typical chemical signature of common bomb components. The HH1 looks like a regular metal detection wand with the addition of a 3×5 inch LCD screen that conveys multiple data on the scanned person.
The other main product manufactured by SO is the CO1 carry-on luggage scanner. This device is the world’s most advanced luggage X-Ray machine. The CO1 scans luggage going through a conveyor belt and by using its onboard visual database, it’s able to “recognize” the usual shapes related to banned items and alert the security officer through its 15 inch LCD screen. The CO1 uses a regular PC with a custom version of Microsoft Windows ® XP and must therefore be booted up in case of a failure. If the failure in unrecoverable, the machine has a backup hard disk drive that it can boot from.
If the CO1 does not alert its operator, it does not necessarily mean that the luggage being scanned is safe. It only means that the computer did not recognize any shapes of banned objects. Therefore, operators have to be trained to carefully analyze the images that the CO1 produces on the computer screen. These images not only display the basic shape of objects inside the luggage but also show different colors based on whether an item is organic; is giving off heat or is unusually cold among other attributes.
SO is constantly upgrading the firmware and software for all its devices, adding features and fixing bugs on average, once a month. Some of these upgrades can substantially change the functionality of the equipment, sometimes adding whole new set of menus or drastically changing the behavior of the machine.
Because of the complex nature of these machines, a typical airport installation will include two technical support staff to manage breakdowns, firmware upgrades and any other issues.
SO is also working on a new machine not for available for sale yet. The WB1 is a “Whole Body” scanner that essentially replaces the need for a hand-held “wand” such as the HH1. The passenger in question simply steps into a telephone booth sized enclosure and the machine does a complete scan without any physical contact of any kind. The operator stands outside the device and interprets the data the WB1 displays on its onboard computer screen. The WB1 is currently in “beta” testing at several airports and seems to be working well with few to no crashes or malfunctions.
The Williams Gateway Airport in Chandler, Arizona – as part of its modernization initiative – has decided to install a complete suite of SO products in its main passenger terminal. The airport has two main terminals and will therefore require two sets of security equipment. The airport authorities have also agreed to become a beta test site for the WB1 scanner. If this pilot testing goes well, this could be a great contract for SO.
The operators of this equipment will be Transport Safety Administration (TSA) employees as mandated by law. Most of these folks have completed high school but many do not have a college education. Most of them have never operated machinery as complex as the SO units.
TSA will require that every employee that operates these devices be officially certified by SO as an operator of each device. Any mistake here could be catastrophic, so certified competence is extremely important for SO as well as for the TSA.
There are a total 30 TSA employees that will need to be cross-trained on all of the devices. Not all the TSA employees have been hired yet but the TSA assures you that in one more month, they will all be available to begin their training. In other words, here will be one month to fully prepare and certify all the TSA personnel to operate the machines.
After an exhaustive search for the right person and many interviews, SO has decided to hire you as their new corporate training manager. Your task is urgent. The new Williams Gateway Airport terminals will officially open to the public in two months. On that day, there will be an official ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by the mayor of Chandler and other dignitaries and the airport authority is expecting fully certified TSA employees ready to start work the following day.
Your budget is fairly large ($200K) and you have a staff of four instructional designers at your disposal, reporting to you.
Ideas to consider:
• What technology will you use to get this project off the ground?
• What will you spend your budget on?
• What strategy will you use to roll out the training in such a short time period?
• What does your project timeline look like?
• How will you check for operator competency?
• How will you set up the certification process?
You will need to present your strategy proposal to a Management Review Committee (MRC) who will have the ultimate approval authority for your project
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