Feedback

Scott Griffin & Ron Markezich: Business Through the Lens of the CIO

Scott Griffin, vice president and Boeing chief information officer (CIO), leads the Boeing Information Technology (IT) organization with responsibility for all IT strategy, operations, processes, and people companywide. Griffin is also a member of the Boeing Engineering Council.

He began his Boeing career in 1979, and has had management assignments in Customer Services, Customer Engineering, Avionics, Manufacturing, and Information Technology. His initial management assignment was in support of 757 and 767 commercial airplane introductions, and has worked in all of the major divisions of Boeing. He became vice president and CIO of Commercial Airplanes in October 1997, a position he held until his promotion to Boeing CIO in October of 1999.

Griffin earned his undergraduate degree from Fresno State University and a master’s degree in business (MBA) from the University of Puget Sound.

He is active in numerous technical, community and charitable organizations including the board of directors of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater and the board of directors of the Institute for Business, Technology, and Ethics (IBTE).

Ron Markezich, CIO and vice president of Managed Solutions at Microsoft Corp.,  is responsible for delivering information technology (IT) services for Microsoft. His organization is responsible for increasing employee productivity through the use of Microsoft technology, while significantly decreasing the cost of IT, and for making these benefits available for Microsoft customers.

Markezich ensures that Microsoft’s IT infrastructure runs on Microsoft products before they are allowed to ship. His responsibilities also include protecting the security and privacy of the company’s digital assets, data, and intellectual property.

Before becoming CIO in May 2004, Markezich ran IT infrastructure and line-of-business application organizations inside Microsoft. He has received numerous awards such as the CFO Magazine Best in Finance, Alexander Hamilton award for technology, and Primus Luminary award.

Markezich joined Microsoft in 1998. Before that, he was at Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting) in the Electronics and High Tech group, focusing on improving customer business operations through the use of technology.

He has a bachelor of arts degree in management information systems from the University of Notre Dame.

For this Ethix Conversation, we met on the Microsoft campus with two chief information officers (CIOs) from the top Fortune 50 list, Scott Griffin (The Boeing Company) and Ron Markezich (Microsoft). We discussed such issues as:

  • Technology management
  • Security
  • The strategic role of IT
  • Employee privacy and monitoring
  • Dealing with the impact of change from technology
  • Globalization and outsourcing
  • Protecting intellectual property
  • Future technology

The two companies deal with information technology differently: Microsoft builds and markets this technology, and Boeing uses it for very large-scale product integration. Not surprisingly, these different perspectives lead to contrasting views on many of our questions. In common, however, is the clear need for technology people to be actively engaged in the business issues of their companies.

Ryan LaBrie, an associate professor of management and information systems in the School of Business and Economics at Seattle Pacific University, joined me for this conversation. Ryan spent 10 years working at Microsoft, and I spent 32 years (including six years on the CIO Council) at Boeing.

Al Erisman

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Ethix: Technology leaders are under a lot of pressure to drive down IT cost, but also to create new processes and new products, which means spending more on IT. Does this create schizophrenia for the CIO?

Scott Griffin: I would change the question a bit. The first pressure is to improve productivity and drive down the cost of running the business. IT is a subset of that cost, and an enabler of the productivity improvement.

The other pressure is growing the business. The technologies that help you grow the business are not necessarily the same as those that help you improve productivity and reduce the cost of the business. So there is pressure to get that ratio of investment right. At Boeing, the CIO is part of the Boeing Technology organization and so our productivity and growth investments are scrutinized just like the other R&D.

Sometimes we are so zealous in our attempt to drive down IT costs that we miss an important new technology or product. This was the case with BlackBerries. One of our most cost-conscious business leaders was at an industry meeting at the Pentagon and his government customers were all using BlackBerries. Recognizing their great time-saving advantages, he came back and said he wanted to deploy BlackBerries and he did not mention anything about cost. That helped break through all of the typical cost resistance.

Ron Markezich: We look at sustainer cost, the cost you hate, because that is not adding new value in the business but it’s necessary to “keep the trains running.” We look to drive down the sustainer cost as much as possible. Money we take out of the sustainer we then add into new investments.

I do think there are certain principles you need to have, like standardization. You will standardize on common software, standardize on common hardware, standardize on common applications, which get us to common business practices. We have a bit of advantage because it’s easy for us to standardize on Microsoft software! Scott knows how successful Southwest Airlines is, and they have standardized on one aircraft model — the 737. Their pilots all fly the same plane, their mechanics all work on the same plane, same parts, same suppliers, etc. Every time you allow different types of processes in different divisions or locations, you add cost, so we are relentless in standardization.

We also run Microsoft products internally before they are released to customers. This is good for us in allowing us to take advantage of new technology early, and good for our customers in making sure things are tested on a large scale before the customer gets them.

Too often, technologists understand the technology but cannot describe it in terms of the business value being created. – Scott Griffin

Is that called “eating your own dog food?”

Markezich: Right. And like Scott, we find we can use the new technology to help us drive down sustaining costs and create more room for innovation.

Security Issues

Security has become much more of an important area as dependence on IT has grown. What keeps you up at night regarding security?

Markezich: The thing that concerns me most about security is what I don’t know. If there is a known security threat, your people can figure out ways to defend you. But it is much harder to defend against the attack you don’t know exists. But, as difficult as technical security is, I recognize a major challenge of security is people. Technology is actually easier once you get it figured out. People aren’t like that. Any multinational company is really like a city — you’re always going to have people with values that aren’t uniform. And people can make mistakes or go down the wrong path. You have to build the program with that in mind. We want to create an environment where people can collaborate and share information while at the same time we have to keep in mind that bad things can happen and plan for those situations.

We look to drive down the sustainer cost as much as possible. Money we take out of the sustainer we then add into new investments. – Ron Markezich

Griffin: Nothing keeps me up at night, but I do wake up early! A year ago, I would have said I woke up early thinking about a major virus or worm attack that would deprive us of service. We are a large- scale systems integration company and to lose our engineering and production systems would be devastating.

I still wake up thinking about denial of service, but now I have a couple of additional things to think about. I am concerned that our competitive data is not compromised. It would hurt our ability to be the first to market if somebody else knows where we are going with our products and services. I’m also concerned about protecting personally identifiable information. The privacy issue is a big deal for CIOs today.

Markezich: Perhaps our different views come from the nature of our products. If we were to have a major attack on our internal systems, it would not only hurt us internally but would reflect poorly on our products as well. So there is a double reason to protect the systems.

We have the attack and penetration team, which is the “white hat” hackers that are constantly working to break into our systems. That is actually one of the most creative and fun jobs here. We also have a great antivirus, anti-spyware team, who really understand trends. In addition, we use some third parties for input advice on our security.

To deal with personal information loss, Vista, our next major OS release, has something we call BitLocker Drive Encryption, so in the event your laptop gets stolen, no one can harvest the data from that PC.

The Wall Street Journal Effect

How you do deal with The Wall Street Journal effect? That is when an executive gets on the airplane, reads a Wall Street Journal, finds something really cool and says, “I want one of those,” and he has never done any comparisons. He does not know how it fits with the infrastructure, he just wants it.

Griffin: Boeing has an engineering culture where people tend to suggest solutions rather than define requirements. They read about something on the airplane and come to Boeing IT with a proposed solution rather than describing the problem.

I try to stay current on the major IT industry publications so that I understand what the underlying assumptions are. When I hear a proposed solution, I try to turn it around and ask the business leader to help me understand whether we are trying to grow the business or improve productivity. Once we agree on the problem, we usually have a technology available elsewhere in the company that meets their needs. When we don’t have the technology, we try and solve the problem for the entire Boeing enterprise.

Some people prefer to work in the middle of the night, others in the morning, and so technology allows them to do that. – Ron Markezich

Markezich: We don’t have exactly this issue, because our executives are so close to the technology. We have a different but related problem that all of our users think they can do my job better than I can and are always challenging us to change this or add that. At first I hated it, because it seemed like they weren’t trusting the organization to do its job. But over time, I have come to appreciate this because I think it makes us much better to have a user base constantly holding us accountable and challenging us.

IT Strategic?

I am sure you are familiar with Nicholas Carr’s work, Does IT Matter? Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage, where he suggests that IT is no longer strategic for business. What would your response be?

Markezich: Well, it’s funny. I had the top 100 people from my organization at an off-site leadership meeting about a year ago and Carr happened to be in town staying at the same hotel. So we had him into our meeting to talk with us for an hour or so. I think he is absolutely right in what I would call the IT utility, which is all about just taking the cost down, getting a piece of data from point A to point B. But IT is so much more than that. From a budget perspective, I would consider the IT utility as probably about 30 percent of our total IT budget, and that should come down every year. It is that other 70 percent where you are actually adding a lot of value, innovating. Innovation is certainly not dead there and it certainly matters.

Griffin: If Carr’s book had been titled IT: What Is It Good For? then no one would have read it, and he would not have been invited to speak on all of those talk shows. I thought it was a purposely provocative argument that has led to a useful dialog within the technology community.

We should be talking more about the value of IT than the technology itself. Too often, technologists understand the technology but cannot describe it in terms of the business value being created. Carr’s argument was that we promised strategic value and have not delivered. I would agree with Ron that some of our IT creates significant strategic advantage and some does not.

We are 7×24 because our customers are. Technology has made us more efficient in addressing that requirement. – Scott Griffin

A growing percentage of our revenues at Boeing are coming from IT products and services. In many cases, IT co-creates strategic advantage. For example, on the defense side of our business, we view every asset on the battlefield as a node in a network-centric environment. Every node is a decision maker, an effector and a sensor, and they all talk to each other on the network. Each node can sense its environment; it can make decisions and it can do something about it. Network centric operations is about delivering value to our government customer through information technology.

But Carr’s argument is too broad. It contributes in its own way to The Wall Street Journal effect because when less technical people read it they wonder why you are spending so much on IT.

I do not know if you saw that Nicholas Carr finally admitted that there are places where IT is still strategic (see sidebar).

Downsides of Technology

As technology transforms the way people work, it opens up some new ethical questions, the so-called “downsides” of technology. There are the obvious ones, like piracy and pornography. But then there are the more subtle ones like 24×7 expectations and boundary between work time and personal time. How are you thinking about the issues of technology and what they do, not only for you but to you?

Markezich: Well, that is an interesting question, because I am probably one of the people who causes this problem for employees. My job is to make sure employees can work 24×7 anytime, and they are never limited by technology. I do think if employees can work when or where they want to, it can actually help them in their work-life balance. Some people prefer to work in the middle of the night, others in the morning, and so technology allows them to do that.

I have a person on my staff with two kids. Her husband also works, and so she wanted a very flexible work schedule where she spends a few hours here at work during the day, and then more hours in the evening after the kids go to bed. Technology enables her to do that.

But I understand there is a strong culture of working in the office here at Microsoft, and most people try to spend most of the time in the office.

Markezich: The culture here is very much one of empowerment. So most employees that I speak with feel empowered to go to their manager and discuss different working styles. We do not do that through policy. I would admit that in Microsoft a lot of employees work long hours and there is a lot of work through email done in the evening.

Griffin: I don’t think that technology has created new ethical challenges, but it has made it easier to compromise one’s ethical principles. Pornography is destructive. Whether you go to the store and pick up a magazine or download it in the privacy of your own home, it is still wrong. What technology has done is to change the delivery mechanism and the ease of access.

How many teenage kids in your neighborhood would walk into the local Safeway and steal a DVD movie from the shelf? Most kids would say that would be wrong. Yet some of those same teenage kids will go to a piracy site on the Internet and download a copy of that same movie for free. It is wrong in both cases.

Monitoring Employees

How about privacy issues and workplace monitoring. You do monitoring with your employees?

Griffin: We monitor network traffic to make sure no laws are broken, but we do not do general surveillance of our employees.

Markezich: We do monitor and audit traffic on the network, but we do not do surveillance of employees unless we think there is a particular problem or risk with a particular employee.

Do you have certain sites that are shut down for employees, pornographic sites for example, or is the Internet pretty much open for your employees?

Markezich: We do shut down some sites at the proxy servers, a blacklist of sites. I would not say every pornographic site that exists is on that blacklist. That would be impossible because a new site can start tomorrow and you would not have it. This is a difficult thing for any company: How much money do you invest in creating a blacklist at the proxies?

Griffin: The Internet is an important business tool and we want people to have access. We also want our workplace to be a threat-free, ethical environment, so we block hate and pornography sites. If you try and access them, you get a little screen that pops up and says in effect that accessing this site is not part of what we are paying you to do.

Dealing With Burnout

How do you deal with burnout?

Markezich: We try to encourage flexible work arrangements like I described earlier. I think the company has changed a lot in the last 10 years. It is more mature, and the workforce is also. I think a lot of the folks who worked very long hours in the past now have families, and have better work-life balance. The woman I mentioned earlier actually moved to part time at her request, to be off during the summer. We wanted to create an option for her other than leaving the company.

Griffin: We are 7×24 because our customers are. Technology has made us more efficient in addressing that requirement, not more of a burden. The personal challenge is to decide how much time to spend with family (my first priority) and how much time to devote to my job. I would argue that this dilemma has been there for thousands of years. Farmers have been working seven days a week for a long time.

When I make choices about doing work outside the U.S., it is not a cost thing as much as an issue of talent. – Ron Markezich

Yes, but the farmers had to come in from the fields when it got dark. Technology made it possible to work beyond these natural boundaries.

Griffin: Good point. Technology does allow you to be fiddling with your BlackBerry when you should be spending time with your family, but it does not cause you to do so. It can be addictive. I find myself reading email before I go to bed. I have to remind myself that a challenge that pops up at 11:30 p.m. can usually wait until the morning.

You are right about farmers having an automatic governor on their time. When the sun goes down, it’s over for them. Nothing brings technology workers in from the fields.

The medical profession is also 7×24. They have people who are on call. But they have developed policies so the doctor knows when he is on call and when he is not on call. Has this happened for IT?

Griffin: We have rules for our on-call people so they can take days off and not be called. But our people are enthusiastic. It is not whether they can take a Saturday off, it is whether they will.

Markezich: We have a 7×24 call center that is kind of first level of support. If they cannot fix the problem, they escalate, and there could be someone who gets a call in the middle of the night. Just like a doctor would want to know what is going on with their patient they have been working with for a year or two, a software person wants to know what is happening with their application.

Globalization and Outsourcing

Left to Right: Ron Markezich; Scott Griffin; Tom Ryan, senior communications director; Ryan LaBrie; Al Erisman

Do you personally have employees all over the world?

Markezich: Yes. I just got back two hours ago from Budapest where I met with 250 of our European employees. We use email quite a bit, so I can reach everyone easily. We also use webcasts and Office Live Meeting for various gatherings. But every year we have a conference in Latin America, Asia Pacific, and Europe where we physically get together. As much as I like the tools, there are some things that happen face-to-face that can’t be replicated through the tools. As we mature, we are going to develop classification: Here is what you ought to do face-to-face, here is what you ought to do with email, and here is the kind of thing that you ought to with the other tools.

In many cultures outside the U.S., most of the productive discussions happen after the workday is over.

Markezich: They happen at dinner, they happen at the bar after dinner. They happen in a social setting not in a work setting. In work settings outside U.S., there are a lot of presentations, but there is not a lot of feedback until after the workday is over. We must be very deliberate to build collaboration with our people overseas, including assignments for these people here and for some of our local people in overseas offices. We have tried to capture some of the informal dialogue through blogs, because we can get real-time feedback going back and forth. But if you do a blog, you need to be dedicated to it and keep the content fresh. It still does not replace the value of face-to-face communications.

People embrace change when they initiate it, or have a role in creating it. When someone else initiates the change, they fight it.

Do you do a lot of outsourcing?

Griffin: Boeing IT uses a mix of Boeing employees, contractors, and IT partners around the globe. Our business is global, so we are global. I don’t like the term “outsourcing” because it implies giving something away, rather than partnering with the best technology people regardless of where they are. We use the Cisco term “out-tasking” when we refer to our global IT partners. It means that we give them particular pieces of work that need to be integrated with the work we do ourselves or have out-tasked to other partners.

Markezich: We do outsourcing, but not for the reasons you might think. It’s difficult to find an abundance of talent in the U.S. at this time, so when I make choices about doing work outside the U.S., it is not a cost thing as much as an issue of talent. Also, at Microsoft, much of our revenue comes from outside the U.S. So, we need to get the thinking into our products that reflects what people need in other parts of the world.

What are your challenges in creating a global IT infrastructure to support this global work?

Markezich: Friedmann argued that all the work in India came about through the dot-com build up of telecommunications. But telecommunication in India is still difficult. It is expensive. It is not reliable. So to address the lack of reliability you have to have redundant systems in place and it just makes it more expensive to attain the high service levels. In China, our experience has been that the infrastructure is more reliable than India, though not any cheaper than India. If you think you can go to China and save money, you are mistaken. What India offers today is a higher level of English-speaking workers. Both have a strong technical base.

Griffin: I see globalization in the way in which products are designed and built around the world. Boeing components have been built globally for many years. Just look at the manufacturing content from outside of the U.S. in the 747 or the 777. With the launch of the 787, our global partners are now doing the design as well as the manufacturing. This means our products contain global IP. From an IT point of view, this has created a very challenging task of managing the applications, infrastructure, and security environment to allow global design partners to collaborate in real time.

Protecting Intellectual Property

Doing work overseas certainly puts pressure on the protection of your intellectual property. I read that Microsoft is the number-one pirated software in China. How are you dealing with that?

Markezich: One thing we try to do as a company in China is to build relationships and invest in their economy, just like any other countries. If we make it more of a partnership, both sides benefit. So in China, we have set up our research centers, which in turn make us better products, which will in turn help us establish a better relationship with the Chinese. Same with India. We have quite a bit of investment in India now as well.

We also are building partnerships with governments to encourage education and awareness regarding intellectual property for employees and citizens of that country.

Erisman: In my discussions in other parts of the world, people say they can’t afford to buy software, so they simply buy it off the street or copy it for their internal use. One option they are considering as they come to grips with intellectual property is to move to open-source software. How does Microsoft respond to this?

Markezich: First, there was a time in the U.S. where people did not understand that stealing software was a crime. There needed to be awareness and education in the U.S. as well. When software first came out, people thought it should be free, because it is easy to copy. So there is the education process in other parts of the world as well.

Another approach is to get away from purchased software and more to the model of “software as a service,” something I think will become predominant in developing. For example, in the U.S., people go out and buy an Xbox and play their games at home. In China, people tend more to go to an Internet cafe and play their games there, paying by usage. This demonstrates software as a service, and we believe it will spill over to other areas.

Griffin: Our goal is to buy commercial off-the-shelf software rather than write our own. It is our information that we want and need to protect. We have an IP group in Boeing Technology whose primary job is to make sure that we protect our proprietary information. This means we have to understand the rules of the game in all of the countries where we design, build, sell, and support our products.

Dealing With Resistance to Change

Innovations lead to resistance to change. How you do deal with the resistance to change? Let us start with you, Ron.

Markezich: Microsoft has a bit of an advantage as a technology company. People are looking for change from technology. They are always thinking the bar can be set higher in terms of services and solutions. They love when we throw new technology at them — it just gets eaten up. Where we have a problem is with changes in our business processes. We want to standardize on how we do things around the world, so that the overall system is optimized. To do this requires strong executive leadership. When Bob Herbold was our COO, he would say, “I don’t care where you are in the world, you are following this process and that is it. If you do not want to follow this process, I will find someone to do your job that will follow this process.” And that drove change very well.

So, you deal with change by edict?

Markezich: We call it executive support!

Griffin: Boeing is a technology company as well. We use technology to do large-scale systems integration on an amazing scale. When I look at the primary reasons why technology projects fail, resistance to change always makes the top three. People embrace change when they initiate it, or have a role in creating it. When someone else initiates the change, they fight it. Particularly when the reason for change is not well understood.

I agree with Ron that technology change and process change go hand in hand, and that process change is often tougher. For instance, we used to build enough parts to cover potential shortages. The result was excess inventory. We don’t have shortages anymore, because we don’t build a part unless it is pulled by an order. We changed the process and the result is a minimum of inventory. New technology enables the new process. It would have been a waste to deploy a new technology to manage the old process.

I remember a conversation with Lew Platt when he was CEO of HP. He said one of the hardest things they have to deal with is getting people to kill their own product. People can be very proud of their products, but they have a short life. How do you get technology people to move on to the next product?

Markezich: Nobody wants their product to go away. One of the things we do as a company is to create new opportunities for people, so they move toward a new product rather than away from an old one.

The Impact of Recent Technological Changes

What is the biggest innovation in the last five years that has affected your job?

Markezich: For me it will continue to be the Internet. The way the Internet is being applied in businesses is much different now than it was five years ago. I don’t think there is a customer out there who we do not have some sort of real-time online connection with, and this did not exist five years ago. We connect with our ecosystem of partners and vendors to do R&D, testing, and new product planning via the Internet in real time. Employees use the Internet much more extensively now for doing their work than they did five year ago.

Griffin: I would have to say wireless, which has un-tethered the Internet. I’ll give you one example from our industry. Airline mechanics used to go back and forth many times a day between the flight line and an office. The office held a library of notebooks, from which they would make a copy of a 2D work instruction, which they would then carry to the airplane to aid them in doing the required work. Today they have a wireless, hardened laptop (designed to withstand a five G drop) with 3D pictures. They can access Boeing drawings via the Internet on myboeingfleet.com. They are un-tethered and connected, and wireless has changed the way in which they do their jobs.

I remember when one airline told us their mechanics were spending 60 percent of their time away from the airplane looking up information.

Griffin: Not anymore! Furthermore, if they come across the Internet and grab the data from us, it has authority. They can also draw on the knowledge of the best mechanics in diagnosing and fixing a problem.

The Future

Now let us look into our crystal balls. What are you seeing as the big thing in the next 10 years?

Markezich: We didn’t even have e-bill accounts 10 years ago, and look at it today. And the big thing today, the Internet, existed in the early 1970s in its primitive form. These predictions are very difficult.

Remember the famous quote, “The future is already here, it is just unevenly distributed”? Most likely what we will see in 10 years is already here in some form, like what you said about the Internet.

Griffin: I think the emerging technologies around collaboration are going to be key. Today we have design engineers in Moscow and Seattle concurrently designing in 3D solids. The technology has allowed us to change the way we work with our global partners, and to take significant flow out of the development cycle. Even with the great capability we have today, we are still on the front end of the curve on collaboration technology. New collaboration technologies will have a huge impact on the way we work in the next 10 years. So, when we meet with our IT partners like Microsoft, we always put collaboration on the agenda because we want to know what collaboration technologies they are investing in.

A book written six years ago called The Cluetrain Manifesto explored technology-based collaboration. They showed how companies could interact transparently not only internally but also with all parts of the customer organization, with suppliers, and investors. It becomes a very different world.

Markezich: We are starting to use this now when we have a crash in a Microsoft product. That data goes to us, and we can understand there is a crash, and what it is that caused it. Anyone in the world can contribute to the solution.

Duties of a CIO

What is the scope of your duties? CIO has a lot of different meanings; “career is over” was one. For some, the chief information officer has nothing to do with technology but manages the information assets of the company. How do you define it at Microsoft?

Markezich: It gets redefined here quite a bit too. We recently added a second CIO at Microsoft. The other CIO runs all of our line of business applications, and my responsibility is with all of the infrastructure plus taking what we do for Microsoft, and doing that same thing for a handful of other customers. We also provide feedback to our product teams because we use these products everyday. So my CIO job is becoming more of a product-incubation job, in addition to managing the infrastructure.

Griffin: I have two roles as Boeing CIO, and both are equally challenging. The tactical role is to manage the IT people and resources that keep the company up and running. This includes selecting the right information technology at the right time, protecting our information resources, providing the best IT value for the dollar and providing a challenging and rewarding role for our IT people.

The strategic CIO role is to use information technology as an enabler for new business models. Under the leadership of Jim McNerney, Boeing is on a journey to do four things better — lean out our internal processes, optimize our purchasing, manage and support the business more efficiently, and continuously improve our management of large projects. IT enables all of those changes, and doing so is a very real part of my assignment as CIO.

Dealing With the End User

Both of your companies sell more to middle people than to end users. Microsoft sells to people who interact with the end user. Boeing sells to airlines, who provide the airplane space for end-users. How do you actually care about the end user?

Markezich: We have to deal with end users quite a bit in some segments and in other segments we sell through partners. I think what you will see us is more and more dealing direct with end users as more of our users run in a “software as a service” model.

I focused mainly on the enterprise customers, who I expect will buy more and more through a service-based model. I predict 10 years from now, most corporations will buy their email service and not want their own. This will change again the way we interact with our customers.

Griffin: End users of Boeing products include fighter pilots, astronauts, rocket scientists, airline pilots, war fighters on the ground and at sea, and, of course, you, Al. More and more, the requirements collection on our products is coming from the end users themselves. I love to stop and say hello to the pilots when I board a Boeing 777, because pilots from multiple airlines participated in defining the flight-deck requirements for that airplane and ensuring that it was built to support them. They love it. We did extensive end-user surveys before designing the interior of our new 787. Consequently it is a composite airplane that can be pressurized to a lower altitude, fly with more cabin humidity, and have bigger passenger windows — all of which increase passenger comfort and enjoyment.

Share Your Thoughts

Skip to toolbar