Module 7.5 CRM Research Project.

Dwayne M. JohnsonEmbry Riddle AeronauticalUniversityASCI 516December 3, 2017                  ABSTRACT CrewResource Management, also termed as Cockpit Resource Management (CRM), is theeffective use of all available resources for flight crew personnel to assure asafe and efficient operation, reducing error, avoiding stress and increasingefficiency (Skybrary, 2017). CRM has had an enormous impact on aviation as awhole. The CRM approach has resulted in aviation becoming the safest mode oftransportation available. It has examined the history of aviation, the causesof accidents within the aviation system as well as group dynamics as it relatesto team performance.

Just as CRM has improved aircrew performance and coordination,the concepts of CRM may also be adaptable to non-aircrew related professions.In this paper, the researcher aims to discuss CRM concepts and answer the questionsof whether or not CRM concepts are effective when applied to non-aviation(Aircrew) career fields      Why Crew Resource Management (CRM)Crew Resource Management (CRM) is the effective use of all availableresources for flight crew personnel to assure a safe and efficient operation,reducing error, avoiding stress and increasing efficiency (Skybrary, 2017).In the early days of aviation, it was widely believed that the ability to safelyoperate an aircraft was primarily dependent upon each individual pilot’smastery of the aircraft. (Helmreich, Foushee, 1993). Over time, advances intechnology changed the dynamics in aviation. Airplanes became more much larger;jet engines were introduced and many systems had become automated.

It becameclear that a pilot’s job was now significantly more complexed than it was inthe past. Before long, it became increasingly more overwhelming for one pilotto safely operate an aircraft on his/her own (Taggart, 1994). It was estimatedthat between 1970’s -1990’s, approximately 65% of all aviation incidents wherecaused by insufficient leadership, ineffective communication, poor decision-makingand a lack of crew coordination. In other words; it was not the absents oftechnical ability, but rather due to the ineffective use of available resources(Taggart, 1994). The Evolution of CRMToday’s CRM was originated 1979,by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as a Flight-decksafety workshop dedicated to Resource Management (Cooper, White, & Lauber,1980). NASA’s research determined that most aviation accidents were a result ofhuman error including poor communications, leadership and decision making. NASAcoined the phrase Cockpit Resource Management Black, R.

,1993)..  The term CRM is typically used with anyprocess of training air crew to maximize the effective use of available human resourceswithin the aircraft flight-deck. Since the time of NASA’s workshop, CRM hasevolved through the years and has become an effective way of changing aircrewbehaviors and attitudes (Black, R.,1993).

Thefirst complete CRM program focus on psychological testing, leadership and Interpersonalbehavior (Helmreich& Merritt, in press; Merritt & Helmreich, 1997). One flaw in theearliest evolution of CRM was that the focus on interpersonal behavior did noteffectively represent aircrew behavior while in the cockpit. The second Generation of CRM began to addressconcepts that were specifically related to aviation and flight operations (Helmreich & Merritt, inpress; Merritt & Helmreich, 1997). Training in the second generation were heavily centeredaround team building, situationalawareness, briefing strategies and stressmanagement. By the third generation, the training target hadexpanded to include other flight crew personnel such as dispatcher, flight attendantsand maintainers (Helmreich& Merritt, in press; Merritt & Helmreich, 1997). Therewas a major change in the fourth evolution when the Federal AviationAdministration (FAA) initiated an advanced qualification program which made CRMan integral part of flight operations and aircrew training (Helmreich & Merritt, inpress; Merritt & Helmreich, 1997). With the current iteration of CRMcome the realization that it is next to impossible to completely eliminateerrors in aviation operations. Aviation professionals can do as much aspossible to eliminate errors through system safety concepts, checklist andtraining; but it is also imperative for aviators to manage risk and attempt totrap errors before the can occur (Helmreich& Merritt, in press; Merritt & Helmreich, 1997).

Current CRM focusing on effective communication, workloadmanagement, situational awareness and mitigating dangerous patterns and hazardousattitudes (Houston, S.,2017.).

Pilots and aircrew in the aviation community have greatlybenefited from the concepts of CRM. Due to the fact that the results of Piloterrors have a high level of visibility and are often catastrophic, the impact onsafety and operations are generally immediate (AviationKnowledge, 2017). However, errorsmade in other careers such as maintenance personnel may often go undiscovered.

Therefore,the concepts of Crew Resource Management were adopted by the maintenance field.A maintenance adaptation of Crew Resource Management was developed called has MaintenanceResource Management (AviationKnowledge, 2017).  The aviation industry recognized the need to increase safety andminimize errors throughout all aviation operations (AviationKnowledge, 2017). Managementat all levels can see the benefits of expanded their programs to include membersin all area of aviation including air traffic controller and ground service personnel(AviationKnowledge,2017).

Much like MRM, these late adopters implement the same concepts ofCRM i.e. effective communication, workload management, situational awareness andmitigating dangerous patterns and hazardous attitudes. These programs arenot exclusively designed for operations personnel, they are for members of allareas within an organization (AviationKnowledge, 2017). Programs such as MRM andLogistics Resource Management (LRM) focus on the organization as a whole, ensuringeveryone is focused on creating a safer environment and minimizing error throughout(AviationKnowledge,2017). This approach helps to foster awareness of human factor elements withinan organization and their potential impact on performance (AviationKnowledge,2017).  Experience withResource managementThe US Air Force (USAF) adopted CRM and later transformedinto a program that was very applicable to me as a transporter. The Air Forceto recognize that the concepts of CRM could and should also be applied to thecarrier fields that interacted with pilots and aircrew.

In attempt to make allAir Force aviation as safe as possible, CRM eventually morphed into MRM. Theconcepts of MRM where nearly identical the CRW except the program was specificthe Maintainers. Shortly after the start of MRM, the USAF Air Mobility CommandHeadquarters A4TR (training office) rolled out Logistics Resource Management(LRM).

LRM was presented as a mandatory training requirement. Once it was released, aerial ports throughout the Air Forcewhere given a very short time frame to ensure LRM training was completed for100% of all aerial port personnel (Military and civilian). LRM was designed tointroduce all personnel into the culture and knowledge of human factors philosophyfocusing on the importance, requirements, and implementation of LRM principlesinto daily logistics activities. The goal was to decrease on-the-job-injuriesand damage to equipment and to improve communication, effectiveness, situationalawareness and safety in logistics operations.At the time LRM was introduced, I was the Non-CommissionedOfficer In Charger (NCOIC) of our squadrons training office.

As a result, I waschosen with three other NCO’s to become LRM trainers and train the remainder ofthe Aerial Port Flight. Due to the unavailability of other trainers, ourtraining team was reduced by half.  Twoof us were left alone to conduct training for the entire flight. I vividlyremember a meeting I had with my Chief at the time. He called all of thetrainers to his office to discuss how we would get everyone trained in theshort suspense we were given. Several people didn’t show for the meeting so Iwas there with one Jr. NCO who had no input. I informed him that training wouldbe nearly impossible with the number of trainers we had due to the fact that werun 24 hr.

ops and we constantly had people in and out on TDY and leave. Isuggested that since the current trainers were also qualified to certify othertrainers, our first few classes should be dedicated to certifying moretrainers. Our Chief was opposed to this suggestion; Instead, he decide to havea small team of trainers, half of which were not available and all of whichalready had full time jobs to cover, attempt to train nearly 200 personnel inabout 7 months. This would prove to bean impossible task for several reasons. What we were being directed to do wasthe exact opposite of what we were to learn from LRM.

Ultimately, we did notreach our training goal. Additionally, our organization was not made any saferas a result of the actions taken on the first LRM initiative. In fact, Ibelieve the organization was made less safe do to this approach. This lastexample of leadership is precisely the reason why any resource managementprogram must include all levels of an organization. Safety Culture in theWorkplace We have seen how CRM has transformed over the years fromoriginally being used on the flight-deck to all inflight crew to maintainersand on to logisticians. It would seem this approach would trickle down to allworkplaces. Each year, American employers spend Billions of dollars on work relatedsafety incidents (Safety Communications, 2017). On average, each work-relatedsafety incidents cost employers roughly $40,000, much of which is not coveredby insurance (Safety Communications, 2017).

According to The Liberty MutualWorkplace Safety Index, a company can make a $4 return for every $1 invested onworkplace safety improvements (Safety Communications, 2017). For this reason,companies are increasing their focus on safety communications. Today’sSafety conscious business are adopting a program called Enterprise risk management (ERM). “ERM isthe process of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling the activities ofan organization in order to minimize the effects of risk on an organization’scapital and earnings” (E-Commerce, 2017). The Enterprise risk management processis not just risks associated with safety incidents, but it also focuses on therisks associated with financial, strategic, operational factors (E-Commerce,2017). The ERMframework is centered around a top-down safety culture. In order for all otherelements to be effective, the organization must have the right safety culture as well as strong leadership.

 ERM sounds good in theory but does it actually work? In 2010,North Carolina State University published a Report on the Current State of Enterprise Risk Oversight (E-Commerce,2017). The report concludedthat ERM processes are fairly immature (E-Commerce, 2017). As a result,companies that use the ERM program may end up with a rather large list of risksthat need attention but lack the knowledge and ability to actually do anythingto correct the problems (E-Commerce, 2017). In other words, ERM may do nothingmore than increase the awareness of hazards and risk with top organizationalleaders.    ConclusionCRM concepts have been proven to beeffective in the cockpit as well as with the entire cast of aircrew members. Ithas also been successfully adopted to other related carrier fields such aircraftmaintenance and Logistic.

 CRM is basedon a few very basic principles that form a strong foundation for developing astrong safety culture and a safe work environment. Leadership, EffectiveCommunications Situational Awareness, Workload Management, Group Dynamics, RiskManagement and Stress Awareness are integral parts of an effective CRM program.Today’s businesses, are relatively new to the application of these principlesto workplace safety but they are on the right track. In time, knowledge andexperience will drive ERM into forefront. Business leaders understand that safercompanies are more productive and more profitable. In my opinion, this alonewill push companies to more aggressive in the implementation of ERM          Work CitedCrew Resource Management. (2017). Retrieved November 26,2017, from https://www.,R. L., & Taggart, W. R.

(1995). CRM: Where are we today? In Proceedings ofthe CRM Industry Update Workshop. Seattle, WA, September 12-13, l995. Black, R. (n.d.

). (1993). Developing and implementing CRMprograms.

In E. Wiener, B. Kanki, & R. Helmreich (Eds.), Cockpit ResourceManagement (pp. 421-446).

San Diego, CA:Houston, S. (2017.). Crew Resource Management: You mad, bro? November23, 2017, from https://www.thebalance.

com/crm-crew-resource-management-282884AviationKnowledge. (2017) Retrieved November 23, 2017, from, 2.

S. (n.d.

). Safety Communications for Today’sWorkforce. Retrieved December 01, 2017, from an M-Commerce Technologies | Customer …

(n.d.).Retrieved December 1, 2017, from,5036.1     

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