Page 28 - ATC Special Bulletin Series - Training & Simulation 2022-01
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systems of the value and complexity of those impacted by new systems are expected, a phased approach would present far less risk to stakeholders. It may be far more appropriate to identify intermediate steps to full deployment, with each being validated before proceeding. If issues are encountered, these can be resolved or mitigated when they are easily identifiable. This may well not be possible if all elements are rolled-out as one package or all stakeholders are transitioned in parallel.
Many research and delivery projects are now driven by an Agile development philosophy, which hasn’t characteristically fitted well with the cadence of a typical validation process. Agile working methods prioritise efficiency and flexibility over more comprehensive review processes. As described previously, the timeline of even a single validation activity can be many months long. How then, can validation methodology evolve to work alongside rapid development whilst optimising resources and reducing the duration of R&D lifecycles? The answer may be lower-fidelity validation techniques (e.g. gaming, modelling and table-top exercises) that can enable several more iterations in the design process whilst progressively removing risk to stakeholders. This would be in stark contrast to the ‘develop first, then validate’ approach which is commonly seen.
At Think, we have been monitoring the appearance of novel technologies and the shifting priorities of ATM stakeholders. Based on this, we now think that a fresh look at the current validation methodology is warranted to move it towards the future and to continue to support validation practitioners moving forward.
While the wider R&D community has not established a co- ordinated response to this need, we at Think have both the insight into prior methodology development and the ability to proactively take action. We are in-tune with cutting-edge developments within the ATM industry (and others) and are in a good position to foresee the shortfalls of the currently-adopted approach to validation.
We propose a more flexible yet robust methodology, which focusses on encouraging ‘common sense’ decisions by practitioners rather than constraining them with a potentially obstructive framework and out-dated validation tools. Whatever takes form will need to be resilient to future developments, scalable, easily augmented and cost effective to all stakeholders to provide full support to the R&D community.
Think are currently in the initial stages of exploring the needs of

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