New Planning Software Employs Fighter-Pilot Targeting Mechanisms to Prevent Corporate Crashes

By The Scotia Place Centre, PRNE
Sunday, November 14, 2010

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, November 15, 2010 - The New Zealand-based Scotia Place Center has just launched The Universal
Template, its latest offering in a series of decision-support products. "The
'U'-Template affords organizational decision-makers a comprehensive and
long-range 'pilots-eye' view of their projects-in-development", says
psychologist and company founder David L. Herman. "And like a fighter pilot's
psychological 'back-up' mechanisms, The 'U'-Template enables planners and
administrators to maintain that all-important sense of current and future
strategic positioning known to military theorists and cognitive psychologists
as 'situation awareness'''. (Or "S-A").

He adds, "Of course, something as simple as ' knowing where you are' is
one of those facts of everyday life that we all take for granted and at face
value. And so we should. That is, as long as our 'directional signals' remain
fairly constant and intelligible. But under certain conditions-like flying a
jet plane in combat for instance-we can easily find ourselves overwhelmed by
swarms of information rushing at us faster than we can respond to them
advantageously . Result? No more 'S-A'.

"Happily, for jet pilots (and us civilians), when the mind is bogged down
with superfluous information, it somehow reduces this excess material into a
manageable arrangement of information-bearing 'chunks'. And from there on in,
as long as the chunking process continues to modulate our information inflow
within manageable limits, the net weight of our perceptual load will continue
to be supportable, our perceptions will remain constant and reliable and
we'll continue to know where we are and where we're headed."

According to Scotia Place Center product analyst Dr. Lee Herman, "The
U-Template serves as a 'navigational aid' for organizational planners and
managers who need to know why, at the very moment, their projects are
situated here, and why, sometime in the future, they'll be situated there.

And in much the same way that perceptual information-chunking allows
combat pilots to function adequately in the face of severe
information-overload, the regulatory mechanisms of the U-Template can help
project planners to pick up on corporate "directional cues" when faced by
superabundant and often mind-addling project-planning data.

"Put simply, the U-Template converts project-related facts, figures and
root ideas into a complete 'visual 'map', an exhaustive but easily readable
picture of an entire project and each and every one of its component
features. This systematic reduction process allows organizational
decision-makers to "grab hold of" and "get their head around" their own
fledgling ideas and all the available data surrounding them (i.e. all
numerically "hard"–but also descriptively "soft"–material) which is finally
arrayed across an all-inclusive single screen "big picture" display.

"As just noted, the U-Template can information-process a limitless
variety of qualitative and quantitative data: facts, figures, observations,
opinions educated guesses, even illustrative diagrams. With an intake
capacity wide enough to display anything, past, present and future, the
U-Template can dig deep into all those premises and suppositions that once
might have made a fledgling project seem so promising, but after close
inspection through the U-Template lens, may no longer seem to merit a
sizeable gamble of organizational resources.'

"He continues; "To understand how and why the U Template grew into what
it is today, we should hark back several decades to my father's clinical
practice and his New York clientele, many of them white collar professionals
loaded down with stacks of paperwork and often losing their strategic
bearings. (And yes, here's that 'S-A' again)

"In order to keep things manageable for this type of client, dad decided
to package his therapist-client communications with just a few repeated
"chunks", each of them communicating only a single piece of advisory

"Interestingly, as time went by, he found that the more material he
eventually restored to these chunks, the more they seemed to hold together as
low-overload concepts, not only in and of themselves, but also in the
aggregate, all of them working in concert as one contextual 'super-chunk'.
This all-inclusive 'big picture' also helped these clients as a model for
capturing and utilizing "hi-load" information.

"Several decades later, our team at Scotia Place set out to create an
information-chunking decision-support software for data-overloaded project
planners. The instrument we had in mind was to be a chunking and
super-chunking template that would help innovative organizations to parse
tentative project plans and strategies by first reducing and simplifying all
their component features (i.e. all numerically "hard"–but also descriptively
"soft"–material) into one all-inclusive (and all-contextual) schematic
diagram. As an all-at-once, whole-kahuna approach to visual thinking and
perceptual analysis, it would have to information-process a limitless variety
of qualitative and quantitative data: facts, figures, observations, opinions
educated guesses… just about everything and anything"

Dr. Alex Davidson adds: "When viewed on a monitor screen, the U-Template
affords the user organization a window on its own inner and outer worlds, an
information-filled visual field revealing trouble spots to be scrupulously
avoided and destination markers to be adventurously followed. Now anyone
needing to pilot a project from start to finish can literally see (again,
with full Situation-Awareness) whether or not it's really going to 'fly' and
stands a decent chance of reaching its designated 'target."

    Contact Info:

    David L Herman
    Founder and R+D leader
    The Scotia Place Centre
    Tel: +64-9-533-0121

David L Herman, Founder and R+D leader, The Scotia Place Centre, Tel: +64-9-533-0121, E-mail: davidherman at, Web:

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