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Formula for Success?

I recently attended breakfast presentation on testing and quality hosted by Logica. Nothing unusual in that you might think, but this one was as it included an interesting insight from the world of Formula One.

Mark Preston – technical guru with time at Arrows, McClaren and Super Aguri - took us through what can and does go wrong in Formula One, where they always expect the unexpected. An exciting subject, that definitely captured the interest of at least the male portion of the audience. Given that his worry is one man navigating two tons of metal and carbon fibre around a twisty track at up to 200 mph, I wasn’t sure about the relevance to our industry.

But reflecting upon his comments and looking at it from a more abstract view maybe we can see the following parallels.

Formula One cars are packed full of complex technology that does two things – the first is getting the car round the track as fast as possible and the second is mitigating the effects when a part of the first goes wrong. So, performance and protection.

In Formula One, when something in the Performance package breaks they rely on the Protection package to prevent a disaster, and get the driver back into the pits without too many scratches.

In our world recently we’ve had quite a few things that broke or went wrong. Many industry commentators think we just need to increase the Protection but surely we need to focus on the Performance?

In F1, they don’t just beef up Protection to make up for shortcomings in Performance. If an F1 car goes too fast they slow it down rather than just giving the driver a bigger crash helmet.

Hugh Cumberland

Product Strategy Director

BT Global Banking & Financial Markets


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