The Other CRM: Lessons from the High Stakes World of Combat Aviation

Hayley Tuller

Hayley Tuller

The Other CRM: Lessons from the High Stakes World of Combat Aviation with Hayley Tuller


In the world of military aviation, CRM stands for "Crew Resource Management," or the study of the impact of human factors on aviation accidents, and how key behaviors can minimize risk and improve mission accomplishment. Born in the late 1970's and early 1980's -- a period characterized by frequent, deadly, and avoidable aviation accidents -- CRM seeks to identify, codify, and promote the transfer of critical skills that have a risk protective effect through formal and informal training, inculcation, and analysis of case studies. The success of CRM in reducing aviation deaths has resulted in its adoption in other high-risk fields, including Healthcare and Firefighting. It is a success story of understanding how the machine-human interface can be "hacked" for maximum positive results.

CRM's key skills are Decision Making, Assertiveness, Mission Analysis, Communication, Leadership, Adaptability/Flexibility, and Situation Awareness. Honed for the world of military aviation, it turns out that these skills transfer extraordinarily well to the life of a Salesforce Admin! They can equip the Admin to navigate the sometimes challenging world of user adoption and application lifecycle development by promoting clear communication and anticipating risks to "mission accomplishment," and equipping the Admin with the tools needed to mitigate that risk.

In this session, I will discuss how three mental schemas provided by CRM: "the Shared Mental Model," the critical skill of Assertiveness, and the power of the Checklist to promote quality are directly transferable to the work of the Awesome Admin, and easily adoptable by anyone.


I am very lucky to have had two amazing opportunities in my professional life: my Salesforce Journey is my second. My first career was as a Cryptologist and a linguist in the US Navy. I served 20 years, and the last half of my career I served as a Naval Aircrewman in combat operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2012 I retired and used my GI Bill to go back to school and achieve my long-postponed Bachelor's Degree. However, as a newly minted college graduate, I struggled for a few years to find my place. I knew I wanted to work in nonprofits and do something with data science, but beyond that, I didn't have a firm plan. I stumbled onto Salesforce when I was asked by my nonprofit to find the best solution for tracking client data, and my second amazing window of opportunity flew open. Since then, I've become certified as an administrator, achieved Ranger on Trailhead, and made the shift to consulting where I specialize in nonprofit implementations. I found my second tribe!

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Shane Hayes