Boeing’s (NYSE: BA) 787 Dreamliner has had six official delays in its launch data, and more if every glitch in production is counted. Boeing says it will announce another new release plan in two weeks. Then, it will have to wait for FCC certification, which could further delay the official release of the 787 for weeks or even months.
The AP reports that Jim Albaugh, Boeing’s president and CEO for airplanes, said Wednesday that Boeing needs the Federal Aviation Administration “to agree to the fixes we’re going to put in place” and to restart certification test flights before the company can release a delivery schedule.
Boeing would not be in a holding position now if it had been even moderately competent when it built and tested the plane. Delays have been blamed on everything from suppliers to labor relations. Each of these could have been foreseen and solved if the company was well-managed. Somehow Boeing CEO W. James McNerney Jr has kept his job. Boeing’s board should have gotten rid of him long ago, even if its was only to send the message that the company took the delays seriously.
But, Boeing has sent the wrong message to its customers, shareholders, and employees. Deadlines mean nothing. Excuses are fine. It is alright to accept an effort that is well short of excellent.
Douglas A. McIntyre