Specialized Aerospace Companies Revolutionize Urban Mobility – and Optimize Project Management with Surwayne

Image: Bell Helicopter
Image: Bell Helicopter

The future of mobility in urban environments was impressively demonstrated by Uber at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Flying taxis that take off and land vertically in the smallest of places will turn the way we travel from A to B in cities upside down. While street traffic in metropolises from New York to Tokyo comes to a standstill on a daily basis, urban airspace has so far remained unused.

That could soon change. Autonomous aircraft systems are the key to new concepts for urban mobility. Providers such as Uber are the ones primarily contributing ideas and pushing new developments. Aircraft developers and aeronautical engineers have been working meticulously behind the scenes on the technical innovations themselves for many months. Yet, only the worldwide breakthrough of mobility platforms such as Uber has opened up new development perspectives in commercial air traffic for the niche market Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Since Uber quickly realized during its global expansion that the innovation potential for new transport concepts on land and water is limited, it was only airspace that remained.


However, airspace is far more than an emergency solution or last resort. Yet, because of legal hurdles and a lack of imagination, airspace for new mobility concepts was almost never up for debate. A specialized aerospace company partnering with Uber has this imaginative power and is working to fill the gap in airspace with new offers as quickly as possible. “Our business is all about designing and developing autonomous aircraft systems,” tells us a ‎Program Manager at the aerospace company, describing the company’s mission.


Virtual Project Team at Four Global Locations

A virtual team carries out research and development at three locations in Europe and the US. The company wants to revolutionize urban mobility. In addition to its core business consisting of applications for research and military, new aircraft systems for commercial use are being developed for quite some time.

During the course of a research project last year, the company realized how the project work was changing. Geographically dispersed teams work around the clock on new design and concept studies. The fast analysis and evaluation of interim results combined with sensing the team spirit is important for project success. The Program Manager: “The challenge for me as a project manager is to create an open working culture. We work at different locations. Open feedback and transparency are crucial to our success as a project team.”


Surveying the Project Team Every Two Weeks

The team decided to introduce Surwayne. As a feedback-based project monitoring tool, Surwayne supports the team by conducting regular surveys every two weeks. With just a few clicks, employees can submit anonymous feedback and their personal assessment of the project status. Thanks to Surwayne’s intuitive usability and the speed with which the survey can be completed, the response rate regularly exceeds 80 percent.

“I get an overview very quickly thanks to the representative feedback regarding what is running well and where the problems lie,” says the Program Manager, confirming the benefit of using Surwayne. In fact, he speaks to his team in regular update meetings. However, in such meetings it’s all about hard facts; soft factors such as the clarity of priorities or the atmosphere among the team are rarely discussed. “Surwayne helped us create a new openness in our team. Every piece of feedback counts – and every bit of feedback is immediately actionable.”


Young specialized aerospace companies develop autonomous aircraft systems. Virtual project teams works around the clock, across the globe, on new concepts for urban mobility. The fast and open exchange of feedback on the project is critical for successful teamwork. With Surwayne, all team members can regularly share their assessment anonymously. The result: Often it is the apparently small things that make a big difference and boost team spirit.

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Jasmin Daneschumand

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Jasmin Daneschumandjasmin@surwayne.com

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