Could M-Files have prevented the destruction of the Death Star?
With the DVD release of “Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens” and the production of the next two thirds of the new trilogy underway, how could the Star Wars universe take some ideas from the real world and apply them to a galaxy far far away?
Take for instance Quality Management Systems (QMS) and the construction of the first Death Star from “Star Wars IV: A New Hope”. If the Galactic Empire used M-Files for quality management, would the Rebel Alliance still have been able to destroy the Death Star?
The Rebel Alliance learned of the construction project for the Death Star through an informant and formed a strategy to steal the blueprints so they could examine them for vulnerabilities, the premise of which is being used for the first Star Wars spinoff movie Rogue One. There were multiple plans and parties involved in this operation. Toprawan Rebels gained most of the tech specs before they could be transferred to the Imperial Information Centre — a former Stormtrooper stole the rest. When combined, the two sets formed a complete schematic of the Death Star.
If the Galactic Empire was using M-Files, they would have been able to lock down security on the plans so that only the Death Star’s architect, Bevel Lemelisk, and senior Empire officials could access them. The fact that multiple parties were able to access and download the plans was clearly a violation of document control best practices and a serious data breach. Furthermore, if the Imperial Information Centre were conducting timely internal audits, they would have realised that the plans were stolen/copied and put extreme measures in place to guard against sabotage of the Death Star project.
The Death Star’s architect had quite a challenge on his hands. He needed to design thermal exhaust ports large enough to vent exhaust from a moon sized battle station with a laser powerful enough to blow up a planet. Who knows what type of good manufacturing practices or Galactic ISO guidelines Lemelisk had to use, as this was the very first Death Star. However, there were some design best practices that the architectural team ignored that might have thwarted the negative outcome.
“I’m envisioning one as ‘Orbital Battle Station Best Practice A12568: Ensure there is no open, straight channel/port from environment/space to reactor core,’” says David Stanley, product manager, M-Files. “Because Orbital Battle Stations need to be battle-ready, Lemelisk kept the port that led directly to the reactor system only two meters wide. He also, sensibly, ensured it was ray-shielded. Fatally, however he didn’t consider another weapon type: the photon torpedo. For those of you who aren’t Star Wars fans, photon torpedoes were dropped into this port, which caused the chain reaction leading to the destruction of the Death Star.
If the Galactic Empire Death Star Project had used M-Files QMS as part of their manufacturing process, a number of factors would have made sure the Death Star was adequately protected.
o The Galactic Empire Quality Team would have recorded a risk of there being both laser cannons and torpedo fire during a battle.
o During the content approval of the plans, the plans would likely have been rejected because all potential risks weren’t being addressed.
o If the flaw had snuck through the design approval process, there would have been several audits during the construction process and a Non-Conformance would have been recorded regarding the exhaust port and a Corrective Action created to make sure it was properly re-configured.
o By using M-Files QMS, the Galactic Empire Quality Team would have been able to have full visibility and traceability from the plans creation and who missed the original error, through to the audit that found the problem, the actions taken to resolve it and even to the next version of the plans that included the updated design.
M-Files certainly isn’t rooting for the Dark Side, however had the Galactic Empire used M-Files QMS they would have been able to protect the Death Star and the Rebel Alliance would never have won the Battle of Yavin.