Knowledge can be a dubious thing. In the right hands it can be fuel to drive the growth of your company, but in the wrong ones, you’ll quickly go out of business.
The most important asset for any company is probably its ‘tribal knowledge’. This is the knowledge born out of the experiences of your employees that are documented in their heads, not in any physical copy. It’s often like a secret among the employees with no way of preserving this knowledge in a sustainable manner.
And, that’s where the problem lies, this knowledge is the “currency” that some employees deal in. The rank-and-file level collects much of this currency as possible to get “rich” through promotions and appraisals, managers also hoard knowledge to maintain their positions, leaving senior and C-level managers with no clue how to capture and disseminate this information.Especially important is the tribal knowledge of facility managers, which isn’t something to be guarded or kept hidden, as they may retire without ever passing their knowledge of a building or campus on to the right hands.
Knowledge capture in facilities management is often deferred instead of being documented in embedded systems. However, the need to preserve tribal wisdom must be institutionalized in the business process and documented to ensure transfer of knowledge. Only then can facilities managers reduce their risk of organizational amnesia, as described by Jeremy Shere, an entrepreneur, and blogger.
He suggests companies must start using legacy technology for documenting tribal knowledge of facility staff within their work processes but achieving this through technological intervention can be a challenge for simple documentation systems. There are just too many things that facility personnel learn during their work and the volume of documentation can be huge. Navigating through large and complex paper documents is painstaking for most facility personnel and eats up a large chunk of their productive work hours.
The easy solution to preserve tribal knowledge is an embedded documentation solution that integrates information and offers a clear starting point. Facility managers need a technological solution that offers more than just legacy documentation, they require a complete facility management software with systematic navigation. Such software allows centralized access to all critical facility information such as as-builts, shut-offs, O&Ms, warranties and more so that managers can take immediate action when needed by finding information at their fingertips.
SKYSITE’s Facilities is a good example of facility management software, that also allows markup creation, custom branding, and hyperlink support to navigate across facility documents easily, along with facility information storage. With such software-based workflows, facility managers never get a chance to hoard their tribal wisdom or run with it, and you as the senior manager or CXO get to keep the books on this knowledge and peace of mind when facility staff leaves or retires.
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