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Passing on knowledge

  • 1.  Passing on knowledge

    Posted 07-19-2020 11:27
    An interesting subject, on which I worked a lot in the past as Executive VP of my Group. As a result I created a Knowledge Management system based on kiosks and forums, monitored by experts. The key principle is that like for production the only value is on what you extract from the knowledge base: pulled flow and not pushed flow!!!
    Many companies spend millions to enter data into their computer system and nobody ever consults those data. Whenever somebody has a problem he raises it in a specialized forum. Then experts answer freely contributing their experience, this gives a livley forum and at one point the monitoring expert freezes the good solution which works in the forum. This was the only way I found to really pass on the knowledge.
    Alain Honnart
    Fellow ASM
    European award 1989
    Former Ex VP Industry Vallourec
    Presently consultant and MD of a powder metallurgy company.

    Alain Honnart FASM
    Metal Value

  • 2.  RE: Passing on knowledge

    Posted 07-22-2020 08:27
    I agree with your comments.  As part of an internal consultancy, we had access to decades of testing information and failure analysis reports that the varied customers across the company did not have, or had not kept after having a problem investigated.  Searches were time-consuming, though at least rudimentary indexing had been done.

    One new manager came in and showed us a new laser disc format that would be used to scan all old reports so that they could be then discarded, saving space.  I pulled out a 5-1/4 inch floppy disk (this was around 1990, youngsters, look it up  ;-)  and told him that I had written this report just two years prior, but there was only one PC in my whole building that could still access the report.  I asked him what would prevent his laser disc from going obsolete five years from now and costing us all the old reports?  We kept the paper.  Only about ten years ago did we finally get a system that allowed word indexing the old reports and keeping pictures of adequate quality, that was satisfactory for recording the oldest reports.

    Paul Tibbals

  • 3.  RE: Passing on knowledge

    Long Island Admin
    Posted 07-23-2020 10:23
    Paul and co -

    I remember transferring data from punch tape to punch cards, when
    tape became obsolete.  Then transferring punch cards to reel tape.
    There was a wall of shelves (floor to ceiling) with hundreds of boxes
    of cards.  It took months to do that.  All of that fit on 1/4 of one reel.  
    Of course, we made multiple reels for backup.  That wall was condensed 
    down to three reels in a desk drawer.  Several years later, the reels were
    obsolete and removed from the computing center.  We move the reels 
    to tape cartridges.  Three cartridges fit in my hand.  Only a few years later, 
    we moved everything on to hard-disk.  

    One punch card stores 80 bytes, at 2mm thick.
    1 kilobyte is 25mm thick, or nominally one inch thick.
    1 megabyte would be a 25m stack of cards, the height an eight story building.
    1 gigabyte would be 25km
    1 terabyte would be 25,000km

    - Jim