Good Information Management Practices for Engineering

    “In the digital age, knowledge is vital and documents are the DNA of knowledge “

    Who said that was Richard Thoman, former CEO of Xerox and the phrase is especially appropriate in engineering contexts, where the Document x Knowledge ratio is quite evident.

    The management of the technical knowledge goes through a correct information management. In this post we will address two information management processes that deserve to be highlighted:

    The Centralization of Information:

    To avoid having to “reinvent the wheel” with each new activity, employees must have quick access to the information.

    Centralizing registration and access to documents is a good practice and facilitates access to knowledge.

    It is recommended, however, the use of information management systems engineering experts, the so-called EDMS (Engineering Document Management Systems). A good technical document management system will help organize, classify and ensure security of your engineering information.

    The Information “Movement”:

    The engineering information moves. It can travel between disciplines or project teams, from the designers to the purchasing area, from the engineering office to the construction site and so on…

    An engineering venture, by its very nature, involves numerous agents and technical communication that is performed through documents is critical. Mismanagement of this communication or lack of traceability of the information generated may result in mistaken purchases, design errors, and expensive constructive failures.

    EDMS usually have a “workflow” function that can address the mentioned communication processes. However, care must be taken because the system chosen must be flexible enough to suit its processes and enable collaboration between agents, in an easy and at the same time auditable way.

    Finally, with centralized information and its managed “movement”, the risk of inconsistency, communication failure between agents and execution errors caused by this failure is reduced.

    In large enterprises for the construction of industrial plants, the processes described here will also facilitate the so-called handover, which is the transition from the design phase to the operation phase.