All 3 entries tagged Asset

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April 10, 2009

Maintenance, Management, Life–Cycle, KM…

Writing about life-cycle costs asset management for my PMA. Actually came to my mind that the basic question of management is always related to the basic question of Life-Cycle. It`s such (or it at least should be) a basic thing, the idea that a manager should make decisions thinking about the life-cycle consequences of those decisions that is sounds funny that somebody has to be remembered of that by a whole body of knowledge. 

But is certainly something we human beings tend to forget. I had a teacher on my MBA who was an specialist on Ethics. He wrote a very interesting book about how the basic question people`s life (and for extension in all business related sciences) is always about spending more, enjoying the moment or saving for later. Reminds me of the old rock`n roll motto that used to say you should have a fast, crazy life and die before being 30....Well personal decisions are personal decisions, but when managing an organisation in which several people depend on you you need to have a non-r`nr approach and think about life time implications and decisions...



March 27, 2009

A bit about 5s, organizing a clean enviroment of work

Reading a bit for the future KBAM PMA (still finishing PEUSS....). It came to my mind and incident and something I learn from an older person.

Many years ago I worked on a structure that had a good mix of (very!) experienced people with (very!) junior employees. I was on the second group but I had risen a bit faster so I actually worked as a kind of assistant to the general manager of the area. One day this manager was assigned to take over another area (as well as the one he already had). The are had a quite repetitive work, dealing with LOTSSSSS of papers. It was very easy to lose a paper in there (and depending on the paper it could have quite serious financial consequences).

This manager of mine was a senior person, with about 15-20 years experience but was not a formally educated person and it also had a bit of difficulties communicating, he was not good at it (even though he had some other fantastic qualities). When he assumed the new are he was appalled by the amount of paper and by the lack of organisation on some people`s desks (even though, to be fair, it seemed to work that way because loosing papers was not a particular problem of that area). The thing is that right in the begining he got everyone together (about 20 people on that area) and said that personal stuff should be kept to a minimum on the desks and that they should be very organised, with everything on defined, standardised places). He understood that by doing that the risk of loosing anything would be minimised as productivity would also increase. I did not know (and I`m pretty sure that to this day he still does not know) that this approach is the basis of the Japanese 5S way of managing the working space. Once again, he did not need to know that theory, was just common sense working (like I said very long ago here in this blog, in the end it is all common sense). That made me think, specially because I`m not a organised person. I`m not going to finish the case because this simple request, done in the way he did (and I told him I think he did not do it properly and he agreed), caused all sorts of problems, uncovering serious relantionship questions and ending with the dismissal of a employee.

That entry if for KBAM, for that reason I`ll not go down the road of discussing the communication issues. But the idea of having a organized space stickied with me. So After that I always had quite a bit of organisation when dealing with work. Documents stay on the right place, with the right names, files are organised on the computer, I always do back up, etc etc. I keep a bit of mess on the space itself, in part because it is part of me and I don`t think would be helpful to add any more stress. Besides in the last few years being creative was part of my profession and a bit of confusion, colours, information are proven to help creativity. But for production places, with many parts, objects I think the idea of having a organised space with established processes make all sense.


March 12, 2009

How much would you pay for all the knoweledge in the world?

I did my MBA in finance. I did not particularly love it, but it was useful. But there was one specific module called asset valuation that I liked. I was particularly impressed with a book called "Value at Risk"by an Indian-American scholar called Damodaran. He is a major expert on the subject (Actually pretty much all his writings are available for free in his web page http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar/ ) . It was fascinating the way he worked solutions to try to put a value on everything (on a economical sense, of course). For example, how to measure the value of an organisation that never profited? Or of something that is still a plan? He discuss it. 

Of course that is interesting only for people that enjoy financial matters (And important to say not all economists understand or like finance. Several economists are dedicated to historical questions, or development, or marketing related issues, etc etc). But that idea of trying to find a way (creative, often) to measure things often comes to my mind.

All techniques we study recommend (and that is quite logical) that measures should be established to measure the evolution of the initiatives. Fantastic. How to measure knowledge? Of course there are processes and suggestions in several papers. You could measure number of improvements taken from knowledge present on a database, or number of ideas collected from employees, etc etc. BUt is that a good measure?

One could also think about how much money was taken out of an database, or how many bytes on a database..all numerical measures. But are that a good wat to measure?

Of course the best way would depend on the circumstance, on what you are using Knowledge Management for (and a very important feature is that you have to know EXACTLY what you are using it for, exactly what you are expecting to gain from it.


But is something hard to measure...

 



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