Tuesday 14 July 2015

Quantified success stories 89 through 91 - Three more success stories from Fluor

Here are three more quantified KM stories from Fluor, the US-based construction company, taken from a paper called The Institutionalization of Knowledge Management in an Engineering Organization by Amy Javernick Will

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Fluor has a history of KM going back over a decade, and their annual Knowvember campaign attracts a host of KM success stories from the use of their KM Framework known as Knowledge Online.

Some of these success stories are published  , and here are three of them.

One award winning story was from a member of the engineering community in South Africa. He was commissioning a plant and found that a transfer line from a fired heater was leaking. The cost of having to flare natural gas is approximately US $120,000 per day; therefore, time was of the essence to obtain a solution. Not having the expertise available locally, he posted a discussion forum topic to the piping community with an urgent response time requirement of 3 days. Within two days, he received responses from Houston, Haarlem and New Delhi providing the answers needed to fix the plant. 

In another example, the topic was unlikely, but the story highlighted the value that searching in Knowledge OnLine can provide. An employee in South Carolina was having difficulties with a computer software tool. The program continued to lock up, causing the project disruptions. The employee reported the problem to the software company. Over the next two months, despite over 25 emails, the company was unable to provide a solution. At a loss for how to provide a fix to the software, the employee posted this problem to a discussion forum on Automation Tools and Technology on a Friday afternoon. By Monday morning, he had received a response from New Delhi by an employee in that office who had experienced the same problem. They were able to provide a “fix” that solved the Greenville office’s problem. This story was dispersed throughout Fluor Corporation to reiterate the benefits of Knowledge OnLine and to teach people to search within the Fluor Corporation community. 

 The KM team also communicates the value of Knowledge OnLine in other ways. The Knowledge OnLine homepage has stories that are updated bi-weekly. One story, entitled, “Sound Familiar?” was intended to show people the time benefits that searching the system can provide. In the true story, an Engineering Manager was attempting to find and share a PowerPoint presentation with a colleague. Over the course of 3 weeks, multiple email strings were sent through the office in an attempt to locate the presentation. Finally, an individual was copied on the email and immediately located and linked the presentation from Knowledge OnLine. Inevitably, people have had prior, similar experiences and can relate to the frustration and lost time that comes from email communications. These stories enable them to see the quick solutions and benefits that result from using Knowledge OnLine.

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