How to create and manage a useful operations manual

In the very first post on this blog I talked about operations manuals, i.e. descriptions of the prescribed or recommended way of working in an engineering organization. I fully acknowledge that very few people find this topic particularly exciting. Some knowledge management folks I talk to consider operations manuals a failed concept to start with. It’s all in the heads of the people they say. Some slide-ware-wielding types on the other hand Continue Reading

A look at SPEM and the Eclipse Process Framework

As you might have seen, there are a few pages on this site about operations manuals and process modeling, i.e. about describing the way of working in an organization in a semi-formal way. I have implemented a custom meta-model for process modeling [5] in Rational Rose and used it to describe the whole operations manual for a medical device company. The manual itself was generated in HTML format from the UML model Continue Reading

Describing and disseminating know-how

The research about the human brain and behavior strongly suggests that most of the information processing we do in our brains including a substantial amount of decision making happens without ourselves being aware of it (in the sense that we can communicate such awareness). Libet’s experiment (see a Libet’s short delay) for instance shows that an action potential builds up in the brain up to half a second before we become aware Continue Reading

Is there such a thing as a useful operations manual?

Now to something completely different I started out my career designing image processing algorithms and hardware. At one point I rather inexplicably diverted into management consulting and took interest in issues such as operational effectiveness, cycle time reduction, and quality management. A while after my defection an old colleague of mine, who was at that time working on his PhD in image processing, asked me in an email what I was doing Continue Reading