I’m extremely glad that humankind conceived of advanced calculus, flight, French fries and Sgt Pepper’s Lonely-Hearts Club Band, among other things, before I came along. It’s fair to say that if I had been given a blank slate to begin with, I would be in quite a state today (think – Tom Hanks in Castaway, but without fire)…
Communication, collective-reasoning and the ability to record information are surely three of the most significant factors that have influenced the evolution of humankind. We are a space-faring, particle-accelerating, anthroprocening species, because we are able to build on the knowledge of those before us, without having to go through the rigors of actually working it all out for ourselves. But whilst this evolutionary gift continues to advance humanity into an ever more astounding future, it seems that the practice of passing the knowledge baton in business often evades us.
To demonstrate this, take for example a typical PPP or PFI infrastructure project. Its lifecycle might look something like this:
Each phase is overseen by specialists in that area, whose expertise will, by and large, determine the ease with which the next phase will play out. However, rather than drawing on the pool of expertise and knowledge that is developed at each stage, each new phase of the project will often be embarked upon as though it were a blank slate.
This outcome results in a huge amount of lost knowledge and opportunity (both of which mean $$$). What might be commonly understood reasoning for the wording of one part of the contract to the Procurement team might be utterly lost on the Operations team. This can easily result in misunderstandings, disputes, lost opportunities or the need for legal opinions to determine the appropriate course of action. All of which could be avoided, if the clarification had been built into the knowledge base of the contract in the first place.
Using features like IDF’s Notes, Analysis Tracker and Task Finder, you can ensure that knowledge is routinely captured against your contract documents, safe-guarding your project and your team from the risks outlined above. Want to find out more about how IDF can be utilised at each stage of your project? Contact us.