Untapped knowledge

Untapped knowledge

February 15, 2022 Off By Anne McLear

Today I had a long call with Phil McPlan, Louise McGeek and James McMann. It was a follow up from last week’s management meeting when I promised to look into what is stoping a better performance by the Project team.

Phil McPlan, Head of Projects, says that, despite Cablinc’ accumulated knowledge, new engineers find it hard to tap into it. That means reinventing the wheel or, even worst, making totally avoidable mistakes.

He sees two main reasons for this:

  • senior engineers complain they are too busy, but Phil McPlan believes there is an element of “knowledge is power” mentality going on;
  • the digital tools available for engineers to document their work and search previous projects are not intuitive, are not updated regularly, and, as a result, end up not being used.

Louise McGeek, Cablinc’s CIO, defended the technology. She believes the tools are fit for purpose: it’s just that there are no incentives for engineers to use them (specially senior ones) and, without relevant and up-to-date information, nobody bothers to.

James McMann, Head of HR, defended the senior engineers. He believes they genuinely have a lot on their plates. Two years ago, covid forced them to work from home: it was a huge learning curve – new tools, new routines. Since then, they have battled 2 years of uncertainty – will we go back to the office next week?, can we visit the client tomorrow?, will the audit work stop because of the new covid restrictions?

They are tired. James confided one of the senior engineers is receiving help because he was on the brink of burnout.

I need to digest all this to see if and how I can help. Finger pointing does not help.

Good knowledge sharing practices supported by adequate enterprise social tools can improve organisational performance. Attend Social Now 2022 to see how it can be done.

Social Now 2022: Enabling engaged, high-performing teams
Lisbon, Portugal – 19 & 20 May