The Intelligence Cycle & IWMS

The Intelligence Cycle and an Integrated Work Management System have a lot more in common than you might think.  Thanks to IWMS Daily, we came across this amazing article entitled “6 Aspects of Military Intelligence & How They Relate to IWMS.”  After reading the article, we felt inspired to look a little more deeply into the relationship.  The article you are about to read is a mix of Military, Department of Defense, FBI, and CIA definitions of their intelligence Cycle as well as input from the article that inspired us with a bit of RSC flair.

We are grateful for the service provided by all the men and women enlisted to protect the freedoms the USA was founded on.  In honor of Independence Day and all those who gave their lives serving in defense of the freedoms our great Country was founded upon, we wanted to share something that bridged the two worlds.

The intelligence cycle is a term used by various government agencies including the military, FBI, and CIA to name a few.  It is “the process of developing unrefined data into polished intelligence for the use of policymakers”1 and consists of six interrelated operations 2.  The process is circular in nature and fundamental for processing data in civilian, military, or law enforcement system.

 

As outlined in the article, we present to you the six parts of the intelligence cycle and how they relate to IWMS

1. Planning and Direction

Intelligence requirements are determined by a decision maker to meet certain goals 3. As in the military a good IWMS must have a situational awareness of all available resources as well as the means to quantify them.  It requires charting a direction which identifies the resources needed to attain a particular goal. In the FM world this can be thought of as improving the allocation and prioritization of real estate operations and more rapid development as well as investing in technology or replacing older RE/FM systems 4.  At Robert Stephen Consulting, LLC., we strive to listen to our client’s needs and desires as we help in the planning process. We provide flexible guides to assist clients decipher what is most important.

2. Collection

Collection is the gathering of raw information based on requirements determined in planning and direction 5.Data collection is done in either a strategical or tactical way in order to connect seemingly unrelated information to produce a holistic and comprehensive understanding of a certain goal.  In an IWMS these data sources may consist of occupancy, costs, leasing, future space requirements, operational maintenance management (scheduling repairs), customer satisfaction, project management, etc. 6.  RSC aids in collecting electronic information and standards along with manufacture recommendations.  We also provide best practices along the way.

3. Processing & Exploitation

Defined by the US Department of Defense as “the conversion of information into suitable forms” 7.Corporate leadership, like their military counterparts, require data to be fully analyzed and vetted in order to make rapid strategic decisions on the appropriate (daily) course of action.  The processing of collected data facilitates improved customer experience, reputation management, and building
partnerships among others — all of which impact a company’s bottom line. Some outcomes of processing and exploitation in IWMS include work order processing, energy management, and environmental impact 8.  After gathering data, we synthesize and consult.  We create a pilot project including sample data from 1-3 buildings and multiple floors with employee information, assets, etc.  We prove the theory hypothesized from the collected data.

4. Analysis and Production

In the military, analysis and production fuses processed data from various sources together into a centralized report to identify potential patterns 9/10.An IWMS does the same thing.  The goal of the IWMS, however, is to improve management of (Corporate) Real Estate/Facilities Management. Aspects of this goal include flexibility to expand future applications/utility, reporting, financial management, market planning, site selection, transaction management, lease management, operations/maintenance, sustainability, energy management, and business intelligence to name a few 11.  After analyzing the data, RSC puts together a punch list of items and is reviewed with the client and any remaining data is uploaded.

5. Dissemination and Integration

The military defines dissemination and integration as the delivery of intelligence to users in a suitable form applicable to appropriate missions, tasks, and functions 12 in the form of reports 13 on either the front lines or in higher leadership levels.  This is done through various types of communication (e.g., social media, mobile devices, the “cloud,” and database transfers).  The dissemination (sharing or broadcasting) of information is not the end of a process, but a continuous link between the producers and consumers of data.  An IWMS integrates BIM, CAD, and GIS intelligence and delivers the data to users (some of which may include Client Service Directors, Human Resource Directors, & Marketing Directors) through dashboards, mapping displays, analytics, mobile applications 14, and RSC’s very own Space View.  At this point staff is introduced to the new process and training to use the system.  Minor tweaks are also considered and incorporated when they follow the plan and process outlined in items 1-4 above.

6. Evaluation and Feedback

Evaluation and feedback is a continuous assessment of intelligence operations to ensure requirements are being met 15. This military practice assists in planning, collection, processing, executing, and making overall improvements.  In corporate environments this process translates into consulting and honestly identifying any deficiencies with the system 16.  At Robert Stephen Consulting, LLC., we understand that these applications are living and breathing systems which require constant feeding and growth.  An internal champion makes decisions on whether enhancements need to be made to a new or existing IWMS by gauging system performance and efficiency. There’s no wonder why RSC believes an internal champion is key to a successful IWMS integration.  It’s a tried and true concept that even the US Government uses.

When these six military intelligence cycles are applied, the benefits of IWMS are clear.  An Integrated Work Management System reduces costs, increases efficiency, and improves productivity.  If your company is not already using an IWMS, like ARCHIBUS, we urge you to do the research, ask questions, and invest!  The benefits an IWMS can bring to your company, no matter how large or small, are innumerable.

With that being said, we hope you have a happy, festive, and safe Fourth of July!

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Creating an Efficient, Simple Solution in Meridian and ARCHIBUS

Many of our clients use very technical and advanced systems and software in order to make their business run seamlessly. Sometimes, those systems don’t integrate like they should, though.

One of our clients uses Meridian to store their files and log changes made. For those unfamiliar with it, I’m oversimplifying, but it’s like Dropbox on steroids. It allows a team to save documents but it also saves any changes you make to the stored documents. This client also uses ARCHIBUS for their Management AutoCAD drawings. However, the two systems didn’t play well together. That created a headache and lots of extra work on a regular basis. The day finally came, though, when our client was ready to upgrade.

 

Turning an Issue Into an Asset

Together with Hagerman and Company, our team sat down to figure out where and how the systems could be integrated. It was a team effort and everyone did a fantastic job. I have to give a special shout out to Matt Ritzman, though, because he did an absolutely fantastic job for our client!

Our team set up a test environment (it’s always best to test in a separate space so that the real thing stays live!) and provided training on ARCHIBUS. Hagerman and Company provided software and expertise on Meridian. Together, we determined several key areas where data could be shared to improve efficiency and enhance the user experience.

Creating a Better Version for Today and Leaving Room for Future Enhancements

After the integration was complete, our client was thrilled. Not only were they now able to store ARCHIBUS facilities management (FM) drawings within the Meridian vault, but they could also access those files from either system (thanks to ARCHIBUS’s Smart Client Extensions for AutoCAD). The systems also synchronized information so that everything could be looked at in real time. Oh – and for the future? We’ve got the ability to add some pretty spectacular future enhancements:
  • Drawings opened from ARCHIBUS Smart Client could automatically “Start a Change” and     initiate the checkout process – just as if they were opened in Meridian.
  • ARCHIBUS could take advantage of Meridian’s revision history to restore drawings to a previous point in time.
  • Synchronization tools will allow us to track data flow between the two systems.
  • Meridian will be able to help produce and manage documents (work orders, manufacturer recommended procedures, leases, survey documents, and more).

Simplifying Life and Work for Our Valued Clients

Yes, our client asked for our help with this upgrade process, but it really was our pleasure to help them. Not only is their whole process now a lot simpler, it’s also better to use. They’ve let us know several times how much better their customized solution works – and how grateful they are for our help!
It’s getting that kind of feedback that keeps my team motivated, overachieving, and looking for new, creative ways to problem solve.

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Making the Move from Excel to IWMS

Recently, we came across an article on the importance of Facilities Management Departments (FMs) moving away from Excel and toward a reliable IWMS or CAFM system.  This article truly inspired us, so we decided to put our own twist on the subject.

Too many companies are taking on extra work and stress by recording their facilities data in excel spreadsheets.  No matter how large or small the company is, we at RSC believe that every Facilities Department deserves more than what excel can provide.

Facilities Management is a dynamic role.

Over time, FM’s have found themselves playing a greater part in strategic decision making within a company.   This has increased the need for facilities management as a whole to have constant access to immediate, accurate, real time data that enables them to provide meaningful information for the business that has direct impact on the bottom line.  While excel can provide a very basic and inexpensive solution for small business with no risk of financial penalties for any potential under-performance, an excel spreadsheet can’t:

  • Provide accurate complex reporting
  • Provide real-time data updates on work order
  • Can’t assign or prioritize tasks to send out jobs

Excel spreadsheets often have gross data inaccuracy, causing a lack of integrity in reporting.  Relying solely on excel can result in serious errors in data as Facility Managers attempt to track a variety data (e.g., moves, work requests, hotelling, lease renewals, etc)  across multiple workstations and geographical locations. “. . . [R]elying on spreadsheet as a primary source of information for FM, reactive and planned maintenance, and asset and performance management has severe limitations. . . .  They can even become counterproductive to FM, causing it to lose impact and detract from its business critical function.”   Even more spreadsheets cannot provide data security.  Once you have released data in spreadsheet form, it’s out in the world.  It can’t be controlled.  If you have sensitive data, it is significantly safer to record, maintain, and report inside an IWMS application like ARCHIBUS which has proper data access controls.

Luckily, if you or your company are still using excel to track your data, there is a light at the end of the tunnel!  Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) Software like an IWMS can solve all those issues. An IWMS application, like ARCHIBUS, can:

  • Be Proactive. An IWMS is made to notify people when things happen that are of concern to them – new work requests, or leases coming up for renewal.  It sends emails reminding people of what they need to do next.  It’s tough to get a spreadsheet to do this.

  • Segment Data. When someone has access to a spreadsheet, they can see what’s in there and change it.  In an IWMS application, you are assigned a role that only allows you to update the data you need to update.  This means people aren’t confused by seeing what doesn’t matter to them.  Segmented data forces data integrity, because only people that should change particular data can change it.

  • Global Functionality.  Although these days spreadsheets can be shared, it’s awfully difficult to have many people update the same spreadsheet (say, add on-demand work requests) simultaneously.  IWMS systems are great at making functionality available to multiple people simultaneously.

  • Collaboration.  Many processes require that a group of widely-separated people work together.  One person makes a request, another assigns it to a workman, the workman completes the work, an inspector reviews the work, the person who requested the work answers a survey about the quality of the work.  It’s difficult for such a detailed process to happen via a spreadsheet, especially one where different versions are kept on different desktops.  For processes that involve multiple people, you really need an application (like an IWMS) with true workflow.

We at RSC are dedicated to helping you seamlessly make the transition to an IWMS application, like ARCHIBUS.  Ditch the stress that comes from working with excel spreadsheets and make the move to an IWMS application.  It will be one of the best decisions your Facilities Department and company makes.  An IWMS truly is the best solution for your Facilities needs.  For more information, check out our Keys to a Successful IWMS Implementation or contact us directly at info@rsc2lc.com


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Article Review: 10 Tips to Immediately Improving your Key Performance Indicators

Did you know Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can help increase productivity and profitability? We came across this article about improving your Key Performance Indicators.  If you haven’t read it, we’ve provided the article’s main points on planning, thinking, and managing your way to a better KPI process.

Click through to read the full article for more on each of these 10 tips.  We think these are spot on and it just might help hone your KPI process this year.


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