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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Article Review: 7 Reasons You Need IWMS in 2015

With 2015 coming to a close, we thought we’d share some insights from this article7 Reasons for Your Business to Start Using IWMS in 2015,” posted by Scott Kay back in February.  We couldn’t agree more with what Scott had to say about the new trends this past year making the use of an IWMS a necessity, and thought you might like to know in case you didn’t get the chance to read it already.

Here is our summary of Scott Kay’s 7 Reasons to Start Using IWMS in 2015

1. Integration

IWMS systems are redifining the “I” in IWMS.  Most solutions are focused on presenting a simplified integration process.


2. Mobility

It’s no shocker that mobile devices, whether it be an Apple Tablet or an Android phone are exceeding laptops and desktops in internet access.  This being said, all management systems will need to have increased mobile usability.  Workers need platforms that allow for greater functionality for Smartphones and Tablets while out of office.


3. Internet of Things

We live in a connected world.  Just about everyone is connected to the internet just about all the time.  “Smart”  is applied to a greater range of devices as technology advances and becomes more affordable.  Cloud computing is now an important part of everyday activities in the business world.  A shift is happening toward usability of devices carried rather than traditional stationary systems.


4. Big Data/Analytics

All workers operating with facts and numbers increasingly rely on deep insight.  Not only must you have the latest numbers, but you need a greater understanding of what those number mean and how they can work for your company.


5. Data Standards

The transaction of data between systems must go as smoothly as possible.  This is where IWMS comes in.  A good quality IWMS (like ARCHIBUS) can help different sections of a company work together in harmony.


6. Capital Planning

A feature that targets government, healthcare, and higher education bodies that operate their own buildings.  The essential desire is the ability to identify the most important projects and ensure their priority with funding.  Adding capital planning as a key feature will help immensely.


7. 360 Degrees of Customer Experience

Businesses need to understand their customer’s behavior, how to assist the customer in all situations, and ensure the best customer service experience.  Guiding the customer is incredibly important and an effective IWMS platform must be capable of providing data about the customer’s past actions, current needs, and create future projections.

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10 Keys to a Successful IWMS Integration: pt. 5: Understanding Your Business Process

This week we are excited to bring to you part 5 of our series, 10 Keys to a Successful IWMS Integration: Understanding your Business Process. If you haven’t read the previous article, read Part 4: Standards here.

Business processes are a set of structured activities or tasks that will accomplish the goals a company has.  All successful companies have a business process implemented that they consistently follow.

What does a business process have to do with IWMS?

An IWMS contains workflows for carrying out various, organization-specific processes.

Each IWMS has levels of capability and customization,
which can be tailored to meet a specific organization’s business process.
Therefore, in order to most successfully implement an IWMS into your
organization, it is crucial to examine and refine your current business
process, then select a system that is powerful and flexible enough to not only fit into your current business process, but to optimize it!

Though many IWMS systems are flexible enough to accommodate
a business’ current processes, others require businesses to change their
process in order to fit the capabilities of the system.

Example 1: Work Orders

Computerized Maintenance Management System) maintains a computer database of information about an organization’s maintenance operations and work orders.  Some work orders are preventative maintenance, which means they are generally a scheduled event fired off on a set increment (3 months, 1 month, 1 week, etc).  When the scheduled work order is initiated, a specific business process, or workflow, will trigger.
One such workflow might be that the work order is sent to a dispatcher, who would then pass it off to the proper supervisor, who would then assign it to a craftsperson to accomplish the job.  Once the craftsperson has completed the job, s/he will update it in the system, which will indicate that the job is complete. Then finally, the supervisor will review the job and send it to Accounts Payable to be closed out.

On the other hand, a less complicated workflow might have the work order sent directly to the craftsperson, notifying the supervisor but bypassing the dispatcher. So the work can begin immediately.

Within a flexible IWMS, the workflow should be able to be modified so that it suits however simple or complicated your business process is.

Example 2: Required Estimate & Approval

Consider an activity for which an estimate and approval is
required. In many cases, this means that:

  1. A work request is generated
  2. A threshold is met that triggers the need for an estimate
  3. The estimate request is routed to the estimator
  4. The estimate is completed and routed to the approver
  5. The approver accepts the estimate and routes the request to the supervisor
  6. The supervisor routes this to the craftsperson

When this happens, the estimate often generates a second
approval, which is dropped into a similar dispatching process as described in example one
before, requiring various hand-offs and approvals.

In both of the above examples, a more flexible IWMS could
help work on an
activity to commence (and likely finish) even sooner.

Having a firm understanding of your business process allows you to select an IWMS that is flexible enough to meet your company’s needs.  A successful IWMS implementation will accept your business process in such a way that the system can be modified so there is very little disturbance to the work force.

If you have bought a system that is not robust enough to meet the needs of your company’s business process, you may have to alter the what is currently in place or look to another IWMS system.

The benefits of selecting a flexible IWMS are clear – it can
easily make any organization more efficient and alleviate unnecessary
responsibilities.  However, the vital aspect of every successful IWMS
implementation is to first familiarize yourself with  your current
business process.  Doing so will allow you to adopt a system that can meet or (ideally) optimize workflows and streamline your entire enterprise!

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10 Keys to a Successful IWMS Integration: Pt. 4 — Standards

We are excited to continue this series with the fourth key to a successful IWMS integration: standards. If you haven’t read the previous articles, we recommend you take a quick look at them: 1) Internal Champion, 2) IT Collaboration, and 3) Ownership.

What are standards?

Standardsin this context are defined as conventions for assets, people, and places. Standards create a consistent and predictable system for labeling the assets being tracked. They should be easy to understand so everyone can use them. Standards can be compared to the signage on a road; everyone knows what a stop sign looks like, what it means, and what they are supposed to do when they encounter one. In this way, standards are similar to signage in the sense that they create a common understanding for everyone who sees them.

Standards work for a variety of reasons.

Firstly, standards make reporting much easier and accurate.  They allow individuals who mine the system to look at and make sense of data very quickly. As discussed above, they create a common understanding.   Secondly, and perhaps the most important reason for standards, is that they can be processed by other programs and systems. Data will be pulled out of the IWMS system into an analysis tool to be sorted and adjusted. Standards make it possible to transfer data back with these changes.  When data from the IWMS is synchronized to other systems like HR, CRE, Finance, etc., the other system can easily place the information in the correct locations.  

Creating Standards

It is our recommendation that a company spend several hours working through standards in each of the domains within their IWMS.  The naming conventions must be intelligent in such a way that individuals can look at a piece of data and tell exactly what it means.  When standards are achieved, their IWMS will be implemented much more smoothly.Another important aspect of creating standards is ownership, discussed in part three of this series. One person within the company must own the standards that are created; the standards must be traceable back to that person so that if there are any inconsistencies, that person can make corrections as needed. If there are repeated inconsistencies within the standard, this person can help correct the root of the problem.

Examples of Standards

1) Standards for a building may include the country, city, and street so it can be easily identified in a large group. For a building named US-SF-MARKET, one can easily tell the building is located in the United States on Market Street in San Francisco, CA  

2) Standards for employees could include labels like full time, part time, intern, contract, and vendor, among many others.

When all is said and done, the standards your company uses will create efficiency when it comes to reporting and data transfer and editing. We at RSC recommend that every company create these standards as soon as possible so this efficiency is in place from the beginning and there is no confusion about what belongs where.

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Conversations with Bob: Why is IWMS essential today?

Megan: I’ve seen a lot of articles about how IWMS is a break through technology and now more than ever, with the way corporate real estate and facilities management is growing and changing, that IWMS is essential to a successful business. What are your thoughts on that?

Bob: I absolutely agree. Today’s world is changing. The U.S. used to be a global financial area as well as Japan and Europe but the world is now becoming a global economy. With technology, people can work from anywhere at anytime. We’re a virtual company. All my staff either work on site or at home. Larger companies are starting to have their staff work remotely. Understanding where groups of people are, how much square footage you have, and how much you actually need is imperative in today’s fast changing world. You begin to understand that what used to be the norm of 250 sq. ft. per person which included the common area and their office now is down, in some companies, to 50 or 60 sq. ft. per person. Why? Simply because the person isn’t there all the time. They can work from home. They’re on the road. All you really need is a desk to touchdown. They don’t actually need a space to put a picture of their family, they’ve got it on their phone or their laptop. These systems allow companies to reduce their geographic footprint as far as physical buildings go, but to still understand what they need for the amount of staff they have and where their staff are. I’ve also done things like heat maps. In London I have three satellite offices and there are 35 employees. Doesn’t it make sense for us to consolidate that into one floor and not have three satellites and pay three leases but bring them into one and only pay one lease? It really helps them to make strategic decisions like that.

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Tip of the Month: SpaceView Geography

Ever heard of SpaceView?  It is an amazing tool.

SpaceView is a web based employee locator nestled within the firewall of a corporation.  Its concept is simple: keep the information about employees simple and accessible.  Completely automated SpaceView requires minimal maintenance.  Automated AutoLisp routines create the Drawing Web Format (DWF) files each night.  The employee data information is retrieved through a lie query to the CAFM database.  This simple yet effective web-based tool provides such information as vacancies, upcoming moves, furniture layout, organization ownership, telecommunication assets, and conference room and lab location.

With the addition of redlining capabilities, planners can communicate moves, adds, and changes through the web.  Other components include an online work order system with email notification and web-based move requests.

This week we’re sharing a brief SpaceView Geography training video, brought to you by our CEO & Managing Director Bob Stephen.

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What is MicroView?

If you’re in the FM world, chances are you’ve heard a little bit about MicroView.  MicroView FM™ provides mobile facility data collection and activity management tools that help reduce your facilities and infrastructure management costs.

Whether you need more efficient processes for inventory, maintenance and inspection activities, or quick updates during critical operations like employee moves or large-scale reorganizations, mobile facility management tools give you up-to-date information to control costs.

Save Time Collecting Facilities Data & Managing Activities

MicroViewFM for handheld devices lets you collect, record and update facility data on the spot.  It is an indispensable time saver, allowing data collection and integration on-site at your facilities. Inventory and inspection activities are managed in the field, closing the information loop quickly and accurately. MicroView FM is fully integrated with ARCHIBUS®, ushering in a new era of speed, accuracy, and mobility that revolutionizes the way facilities management data is collected and distributed.

 Space Management

Manage your space and organization with ease.

A critical component of any organization’s corporate records is space and organizational data. Keeping this data up-to-date and accurate poses a challenge to most organizations, and MicroView FM meets this challenge by enabling data to be collected and integrated instantly and on-site. Create an occupancy plan by collecting room and employee information on your handheld device, or download this data from ARCHIBUS® or ARCHIBUS® Web Central to your handheld for audit purposes or as an aide for corporate moves. In emergency situations, responders are dispatched on-site with their MicroView-enabled handheld devices to perform reconnaissance tasks.

Assets Management

Take control of your asset life cycle from acquisition to disposal.

MicroView FM can be used to collect large quantities of asset data, perform disposition surveys and manage asset maintenance operations. Asset inventories can be collected in a fraction of the time it takes using traditional inventory methods. MicroView FM can be tailored to suit your organization’s business model and can be deployed in a number of environments, including at the shipping & receiving dock. Asset receiving data can be shared with your company’s procurement system effectively closing the supply chain loop from the moment assets arrive in your organization through disposition.

Maintenance Management

Ensure timely maintenance for Preventive Maintenance and a quick response to On Demand work or emergencies.

Maintenance personnel can open and close service requests in the field, respond to emergencies, and manage critical buildings systems using daily planned preventive maintenance tasks and on-demand maintenance requests, which can also be dispatched to their handheld device. Any time during a shift, maintenance personnel can retrieve new work or upload completed work from their handhelds. Field staff can record time and materials used on repairs and maintenance activities then upload the data as part of the service work cycle. Time-keeping data can be used to report on equipment histories, workforce performance and budget analysis.

Inspections & Condition Assessment Surveys

Confirm status for Employees, Assets, or link inspections to Work Requests/Work Orders if required, use gathered Condition Assessment Data for Capital Budget Plans.

Managers can easily create inspection or survey questionnaires and then broadcast them to selected handheld units where employees can then complete inspections in the field and immediately share data for capital planning and deferred maintenance purposes.  Safety and security staff can perform life safety surveys or complete routine patrol checklists to support regulatory compliance and security investigations.  Supervisors are able to:

  • Retrieve up-to-date employee locations.
  • Review localized asset inventories during emergency situations
  • Dispatch a security survey to all employee handhelds quickly and easily.
  • Receive statistics and alerts from employees with ease.

It’s easy to see why MicroView is such an amazing tool.  MicroView was created by Robert Stephen Consulting’s very own Geoff Dryer.  Geoff is a senior level programmer at RSC and is an incredibly valuable part of our company.  If you are interested finding out more about MicroView, please contact

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10 Keys to a Successful IWMS Integration: Pt. 3 — Ownership

We are excited to bring you our third part to this ten part series. If you haven’t seen the previous article, read about the second key, Appropriate IT Collaboration. Today we will discuss the third key to having a flawless IWMS implementation: ownership.

What do we mean by “ownership”?

In an IWMS, there are many types of data.  This data originates from different departments within a company.  “Ownership” is who owns that data, or who from each respective department is responsible for inputting and keeping the data up to date. Every department must have someone in charge of this, not only for reasons such as confidentiality, but also organization while inputting and modifying the data in later dates.

The IWMS shows financial information, employee information, lease information, geographic information, technical information, and much more. Not one single department holds all the information for IP addresses, buildings, desks, chargeback, internal contact, etc. We at RSC encourage the departments responsible for these varying sources of information (IT, Corporate Real Estate, HR, Finance, etc.) maintain stringent ownership.  If you’re in IT, and notice John Doe is not in the IWMS, it is NOT your responsibility to update the record to include him.  It IS your responsibility to contact HR and encourage them to update or sync their data to ensure all employee information is current. Part of this ownership is running an employee synchronization on a regular basis as changes occur within a company.

What happens when ownership is established? What happens when it isn’t?

When a strict ownership of data is created, there is no confusion when it comes to reporting.  If any information seems inaccurate or flawed, everyone knows who has stewardship over what pieces of information and who is ultimately responsible for the data. The data then stays pure.  With clean data and clear business processes on who manages what data, it is possible to get a 95-98% accuracy rate on all data.  When the data is accurate, the reports are accurate.  When reports are accurate, a company is able to make better strategic decisions. Conversely, when ownership is not defined, data pours in from multiple areas.  The data may have duplicates or inaccuracies.  Without strict ownership of data, maintaining clean, organized, and accurate data is extremely difficult and creates bad reporting, which, consequentially, creates mistrust of the IWMS.

For these reasons, RSC firmly believes ownership is the third most important key to a successful IWMS implementation.  An IWMS that cannot be trusted will not benefit your company. Successful reporting and results from and IWMS starts at the beginning stages of implementation when the data is being added to the IWMS and everyone fulfills their role in keeping the data up to date from then on.

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3 Simple Steps to Improving your Reporting Accuracy

Naturally, reporting accuracy can be difficult because of its complexity;  there are many, tiny pieces to the puzzle of reporting that all need to be correct in order to produce an accurate report. Accuracy can be accomplished by following the three foundational principles below.

1. Have a regularly scheduled employee synchronization with the HR department.

A regularly scheduled employee synchronization with the HR department protects your data.  It assures that all employees are up to date in the system and that employee location and assets are current and tracked accurately.

2. Have a single move process that is followed.

No matter how large or small the move is, if you ensure that one particular move process is followed every single time, without exception, your data is significantly more likely to come out accurate.

3. Walk the floors on a regular basis.

Commit to update your data by walking floors anywhere from once a quarter to once a year.  Whichever time period you decide, keep it consistent!  The more consistent you are, the more accurate your data will be, resulting in more accurate reports.


The key to all these processes is consistency. Once these processes are established and consistent, reporting accuracy will be easier and relatively automatic.

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Success Story: Silicon Graphics, Inc.

What an awesome quote by Henry Ford.  We at Robert Stephen Consulting, believe in the value of hard work and finding a solution.  That’s why we promise to provide our clients with exactly the type of IWMS service they deserve.  We believe in solving problems as quickly as possible and saving our clients as much money, time, and space as possible.

For years we’ve worked with one of the great Computer Hardware companies in the Silicon Valley — SGI.  Back in the very early days of RSC, Bob Stephen (CEO) managed to save SGI approximately $30,000,000 in a matter of only five hours.

Here’s how:

At the time, Silicon Graphics, Inc. was preparing to sell the eight buildings they had built on two different campuses in the Silicon Valley.  One afternoon, the Vice President of Corporate Real Estate came to Bob Stephen with questions about seemingly inaccurate numbers.  After about 45 minutes of reviewing the background data (drawings and spreadsheets of square footage information) from SGI’s real estate company, Bob came to a startling conclusion.  It was determined that there was a dramatic miscalculation of the vertical penetration according to Bowman Standards by the real estate company. He informed the VP of CRE the square footage had been inflated, meaning the vertical penetration was never included.  Bob then walked all 8 buildings with their people from the corporate real estate company.  An hour and a half later, at the end of their walk through, everyone agreed — Bob’s number’s were correct.

The VP reported back that SGI was able to increase the sale of their buildings by $30 million,  all because of Bob’s knowledge of the Bowman Standards, commitment to accuracy, diligent data recording in ARCHIBUS, and ability to catch the miscalculation in square footage.

You can read more about this success story in one of our case studies here.

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