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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10 Keys to a Successful IWMS Integration: Pt. 8, Working in the Relationship Arena

This week we are excited to bring you Part 8 of our 10-Part series on successfully implementing an IWMS.  In this article we will discuss how to maintain a healthy relationship arena.

 

In any situation that requires collaboration, tense relationships may exist between any given parties involved. An IWMS system may span many, if not all, departments in a company, and those installing the IWMS must work with and get permission from many department heads. If the relationship arena between departments in a company is not healthy, the IWMS installation can be slowed down, inefficient, or stopped completely.

What is the Relationship Arena?

The relationship arena is a term we use at RSC to refer to the teamwork between departments in any given company and/or between the company and the third party installing the IWMS. Ineffectual teamwork within the relationship arena may lead to a slower IWMS installation. For an IWMS to be installed as quickly and efficiently as possible, quick and efficient communication and collaboration needs to happen. This will be hindered if the relationship arena is not healthy and functioning, or in other words, if there is a breakdown in teamwork because of strained relationships between departments.

How To Maintain a Healthy Relationship Arena

In earlier posts, we talked about the irreplaceable value of an Internal Champion. For a more defined role of an Internal Champion, please see article 1 of this series.

As discussed above, two key elements of teamwork are communication and collaboration; the Internal Champion will be able to shine, not only because of his/her ability to communicate in the vernacular of many departments, but also because of his/her ability to collaborate with different individuals. If the Internal Champion can help with effective inter-departmental teamwork, the IWMS installation process can be moved forward with minimal to no inefficiencies.

Even if a relationship arena is not functioning at its best when the third party arrives to install the IWMS, the Internal Champion should be able to help facilitate the installation because of his/her leadership skills and willingness to cooperate, creating an environment of teamwork, building a positive relationship arena.

The key role of the Internal Champion here is mediation — not only does working within a relationship arena require strong communication skills, but the ability to help others when a problem arises. This latter ability can look like helping two team members solve a disagreement, protecting a company from aggressive, third-party sales, negotiating between departments, etc.

The Result of Having a Healthy Relationship Arena

Together, with the support of the Internal Champion, as well as the roles that each team member play, the companies involved in installing the IWMS can create a synergy and unity based on compromise and understanding that will move the installation along smoothly.

Once good teamwork is established, the tasks that need to happen to install the IWMS can be completed as efficiently as possible. Consequentially, your IWMS will operate as you need it to because no important piece of information will have been lost in the process of working as a team.


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10 Keys to a Successful IWMS Integration: Pt. 2 — Appropriate IT Collaboration

A month ago, we shared an article with the first key to a successful IWMS integration: having an internal champion.  This month we are thrilled to share with you part two of this 10-part series, appropriate IT collaboration.

Different Worlds Are Involved In an Integration

When an IWMS is being installed and integrated, several departments are involved within the company that is being integrated. The departments that are usually most closely associated with this are either Corporate Real Estate (CRE) and/or the Facilities Management Department (FM). Appropriate IT Collaboration requires that these internal departments communicate effectively with the IT Department.  When both departments
work together and understand one another, the IWMS runs optimally.

Ever since the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which directs reporting accuracy,  IWMS integration has become an area of more importance than before.  This shift in importance on a corporate level has made IWMS a tier one software within many companies.  When a system becomes a tier 2 or tier one within a company, IT controls where it is installed and who has access to it.  In this case, IT will also control the tailoring and customization of the IWMS.

Challenges In Communication Between the IT World and the IWMS World

One of the most common scenarios that can create miscommunication within an IWMS implementation is the differing vocabulary that is used between departments. The vocabulary between the IT world and the IWMS world can cause confusion because they each have their own acronyms, vocabulary, and jargon. At times, this can feel like people from different countries using their respective native tongues to speak to each other; neither person will understand the other because of the language barrier. There must be at least one person that can speak both languages in order to facilitate the conversation and accomplish what both parties desire to accomplish. In this same way, communication between IT and IWMS worlds can be facilitated by someone who is familiar with both worlds and their respective jargon.

Aside from any “language” barriers, IT also has a rigid upgrade and tailoring process.  This process can often be viewed as slowing down an implementation, which is not the case.  IT’s attention to detail minimizes risk and protects the costs of IT support, unnecessary downtime, and the software.

While the process is time consuming, the protection it provides is irreplaceable and necessary. The best way to have a completely successful integration is to communicate effectively between all worlds so everyone can feel comfortable about the implementation.

Another common scenario is the conflict that can occur between departments’ goals. Many IT departments have their own “road map” in order to determine what types of technology they will and
will not support.  As with any business decision, they have a direction on which they will focus and methods with which they intend to support
their decision. IT’s goal in this is not to be difficult or make an
integration more complicated.  They are simply trying to protect their
road map and provide a cost effective IT environment, just as any good
Cost Center would. From the moment the roadmap is created and onwards, someone must ensure the IWMS fits into and can be supported by IT’s road map, or that the IWMS is supported by the 3rd party vendor.

What Does Appropriate IT Collaboration Look Like?

In order to communicate effectively between different worlds, or departments, we suggest having an internal staff member work as a middle man. This person can be your assigned Internal Champion, a business analyst, or anyone who is able to breach the gap in communication between the two worlds. Putting a team member in place that can do this is one of the essential steps to ensuring that your IWMS is integrated smoothly and can accomplish everything that it was put in place to accomplish. In addition to this, communication will be more effective and completing tasks will be more efficient.


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RSC News: Featured Article

We are thrilled to announce that Steven Hanks, CEO of IWMS News, posted our most recent blog article to their online Newspaper, IWMS Daily.  We are honored to have 10 Keys to a Successful IWMS Integration: Pt. 1 featured as one of the daily articles.


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10 Keys to a Successful IWMS Integration: Pt. 1 — Have an Internal Champion

There are 10 essential keys to facilitate a successful Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) implementation that we at RSC have found to be helpful through experience.  Each will be discussed at length over the next few months.

This week’s subject is RSC’s first key to a successful integration: having an Internal Champion.

So what is an Internal Champion?

An Internal Champion is an employee who oversees the implementation of an IWMS.  Some of his or her key responsibilities are publicizing and promoting the IWMS application throughout their company, negotiating between their company and IWMS’ sales team, and ensuring cooperation between departments.

How does having an Internal Champion benefit a company?

Unfortunately, an IWMS is often under-utilized for varying reasons: the company as a whole may be unsure of how to utilize the system to achieve it’s goals, the company may be unfamiliar with how the the system works, and many, many more reasons. Each company is different and has its own unique challenges. The Champion breaches these challenges and ensures that their company’s IWMS is in line with company goals and functions efficiently.  The Champion must manage the appropriate approach and timing of each newly added function of an IWMS system. In this sense, the Champion commits to clearly explaining to the IWMS’ sales team why the company may or may not be ready to integrate a new module to the IWMS.

In the pie chart mentioned a few posts back, we explained that when an IWMS is first being integrated into a company, there are three areas that need to be considered and managed: the company’s own business process, their political arena, or, in other words, the driving reasons and forces behind a company’s requests and needs, and the technology that will be most effective. The Internal Champion would act as an ambassador between internal departments and between the IWMS sales team and his or her own company by knowing and being aware of each of these areas and the driving force each one has. The Champion would then be able to explain and negotiate between each department and then represent the company accurately when implementing the IWMS.

Assign an Internal Champion

An Internal Champion is one of the key steps in implementing an IWMS successfully, and, consequentially, will lead to a flourishing IWMS that gives accurate reports and aids employees in locating, managing, and tracking.


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