Why Tribal Knowledge Sucks But How You Can Use It To Your Advantage…

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Remember your first car? If it was anything like mine, it was your baby. It took you to the mall, the beach, and all those awesome high school parties. And even though it rattled a little, had no working AC, and couldn’t open from the inside, it was the best hunk of steel. Ever. What? You had perfectly working car doors? Lucky you. I had to lower my window, press down the lock from the inside, and wiggle the door handle from the outside just to step out (yeah, imagine that on a cold day). It wasn’t a problem, really, unless I loaned my car to a friend. I’d always forget to give them the lowdown and end up with a ton of missed calls and a very frantic friend. Obviously, they didn’t know. See this right here, is what we like to call tribal knowledge and the fact that I’d have to explain myself to a friend every time, or worse—do it for them (if they were so lucky)—well, that’s why tribal knowledge sucks. Unless, of course, you capture it.

Follow along and we’ll dig into how you can do just that with SOLIDWORKS PDM.

Bump Start

Let’s start with defining what tribal knowledge is. The Six Sigma community was the first to coin the term and they refer to it as, “ any unwritten information that is not commonly known by others within a company....”

You’re nodding your head now because you understand where this is going. If you don’t know how to capture tribal knowledge you risk major inefficiencies with your people and your process. This translates to your products being compromised in the long term if you’re not careful. Luckily, SOLIDWORKS PDM standardizes your processes and makes it easy for users to intuitively adhere to your company’s standards.

A Streetcar Named Desire

If you currently don’t possess the desire to document your workflows, we understand. It’s no easy task. It’s probably the reason why you have one senior engineer who knows everything. Try as you might, you, that engineer, and the rest of the company can’t figure out how to transfer all this knowledge to the rest of your team. Here’s the real kicker, with tribal knowledge specifically, the information withheld might be key to quality performance, but it might also need improvement.

Now, imagine you could download said engineer’s experience, optimize it even further by evaluating it, and then seamlessly push that to all of your users. This is the power that PDM holds. With SOLIDWORKS PDM, you can transfer tribal knowledge into a palpable tool for other users to practice without having to invest large amounts of time into training them.

Designated Driver

With SOLIDWORKS PDM, your whole team levels up and becomes a designated driver for your success. Not to mention, your senior engineer finally gets some relief and is able to focus on their own challenging projects.

In the end, tribal knowledge doesn’t suck, in fact it has the potential to differentiate your company from others. However, your competitive advantage can’t be unleashed by a tribe of one. The secret sauce is in distributing knowledge, in optimizing your data, and investing in SOLIDWORKS PDM.

If you’re ready to start your engines, or maybe you just need to spool your turbo and make your business more efficient…give us a call.

As you know, DesignPoint is invested in your success, so not only do we sell SOLIDWORKS PDM, but we can also advise you on your setup, customization, installation, and implementation.