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August 31, 2017

An IWMS as your organization’s Citadel

First, a little spoiler-alert if you have not started watching the 7th season of “Game of Thrones”!

In one of the latest episodes of “Game of Thrones,” we find the main role player Samwell speaking to the “archmaester,” a wise man with access to the deepest secrets of Citadel's library. Samwell asks him about the relevance of the Citadel, and the archmaester responds with a wise lesson: "We are this world's memory. Without us, men would be little better than dogs. They don't remember any meal but the last, not looking for any other than the next. Every time you'll leave the house and shut the door, they howl, like you're gone forever." After this, he points out that there have been many times when people were desperate, but they have always survived, thanks to the Citadel.

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A good overview is lacking

Besides these brilliant words perhaps making you to want to watch the next episodes, they also can be relevant in considering the importance of software, such as Planon’s. You might imagine your organization owning a library like the Citadel—maybe not in books, but in documents and data. Because your organization keeps on growing, the number of contracts, processes, buildings, and building plans cannot be stored in the memory of your best maintenance employees. There is a risk in only dealing with incidents day-by-day. Today, fixing that asset malfunction is your top priority, while on another day the commissioning of a new building will be the most important.

It is not easy remembering all of the information necessary for your organization. At every phase, building information gets cut into pieces, put into specification documents, translated in drawings, and saved in Excel sheets and big drawing archives. Software always has solved little pieces of the bigger problem. Malfunctions can be handled in an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS), projects be monitored in Microsoft Project, the geometry of the building detailed in drawing software like AutoCAD®, and all of your email communications can be managed in Outlook. It will never give you a good overview.

Integration with BIM

Wouldn't it be great if software could support the total lifecycle of all your buildings? Can it be your organization’s memory? Going a bit deeper, wouldn't all of the used materials be part of this lifecycle, as the Dutch initiative Madaster tries to set up?

An important piece of the puzzle to realize this vision would be to integrate Building Information Modeling (BIM) information with the daily user processes of an IWMS. All of the changes in your buildings, spaces, and installations would be available in BIM. It will become possible to access the memory of the organization at any time: find which malfunction happened at which installation in which room, reported by a certain user, fixed by a service provider whom were part of a service contract at that time.

Remember more than your last meal, and use your IWMS as your organization’s Citadel!

Jan-Fokke Post
Implementation & BIM Consultant Planon Netherlands