Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

"Twitter" on the Factory Floor?

By Dennis D. McDonald

In Finally! Relevant Applications for YouTube and Twitter in the Enterprise! Jim MacLennan suggests some interesting ideas about using Twitter and YouTube in the context of an industrial manufacturing operation.

I don’t think this is farfetched at all. My experience in developing systems for use by factory equipment repair staff and field service repair technicians convinced me that the people who are best equipped to quickly evaluate and adopt useful new tools — of any kind — are the people who use tools on a daily basis.

Jim also makes some interesting comments about “lean manufacturing processes” and lists a series of useful links to find out more. The connection he makes with his topic here is the view in some quarters that rigid computer systems such as ERP systems are actually the enemy of change and innovation. In this context, MacLennan suggests, tools such as Twitter and YouTube (or their industrial/corporate equivalents) could allow change agents to get “down and dirty” with processes and the workers most directly involved.

I’m in total agreement which is why I have always felt that overemphasizing “knowledge workers” as the target user group for emerging collaboration technologies is a big mistake. Everyone can benefit from collaboration, not just researchers, students, and white collar workers. As Jim suggests, nobody likes to “document” things, but the tools are way beyond that for capturing and sharing knowledge and experience.

  • Copyright (c) 2008 by Dennis D. McDonald


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