In stories about yesterday’s final flight of the Vulcan bomber, a small detail caught my eye.
reported in the Daily Telegraph, “The Vulcan To The Sky Trust, which brought
the 55-year-old aircraft back to flight eight years ago, has accepted advice
from supporting companies that they no longer have the expertise to keep it
airworthy as engineers retire from the industry.”
Perhaps it is not surprising that there are few people
employed nowadays with the right knowledge to keep a now obsolete aircraft
flying. What is surprising however, is
that for younger aircraft still in service, there remains this issue of experienced
engineers retiring and the risk associated with that.
I have written
before about Knowledge
Retention and Transfer programmes and how companies are using them to
address this risk. What I haven’t stressed
before is that even this initiative is a ‘sticking plaster’ solution.
A longer-term, enduring approach is one that does not let
engineers get anywhere near retirement age with all that valuable knowledge
locked inside their heads. That
knowledge is not theirs alone since it has been created and accumulated on their
employers’ time and with the help of their colleagues. It should be treated as such.
This means recognising that knowledge is an asset and developing
management frameworks to manage it accordingly.
Come visit the Knoco website to find out more.