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Most all critical facility operations have some form of documentation and training programs in place, but one key question you want to ask is are they up to date?
Documentation, along with training, is one of the elements that can cut down on the biggest and costliest issue facing data centers today: Human error.
As any leader in a mission critical environment will say, any unplanned downtime costs time and money, which is unacceptable.
“While there is no way to completely eliminate human error and its negative impact on your business, effective means do exist for greatly reducing its frequency and impact,” said Bob Woolley, senior vice president of critical environment services at Lee Technologies, during part one of the Schneider Electric Data Center Webcast on how cut down on human error.
That is where a solid documentation program comes into play.
Not just any documentation program will accomplish the goal of minimizing the risk of downtime. Construction turnover documentation and on-the-job training alone are not up to the task, but just throwing resources at it isn’t going to solve the problem either. A solid program of best practices with a proven track record of success can come into play and also be cost effective, Woolley said.
“Data center facilities come equipped with a huge volume of documentation, but some key items and processes are often missing,” Woolley said.
Elements to look for include:
- Facility Information
– Asset List
– As-Built Drawings
– Sequence of Operations
- Operational Procedures
– Emergency Operating Procedures (EOP)
– Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)
– Methods of Procedure (MOP)
- Report Templates
– Daily, Weekly & Monthly Facility Status and Capacity
– Incident and Failure Analysis
– Site Walkthrough and Shift Turnover
“Another important group of documents are the various reports needed to track the status and condition of the facility,” Woolley said.
While they are plentiful, these reports truly give a perspective on what is really happening at the site: Site walkthrough report, shift report, deficiency report, incident report, failure analysis report, lessons learned report, weekly facility report.
Identifying and creating document templates are important, but they are only the first steps in the long path to achieving success. There also needs to be a standard policy for document use that covers everything from filling out the forms to performing document reviews, implementing the procedures and utilizing feedback for process improvement.
Once a procedure ends up finalized, it should undergo quality assurance. The most effective method is to do a formal engineering review, but when this isn’t available peer or management review works as well.
In this day and age, nothing is static. That is why it is crucial to have a plan for continuous process improvement in place to provide a mechanism for fine tuning the program.
In addition, you can have all the documents and plans in the world, but there needs to be a document management system in place. In a perfect world, this would be an automated system that can store digital copies of documents for storage, retrieval and archiving.