Lin Yin-Cheng from the Drilling Engineering Department of the Exploration and Production Business Division, said in the CPC Monthly in February 2013 "'...the company is at the transition point between the old and new generations. Supervisors who are not able to take care of the continuity of a company are calamities for the company.' Thanks to this saying of Chen Jin-Fu, I decided to give my support by my actions."
"I am happy to apply what I have learned and I love all that have happened at the CPC Exploration and Production Business Division," said Chen Jin-Fu, Vice Director of the Exploration and Production Business Division, sincerely. What he said is completely reflected in his vitality to promote Knowledge Management (KM).
Invaluable drilling journals left over from the Japanese era - how can we keep them from being integrated in KM?
Chen Jin-Fu could not hide his shining eyes when talking about KM. "Rejection at first, and then we understand, thanks to the training courses that Vitals EXP arranged for us, KM is completely compatible with the 'technique inheritance’ that we are striving for." Confessing himself to be a man of the old generation, Chen Jin-Fu met the requirements for retirement within less than 10 years. He was obviously anxious to pass down his experience and knowledge. "These are invaluable drilling journals left from the masters in the Japanese era and we are creating files for them in the KM system." He took out thick books one after another and with a look like he is appreciating treasures, he described how the old masters recorded the detailed temperature, humidity, climate changes, tools and results at that time. "Drilling is a profound science and experience. It is a job that you cannot become proficient in without accumulating practical experiences over a long period of time. These Japanese masters were trained strictly and this makes their journals more valuable."
High technical threshold in drilling - continuation of experience is more important
How difficult is drilling? Let's take an example. In Armageddon, the famous film starring Walter Bruce Willis, a group of drilling masters was dispatched to drill a planetoid when facing an upcoming crisis to bring the world to its end and bury nuclear warheads inside it. No one can predict what happens underground explicitly without the data collected from drilling the well and hence, extensive experience in this area is very valuable. "So, unanticipated accidents may happen frequently. Thanks to the development of technology, from fish tail bits to glomerocryst diamond bits; from panel rotation to top-driven rotation drilling; from the land to deep oceans; from vertical to multi-lateral well drilling," said Chen Jin-Fu. He professionally described the development of the drilling engineering and its applications, and incidentally disclosed the high threshold of the drilling techniques.
Initiation into the KM - Vitals ESP team teaches the promotion and usage methods
The drilling team that Chen Jin-Fu led won the first place in the 2011 CPC Knowledge Management Competition. "The team was comprised of the seniors, stars (borne during the 1960s and 1970s) and boy scouts (borne in the 1980s and later), and I, an old man, was the leader of the team." Chen Jin-Fu said humorously that he encountered KM for the first time during the training of seed trainees. "Vitals ESP consultants not only taught us how to use KM. They guided us systematically to know how to lead and encourage a team to 'fight collaboratively'. I appreciate Vitals ESP consultants because they provided methods and discussions such as how to sort data into knowledge and identify more gaps in the knowledge. They sparked more by brainstorming."
This is the so-called "the master initiates the apprentices but their skill depends on their own efforts". "Vitals ESP has given guidance to the people in different industries. The seed trainees learned much about possible difficulties in the promotion of KM and the methods to ensure its effectiveness." By generating more ideas from the training, Chen Jin-Fu persists in the principle of "it is more important to make a cow feel thirsty than lead it to water" and encourages the team not only to accept and use KM flexibly but also to implement it, the way the Vitals ESP consultants taught them, like a missionary who has absolute faith in his/her beliefs. "The supervisor shall set a good example with his/her own conduct. This is unchangeable for the success of KM!" With this belief in mind, the Drilling Engineering Department of the Exploration and Production Business Division used the drill-stem test as the topic to win the third place in the 2012 CPC Knowledge Management Competition.
No need for gigantic data - KM is very useful to the Chad Team
"Over 30 years ago, I was dispatched to Papua New Guinea where cannibals lived to do drilling work. I took two big suitcases of books for questions (although they were not enough). Now, KM is really very helpful." Chen Jin-Fu recalled. There were many drilling tools and methods and the changes in the geological features and weather would affect the drilling. A great number of books and data were needed as a reference. "Now, our Chad Team uses KM as a library. I made a call to Taiwan for help as was my was usual when problems were encountered. But now, this is not the situation any more. An e-mail is enough for the people in Taiwan to import the required data in KM. The team far away in Africa can perceive the power of knowledge management," said Chen Jin-Fu proudly.
Stop due to one lost data - KM is available for instant queries and high benefits
People who understand drilling engineering know that every project is a race with money. "Time is a source of pressure. Working with international teams is common and a delay only causes more costs. Learning techniques from international teams costs money and it is unimaginable if any occupational accidents occur!" This usually amounts to more than ten million dollars, said Chen Jin-Fu further. "I even had to drive three hours back to the company only for apiece of data. We did not know the endurance of a tool without this information. It was hard to think of what would have happened if the tool exploded. KM is really very, very helpful to us! Recalling the old days when engineers looked up data in numerous books, Chen Jin-Fu can understand why the stars and boy scouts in the team support KM so much. This atmosphere is also developing among the old, middle-aged and young generations.
The "only" drilling technique in Taiwan - senior shift leaders pass down their experience via KM
To the Drilling Engineering Department where time is money, it is especially important to pass down experience and minimize mistakes. "20% of the employees in the division will retire 5 years later, and 50% ten years later!" Chen Jin-Fu said while thinking of something that may eventually happen. "For the drilling technique now, the 'only lifeline in Taiwan' is in our hands." Accordingly, first, a review meeting is held after the completion of every project and the results emerging from the discussion and generalizations are compiled and uploaded to KM for reference. Second, retired senior masters are invited to share their experience. This will be recorded in video and uploaded to KM. For the drilling department, it would be better to preserve valuable experience than spend large sums of money on foreign technical support. The technique of senior shift leaders is transformed into story books via KM which we should read carefully.
「"The seniors speak, the stars compile and summarize, and the boy scouts are responsible for implementation on schedule. Only the correct data can be uploaded to KM," said Chen Jin-Fu confidently. Since time, money and occupational safety are involved, the data uploaded to KM must be 100% correct. Senior shift leaders who have their own versions may discuss to find the best method at a meeting and upload it to KM as a final version for sharing and training.
An incentive system encouraging formulation of strategies - fill knowledge gaps one after another
Passing down experience alone is not adequate for the Drilling Engineering Department. Rather, knowledge gaps are identified at the same time and drilling techniques are introduced or innovated to fill the gaps. An incentive system is established to encourage the employee responsible for knowledge gaps by giving him/her the opportunity to learn related techniques overseas. "This will naturally become a positive competitive circle. We have now applied these technical innovations to engineering projects!"Chen Jin-Fu said.
A "Drilling Engineering and Technique Team" is formed this year subject to the instructions of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Executive Yuan, to assist the development of the "geothermal electric power generation" and "gas hydrate". To Chen Jin-Fu, the only drilling technique in Taiwan is in CPC and this valuable knowledge is stored in the KM system. "Perhaps it can be shared with the Ministry of Science and Technology and Bureau of Energy for relevant researches to create more drilling techniques of unprecedented value.