XR Talks is a series that features the best presentations and educational videos from the XR universe. It includes embedded video, as well as narrative analysis and top takeaways. Speakers’ opinions are their own.
When cycling through conference talks, as we do a lot around here, themes emerge. So this week’s featured talk is actually several talks — all carrying a thread that’s prevalent in enterprise AR: institutional knowledge. The analysis is below with videos peppered throughout.
As background, we often hear about industrial AR benefits, such as faster job completion and error reduction. But joining these micro-benefits are macro-benefits such as organizational growth and long-term evolution. That second bucket is where institutional knowledge plays in.
This lesser-discussed variable is a key issue at a time when aggregate job turnover continues to increase and as baby-boomers are retiring in massive numbers. Combine these factors and you get a growing challenge to retain institutional knowledge. It becomes an expensive problem.
“Joe, who’s worked here for forty-some years is going to retire and he’s going to take that forty-some years of domain expertise out the door with him,” said PTC’s Jim Heppelmann at AWE. “We’re gonna hire somebody new to do what Joe did, but it’ll take them years to be as good.”
AR can combat this challenge in a few ways. First, it can turn seasoned employees into remote AR experts that guide novice workers in the field. Compared to their previous field work, a cushier job can delay their retirement. And it accelerates knowledge transfer to all those novice folks.
“They leave the workforce but they’ve literally got 35 years of knowledge,” said Scope AR CEO Scott Montgomerie. “We can move them into a cushy call center position where they can advise younger workers that are more willing to go crawl around on their hands and knees.”
Meanwhile, an even lesser-discussed industrial AR feature continues to emerge: recorded sessions. By strapping an AR headset to top-performing workers (or doing so during the above remote-assist sessions), sequences can be recorded to capture best practices.
“While we’re working together between frontline technicians and people with decades of knowledge, we’re doing a knowledge transfer and we can record that,” said Montgomerie. “So now we can reuse that for training purposes or for continuous process improvements.”
This also enables microlearning. The idea is that instead of the traditional method of educating someone for months or years on a given topic or skill (most of which they won’t use), deliver the right knowledge at the exact moment they need it. It’s a more efficient form of learning.
“One of the things that’s happening with AR is that we can rethink the training model from ‘in-advance’ and ‘just-in-case’ to ‘in-the-moment’ and ‘just-in-time,’ said Heppelmann.
For more, we’ve extracted quotes from recent industry talks. Those can be seen below, along with embedded video. For anyone who has time to watch the videos, we’d recommend this batch for your continued enterprise-AR knowledge building. And we’ll be back with many more.
Scope AR’s Scott Montgomerie at AWE
We’ve heard a lot about new rules for older workers. A lot of people retire because they’re not willing or able to crawl around on their hands and knees and go do plumbing jobs… they retire, they leave the workforce but they’ve literally got 35 years potentially of knowledge they’ve gained and that knowledge is extremely useful to the workforce. So with remote assistance-type applications or advisory roles, we can move them into a cushy call center-type position where they can advise younger workers that are more than willing to go crawl around on their hands and knees…
AR can actually enable something we call microlearning. If you think about traditional
learning techniques, it’s all about repetition. Workers are forced to watch training videos and go through repetitive tasks so that we hammered that knowledge into their head… this is not incredibly cost-effective. We’re literally spending weeks months even years training people when that knowledge might only be used for a fraction to that time. Learning can be much more cost-effective if we can literally teach you what you’re doing, and give you a quick refresher before you do your job, or while you’re doing your job…
And finally, a feature we just launched this week is called session recording so while we’re
working together between these frontline technicians and these few people with decades of knowledge we’re doing a knowledge transfer and we can record that. we’re recording this in a
novel way through audio, video and 3d annotations… so now we can reuse that for training purposes or for continuous process improvements…
PTC’s Jim Heppelmann at AWE
Every company has a problem with a retiring workforce. Joe, who’s worked here for forty-some years is going to retire and he’s going to take that forty-some years of domain expertise out the door with him. And we’re gonna hire somebody new to do what Joe did, but it’ll take them years to become as good as Joe was. Is there some way we could extract from Joe all that expertise?…
One of the things that’s happening with AR is that we can rethink the training model from ‘in-advance’ and ‘just-in-case’ to ‘in-the-moment’ and ‘just-in-time.’…
Google Glass Program Lead Jay Kothari at ARiA
There are two macro trends affecting blue-collar workers and white-collar workers today in the United States. Ten thousand people retire every week and the average tenure of someone in a role is measured in single digit years and no longer in decades. So institutional knowledge leaves companies really really quickly, and deseminating knowledge is very difficult. so what some of our customers are doing is that the more senior staff are putting glass on and recording the steps that they do for the standard operating procedures they do…
In order to document the best practices. They do it with their senior staff when they have institutional knowledge that’s retiring. The other way they do it is to find their best performers, put glass on them and record step by step…
Re’Flekt’s Kerim Ispir at AWE
AR has also a long-term benefit: It facilitates our knowledge transfer to experts which are [cycling] out.
Disclosure: AR Insider has no financial stake in the companies mentioned in this post, nor received payment for its production. Disclosure and ethics policy can be seen here.