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28 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2023 Feature Interview by Barry Matties I-CONNECT007 Michael Ford, senior director of emerging industry strategy for Aegis Soware, weighs in on the topic of tribal knowledge, its pros and cons, and its role in our industry. While it may be useful if your team never changes, the inevi- tability of a person's career progression means they take their knowledge with them. Michael brings his nuanced perspective to the conver- sation. Michael, is tribal knowledge a friend or foe? What's your initial reaction? My initial reaction is that tribal knowledge is definitely a foe. Why do you say that? Manufacturing has long been dependent on a significant amount of legacy skills. ese have accumulated over many years as we've gained experience and know-how across various tech- nical areas of operations. But as our experts grow older, the younger people coming in behind them don't have the opportunity to gain that same experience first-hand. We are, therefore, destined to lose the experience and know-how unless we can capture it somehow. Manufacturing cannot be sustainable if it con- tinues to be dependent on that tribal knowl- edge. Short of downloading somebody's experi- ence into a computer, and transferring it to another person, the more practical approach is to represent that know-how within soware Embedding Know-how Into Automation

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