O&M manuals in foreign languages

Large corporates have a special problem in managing their O&M manuals. On the one hand they need to have information to hand in order to centrally manage their FM services across all their locations, and on the other hand they need information readily available for the local tradesmen who will need to use the detailed information in the future.

The highly structured way in which we create manuals and deal with sub-contractors via a collaborative website, made it very easy for us to make this work. We supplied basic templates (section headings) that were translated into Italian, obtained the detailed information from the Italian sub contractors, and then translated certain key sections back into English.

This makes it sound easy, but the bit we gloss over is the ‘get information from sub-contractors’. Not all countries have the same legal and cultural expectations as to the level of detail that a good manual should supply, so even if the detail is specified in sub-contractors’ contracts it can be very hard to get it delivered in practice. Sometime it requires the Main Contractor to weald a big stick and a good working relationship over distance is a vital component in making it work!

I am delighted that we got this over the line and we now have a template for best practice that we are happy to implement whenever needed.