Site-Specific Infrastructure Training Can Help Limit Data Center Human Error

By David Boston  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: How to Minimize Human Error, Prevent Data Center DowntimePt. 2: Operations Objectives Should Drive Data Center Staffing DecisionsPt. 3: Develop Comprehensive Work Rules, Procedures To Minimize Human Error In Data CentersPt. 4: This PagePt. 5: How To Use Incentives To Improve Data Center Staff Retention

6. Site-specific infrastructure systems training. When a procedures program is substantially developed, it is critical to leverage the information created to serve as a training tool. Through repetitive practice, confidence will be instilled in the facilities team. There are two types of critical training, just as there are two types of critical procedures; this training can help mitigate human error in data centers.

First, for scheduled events which involve system transfers, the facilities manager should methodically schedule a rotation of individual facilities team members to perform the "hands-on" transfer of a system each time a given PM or repair will occur. A more experienced team member should serve as the "instructor" for the less experienced individual who will actually perform the transfer. Over the course of a year, most of the system transfer procedures will be utilized. This serves as invaluable training. Each year, more of the team members will have the chance to perform each transfer.

Separately, it is important to schedule simulated emergency event response training, as this will be the only chance the facilities team members have to develop confidence in their expected response to the emergency conditions the group has identified. A repetitive monthly training program should be designed and implemented for the facilities group. Pre-determined training session dates should be identified on the calendar and clearly communicated to all shift team members, along with the requirement to attend.

The facilities group should draw from their list of acknowledged experts for each infrastructure system to serve (or assist facilities staff members) as the initial "trainers" for the individual systems training sessions. The first couple hours of monthly training should be conducted in a classroom setting with a group review of written system descriptions and emergency procedures for the selected systems, including time for questions and answers. The trainer should then conduct hands-on training for pairs of shift engineers (on each shift separately), during the same week as the group training session. One individual should read aloud the steps of the procedure while a second individual performs the steps. Each pair of shift engineers should perform this portion of training separately, to ensure wording is clear to all.

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  posted on 8/16/2013   Article Use Policy

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