How big is too big ?

How big is too big ?

With the explosion of information about the Titanic this month, I had not realised that this ship was the biggest ship of its time and indeed was the largest ship afloat at the time of her sinking.

With out of date standards being defined for the number of lifeboats for passengers and a belief by her owners that she was unsinkable, there were many factors resulting in this tragic loss of life.

So I use this analogy of Titanic for this week’s musing and wonder if we have considered how big should our Reference Data Library (RDL) be, before it becomes too big.  Can an RDL be too big ?

First of all, let’s realise that the RDL in a 15926 world is designed to be federated, therefore, there will be no single RDL for everyone.  Which lead me to the thought of where should I place a split ?

I understand that there will be industry RDL’s, but gaining acceptance at this level is still a task to be undertaken and should not stop the adoption / implementation of RDL’s.

Therefore let us consider an RDL at the corporate level.  This indeed will work and there should be a single corporate standard, but then if we consider a global organisation, where does that corporation place information specific to a country ?  Should this be placed in the corporate RDL, or owned and maintained by the country ?  I think here that there should be a specific split ?  With perhaps, phrases and translations being owned by the country ?  However, there may be RDL entries that are created by the country, but exposed to the organisation.  While this is not beyond the capabilities of the RDL technology, should these be promoted to the corporate RDL once they have been used in 2 countries ?  Where does the ownership belong and who will be responsible for the change management and change control ?

I then started to consider a project RDL ?  Would this be considered instances or RDL ?  If a list of process systems was used ?  Would these be specific to the organisation or the plant ?  What if an organisation, purchases a plant that is running ?  Should they be migrated to a corporate RDL or should they be configured in a local RDL.

In reality, we have to consider for all options.  The RDL technology has to enable a global and local copy to ensure optimal performance.

All of the above are considerations for any implementation and  15926 is at the cutting edge of lifecycle data management, not like the outdated lifeboat standard which actually indicated that the Titanic had more lifeboat capacity than was required,


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