Enhancing Technical Learning with KM Strategies at BWBR

“We don’t have 20 years to develop a 20-year architect.”

BWBR, a Minneapolis-based design firm, faced a converging set of business challenges over the last few years, including:

  • the retirement of their long-serving technical director
  • an influx of new talent direct from the college classroom
  • an increase in the complexity of their projects
  • accelerated project schedules driven by client demand, industry competition, and technological disruption

Sound familiar?

Enter the Landmark Learning Series—a wildly successful, grassroots technical learning program—created by BWBR to help bring architects and designers with less than five years of experience up to speed on the fundamentals of designing and documenting buildings.

Dan Hottinger and Stefnee Trzpuc share their behind-the-scenes story of creating the Landmark Learning Series in their KA Connect 2017 talk, Teach Them How to Fish: Enhancing Technical Learning with KM Strategies.

If capturing and sharing technical knowledge is a top priority for your AEC firm, you won’t want to miss this talk.

Teach Them How to Fish: Enhancing Technical Learning with KM Strategies

Dan Hottinger and Stefnee Trzpuc of BWBR at KA Connect 2017.

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Posted: August 29th, 2017 | Filed under: Featured Talks | Tags: | No Comments »
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Featured Video: Knowledge Management 101

In his KA Connect 2016 talk, Christopher Parsons shares his vision for the future of Knowledge Management in the AEC industry, which is based on Knowledge Architecture’s client work with over 90 leading AEC firms and producing seven KA Connect conferences on AEC Knowledge Management.

Watch this video to learn what knowledge management is, why it matters, and strategies for managing knowledge and building knowledge management teams.

Smarter by Design: A Knowledge Management Manifesto for the AEC Industry

Christopher Parsons of Knowledge Architecture at KA Connect 2016.

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Posted: April 18th, 2017 | Filed under: All Posts, Featured Talks | Tags: | Comments Off on Featured Video: Knowledge Management 101

Featured Video: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Knowledge Management Organizations

“The best thing that could ever happen to you in KM is that you find a business problem you can solve. Start with a business problem, fix it, and then you have the creds to do whatever else you need to do in KM.”

So began Carla O’Dell’s fantastic keynote talk at KA Connect 2016. Carla is the CEO of APQC and is widely considered by the knowledge management community to be one of leading experts in the world. Her KA Connect 2016 talk, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Knowledge Management Organizations,” distilled decades of researched best practices and hard-won insights into forty minutes of pure KM gold.

As Carla would say, I hope ya’ll enjoy it.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Knowledge Management Organizations

Carla O’Dell of APQC at KA Connect 2016.

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Posted: March 6th, 2017 | Filed under: All Posts, Featured Talks | Tags: | Comments Off on Featured Video: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Knowledge Management Organizations

How Shepley Bulfinch Improved Knowledge Sharing through Measurement

AskFinch Defining Moment

The Defining Moment

In 2014, Mark Finneral, a director and technical architect at Shepley Bulfinch, logged over 177 questions and answers in an excel spreadsheet.

Mark was a magnet for questions because he is both technically savvy and a “nice guy.” Folks from both inside and outside the firm asked him very detailed, technical questions. While he was more than happy to answer the questions, he was starting to become concerned that the value he was providing to other project teams was coming at the expense of his utilization rate on his own projects. Perhaps even more concerning to Mark, was the the fact that only the people who asked him questions got value out of the face-to-face exchanges. (Well, Mark found the exchanges personally valuable as well.)

When the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) at Shepley Bulfinch learned about Mark’s spreadsheet, they realized they had a problem, which led them to ask the following questions:

  1. Is the quality of answers people are getting dependent on who they know and where they sit?
  2. Are we answering the same questions over and over?
  3. Are we learning from the experience of others?

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Posted: November 11th, 2016 | Filed under: Featured Talks | Tags: | Comments Off on How Shepley Bulfinch Improved Knowledge Sharing through Measurement

Drew Wiberg on Building Knowledge Strategies with Search Data

Trying to manage knowledge without a strategy is like trying to sit at a table without a chair. In this video from KA Connect 2016, Drew Wiberg will methodically walk you through how he used search data to build a knowledge strategy for Eppstein Uhen Architects.

Take notes as Drew outlines the four legs of his knowledge strategy:

  • Search: Improve the reach of search queries and control preferred results
  • Navigation: Use Navigational Queries to inform efficient intranet design
  • Content: Identify and fill gaps in the knowledge base with new content
  • Education: Make educated guesses on the training needs of your firm

Don’t end up like Ichabod Crane, without a seat at the table. (I know that doesn’t make sense to you now, but Drew will cover how his experience with The Legend of Sleepy Hollow relates to knowledge strategy in the first minute and a half of his talk.)

Building Knowledge Strategies with Search Data

Drew Wiberg of Eppstein Uhen Architects at KA Connect 2016.

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Posted: September 6th, 2016 | Filed under: All Posts, Featured Talks | Tags: | Comments Off on Drew Wiberg on Building Knowledge Strategies with Search Data

Confessions of a Knowledge Manager

“I can’t find the sodding thing that I’m looking for!”

It’s the type of exclamation you most certainly want to minimize in your firm. Right? We’ve dipped into our archive and happily returned to Andrew Trickett, his impassioned commitment to Knowledge Management, his belief in reciprocal altruism, and his solutions for minimizing such exclamations.

Andrew is Global Rail Knowledge & Information Manager at Arup. In this video, he shares how he has used his 13 years of experience in the field of Knowledge Management to meet three very important objectives:

1) Improved Profitability
2) Happier Employees
3) Less Divorce

Clearly, the implications of a healthy Knowledge Management program, fueled by a leader with a passion for his pursuit, goes well beyond the workplace.

Andrew gave this talk at KA Connect 2013 and it has been one of the most watched talks in our archive over the last several years. We hope you enjoy it as well.

Tales from the Field: Confessions of a Knowledge Manager

Andrew Trickett of Arup at KA Connect 2013

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Posted: March 11th, 2016 | Filed under: All Posts, Featured Talks | Tags: | Comments Off on Confessions of a Knowledge Manager

Matthew Krissel on Improving Knowledge Sharing at KieranTimberlake

Do you want to improve knowledge sharing within your firm? So did KieranTimberlake.

They believed the obvious solution would be about technology. So they gathered a handful of smart people, and those smart people created a plan.

And then they threw the whole thing out.

Their original plan was inflexible, too static, slow… They needed something more dynamic, agile. And that was okay. They failed fast, and they moved forward.

Their new goals were about a framework. A framework they could grow and contract. A framework people could dial their time up and down within. A framework that would make people feel empowered. A platform versus a plan.

Give yourself a gift. All you need is about 15 minutes. Take a break and let Matthew Krissel tell you how this successful Knowledge Sharing Platform story ends.

Design Diffusion at KieranTimberlake

Matthew Krissel of KieranTimberlake at KA Connect 2015.

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Posted: December 1st, 2015 | Filed under: All Posts, Featured Talks | Tags: | Comments Off on Matthew Krissel on Improving Knowledge Sharing at KieranTimberlake

Andy Ernsting on Activating Knowledge Sharing at DLR Group

Have you ever thought about knowledge sharing as a component of your firm’s strategic vision? How about connecting internal and external knowledge sharing? For instance, translating a piece of internal communication, such as a post on your intranet, into a piece of marketing content, such as a post on your firm’s blog. Sound good? It gets better. Andy knows how knowledge sharing can generate leads.

If you haven’t seen Andy’s KA Connect 2015 talk about activating knowledge sharing at DLR Group, I believe it’s time. Grab some popcorn and press play.

Activating Knowledge Sharing at DLR Group

Andy Ernsting of DLR Group at KA Connect 2015.

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Posted: October 26th, 2015 | Filed under: All Posts, Featured Talks | Tags: | Comments Off on Andy Ernsting on Activating Knowledge Sharing at DLR Group

Kyle Fisher on The Evolution of Arup University

Arup has taken an innovative approach to capturing the culture of their firm—they’ve created a film series. This series, Arup Legends, is a compilation of interviews with members of Arup’s senior leadership team and founding partners. The stories they’ve documented over the last ten years will allow Arup to share with future generations of employees how they became the leading global engineering firm they are today.

This is just one of the many components of Arup’s inspiring and best-in-class university program. Watch Kyle Fisher’s KA Connect 2015 talk to learn more about Arup Legends, Arup University, and Knowledge Management.

The Evolution of Arup University

Kyle Fisher of Arup at KA Connect 2015.

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Posted: September 2nd, 2015 | Filed under: All Posts, Featured Talks | Tags: | Comments Off on Kyle Fisher on The Evolution of Arup University

Jonathan Bykowski on Continuous Improvement at Array Architects

Are you curious to know why Array Architects employs a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, an Industrial Engineer, and a Director of Continuous Improvement? We were. That’s why we invited Jonathan Bykowski to speak at KA Connect 2015.

So why not pull up a chair, lean back, and watch Jonathan talk about Array Architects’ continuous improvement journey.

Lessons Learned from Array Architects’ Continuous Improvement Journey

Jonathan Bykowski of Array Architects at KA Connect 2015.

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Posted: August 18th, 2015 | Filed under: All Posts, Featured Talks | Tags: | Comments Off on Jonathan Bykowski on Continuous Improvement at Array Architects