KA Connect - Building Knowledge
Conference Talks Books Blog About
Join us at KA Connect 2018

KA Connect 2018 will take place at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on May 1st and 2nd, 2018.

Senior and emerging leaders from top AEC firms will share their insights on topics such as:

  • Lessons Learned
  • Learning & Development
  • Corporate Universities
  • Best Practices
  • Process Improvement
  • Idea Management
  • Communities of Practice
  • Internal Communications
  • Intranets

Take advantage of early registration while we plan!

Author: Christopher Parsons

KA Connect 2018

Today we're announcing the speaker lineup and program for KA Connect 2018, our annual Knowledge Management Conference for the AEC Industry. KA Connect 2018 will take place at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on May 1st and 2nd.

The theme of KA Connect 2018 will be "Building a Learning Organization."

Senior and emerging leaders from top AEC firms will gather to learn strategies and tactics for building and operating successful knowledge management programs. A wide range of experts will share their knowledge through talks, case studies, and interviews. Our focus will be on organizational learning, featuring topics such as:

  • Lessons Learned
  • Learning & Development
  • Corporate Universities
  • Best Practices
  • Process Improvement
  • Idea Management
  • Communities of Practice
  • Internal Communications
  • Intranets

Attendees will have ample time to network and collaborate with their peers in breakout groups.

You can review the full speaker lineup here and the conference program here.

If you are passionate about helping your AEC firm create, share, and manage knowledge more effectively, this is the conference for you.

We hope you'll join us.

P.S. Early registration is available through February 3rd. Learn more at http://ka-connect.com/conference.php.

Posted: January 16, 2018 | View this Post
Author: Christopher Parsons

We're excited to share that ENR's cover story this week is a broad and interesting overview of how Knowledge Management is impacting the AEC Industry.

The article profiles several AEC firms in the KA Connect community including DLR Group, MSA Professional Services, POWER Engineers, Stantec, and Fluor as well as friends of KA Connect like APQC and Columbia University's Information and Knowledge Strategy program.

You can read the article here: https://www.enr.com/articles/43494-staying-smart-industry-firms-refine-knowledge-management-to-build-on-what-they-know

The mission of the annual KA Connect Conference is to "Advance the Practice of Knowledge Management in the AEC Industry." It is so great to see the AEC KM movement get the visibility it deserves and I think now is a great opportunity for us all to take a moment and reflect on all the progress we've made on this journey together.

Thank you to the clients, partners, friends, and employees of Knowledge Architecture who make this community possible.

Here's to many more years of learning and growing together!

Posted: November 29, 2017 | View this Post
Author: Christopher Parsons

"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.

> Continue Reading

Posted: August 29, 2017 | View this Post
Author: Christopher Parsons

All 18 talks and interviews from KA Connect 2017 are now available online.


Posted: July 11, 2017 | View this Post
Author: KA Connect

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.

> Continue Reading

Posted: April 18, 2017 | View this Post
Author: Christopher Parsons

You are surrounded by knowledge in your AEC firm. If you reflect for a few minutes, you'll likely agree that not all of that knowledge is equal. Some knowledge in your firm is commoditized and easily replaced when people leave the firm. Some knowledge is outdated, wrong, and/or irrelevant, not missed when experts retire. However, there is another category of knowledge which comprises unique, hard-won, experience-based knowledge, which is essential to the success of your firm today, and in the future. Knowledge Management professionals call this "Critical Knowledge." Critical Knowledge is the high-hanging fruit in your firm, located deep in the brains of your wisest people.

From September of 2016 through April of 2017 Knowledge Architecture sponsored an eight-month research project into Critical Knowledge Transfer. Dorothy Leonard, Chief Advisor of the Leonard-Barton Group and Professor Emerita of the Harvard Business School, led four firms—Shepley Bulfinch, SMMA, Dewberry, and HGA—in this project.

Below you will find Knowledge Architecture's Critical Knowledge Collection, a boxed-set if you will. This KA Connect talk collection shares the individual experiences of each participating firm, as well as a deeper dive by Dorothy Leonard into the theory and practice of Critical Knowledge Transfer.

By watching these talks we hope you will walk away with a well-rounded perspective of the complex challenge of transferring Critical Knowledge, various Critical Knowledge Transfer strategies, and inspiration to move forward more effectively with Critical Knowledge Transfer within your firm.


Experiments in Critical Knowledge Transfer at Shepley Bulfinch

Jim Martin of Shepley Bulfinch at KA Connect 2017.

In the fall of 2016, Shepley Bulfinch embarked upon an initiative to identify pockets of scarce, important, and hard-to-replace knowledge within their practice. Jim Martin shared lessons learned from the discovery process, approaches for capturing critical knowledge, and tactics for disseminating it to others in the firm.

Play Video >

> Continue Reading

Posted: October 18, 2017 | View this Post
Author: Christopher Parsons

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.

> Continue Reading

Posted: September 06, 2016 | View this Post
Author: Christopher Parsons

"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.

> Continue Reading

Posted: March 06, 2017 | View this Post
Author: Christopher Parsons

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?

> Continue Reading

Posted: November 11, 2016 | View this Post
Author: Christopher Parsons

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.

> Continue Reading

Posted: December 01, 2015 | View this Post

  © Copyright 2018  |  Knowledge Architecture  |  All Right Reserved