Almost every day within our firm there is a learning opportunity for our staff. There are formal and informal gatherings in which practice knowledge is shared; from alcove project discussions to formal project pinup reviews, site visits, forum presentations or manufacturer product demonstrations.
These learning opportunities not only let staff share in each other’s collective project experience, but is part of the firm’s embedded culture of practicing innovative design.
Recently a practice area within our firm held a presentation and discussion on lessons learned, an opportunity for project managers to share recent project experience. It generated an interesting conversation centered around project experiences and planning during design phases.
Coincidentally, this was the theme of KnowledgeArchitecture’s annual conference just held in San Francisco. KA Connect 2018, Lessons Learned conference took a deep dive into sharing knowledge within architecture, engineering and construction firms.
This is a unique gathering of the AEC community in which strategy and solutions are discussed in an open forum. Firms share their strategies for success, what’s worked and what maybe needs improvement and what they’re doing to improve on education strategies.
At Payette, we recognize that our greatest asset is our people and their collective project and practice experience. With our practice experience spanning multiple generations, how do we transfer that critical institutional project and practice knowledge?
Some firms have gone to great lengths to formalize their education practice with “university or institute” programs, some happen on a more informal basis through their day-to-day staff interactions. Some utilize technology to curate and distribute learning information and for some it’s more about the in-person or mentoring knowledge transfer.
I recognize that our firm is fortunate to have most of its staff located in one central hub location or “think tank”. This enables the daily learning opportunity to be shared easily across the organization and increase in-person attendance. It’s not about just making a plan or scheduling a meeting; these learning opportunities should be cultivated, encouraged to grow and stories shared.
Whether a single location or across many global locations, how does your organization share its practice knowledge, formally, informally or both?