This paper will attempt to define a framework for the development of low cost knowledge management (KM) strategies for construction design practices. The proposed framework will serve all architectural and engineering design practices, but will be of particular relevance for small and medium practices, for which high investments on KM programmes are more problematic.
This work builds on the findings of several research projects in which large design organizations were studied and relates them to small and medium practices. The research projects which this work builds directly onto are: the EPSRC funded Advanced Decision Support for Construction Design Project (ADS) (Cerulli, Peng et al. 2001; Cerulli 2002; Cerulli, Peng et al. 2002; Cerulli 2005) and Learning from Experience (LEAF) Project (Bassanino, Lawson et al. 2001; Lawson, Bassanino et al. 2003) as well as on the practice based development of the K-Man suite of tools (Cerulli 2004; Cerulli 2005). The first part of the paper will address organizational and technological issues relevant to the development of KM strategies within the context of UK construction industry. In particular the role of IT and of the organizational culture in successful KM strategies will be critically discussed.
The second part of the paper will describe a suite of tools, techniques and practices that can be used as elements of a wider KM strategy. These tools and techniques range from freeware software, to HR and management policies to workplace design.
|Keywords:||Knowledge Management, Freeware, Bottom-Up Systems, Participation|
lecturer, School of Architecture, University of Sheffield, UK
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