As most multidisciplinary firms eventually find, the “oral tradition” (exchanging information verbally) of managing knowledge is not effective. Email can’t be the primary knowledge-sharing tool because it has short life-cycles (usually sent, read, and then filed/deleted), will not be available to people who join a firm after the email is sent, and will be just one of many emails received in a day. A traditional file server can’t be the primary either because while sharing files is a part of knowledge sharing, there is usually some insight to share in addition to the file itself.
Fehr & Peers initiated a companywide, internally-focused, web-accessible wiki in 2006 to improve our management of knowledge. Since that time, we have seen an overwhelming adoption in knowledge sharing, knowledge availability, and overall cohesion in strategic messaging. We have gained significant improvements in document management, collaboration, and access to staff that would not exist otherwise. We also are benefitting from companywide access to knowledge that has commonly only existed in the minds of a small group of technical experts.
Based on the success of our wiki, we have consulted to:
- County of Riverside
- California Energy Commission
- Transportation Research Board (TRB)
- Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE)
- Council of Fresno County Governments (Fresno COG) in cooperation with the 9 San Joaquin Valley Metropolitan Planning Organizations
- International Association of Business Communicators(IABC) and the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS)
- A/E/C firms who have inquired about our wiki for knowledge management strategy