Office Hours Recap :: November 2017

Office Hours is 45 minutes of news, stories, and Q+A with Susan, Chris, Zucu, and special guests from the KA Advance community.

This month’s Office Hours featured Christopher Parsons, Founder and CEO, and Zucu Bermann Ingersoll, Director of Product, and is focused on all things product. In this session, we:

Demo …

  • Format text and add media to comments
  • Custom date ranges in Content Optimization

Share designs for …

  • “Save as Draft” for posts
  • Two new tabs in Content Optimization: Views and Users

Reveal what we learned during user research for …

  • “Synthesis Video
  • Post Analytics

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Office Hours Recap :: September 2017

Office Hours is 45 minutes of news, stories, and Q+A with Susan, Chris, Zucu, and special guests from the KA Advance community.

This month’s Office Hours featured the Turner Fleischer team: Ellen Bensky, Principal; Stephanie Tse, Project Administrator; and Sherry Lay, Graphic Designer.

About a year ago, Turner Fleischer faced a tough reality: they were rapidly hiring, but new employees had few written resources to reference. Turner Fleischer responded with a systematic and democratic approach to creating and publishing essential content.

In this webinar, you’ll learn how they:

  • Captured top-down and bottom-up insight into what essential content was needed
  • Delegated content creation
  • Made content easy to find
  • Solicited feedback from both management and staff
  • Measured their success

If you only have a few minutes, we recommend jumping to two highlights: Taking a Bottom Up Approach to Essential Content (23:39) and the Intranet Tour (39:55).

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Office Hours Recap :: July 2017

Office Hours is 45 minutes of news, stories, and Q+A with Susan, Chris, Zucu, and special guests from the KA Advance community.

This month’s Office Hours featured a Synthesis Spotlight with Rhonda Lewis and Petra Knochenhauer, information management and marketing leaders at Dewberry.

The Dewberry team has succeeded in:

  • Providing staff with excellent employee and project data
  • Engaging staff in continuous data improvement

Watch this recording to learn what they did, how they did it, and best practices that emerged through the process.

If you only have a few minutes, we recommend jumping to two highlights:

  • Optimizing Employee Education and Credential Data (17:30)
  • “We’ve got to give someone a way to tell us if there is something wrong with the data.”(28:00)

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Office Hours Recap :: June 2017

Office Hours is 45 minutes of news, stories, and Q+A with Susan, Chris, Zucu, and special guests from the KA Advance community.

In this month’s Office Hours, we unveiled Knowledge Architecture’s Client Success Framework, a five-step process for driving organizational success with Synthesis.

This light framework will help you achieve your goals faster by taking the guesswork out of:

  • Identifying your top priorities and success metrics
  • Building internal alignment
  • Developing a tactical roadmap

If you only have a few minutes, we recommend jumping to two highlights:

  • KA Strategy Update: Investing in People and Processes (6:10)
  • Introduction to the Intranet Maturity Model (IMM) 2.0 (11:25)

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Office Hours Recap :: May 2017

Office Hours is 45 minutes of news, stories, and Q+A with Susan, Chris, Zucu, and special guests from the KA Advance community.

On this month’s Office Hours webinar, Christopher Parsons, Founder and CEO, and Zucu Bermann, Director of Product, demo some exciting features that are currently in development.

If you only have a few minutes, we recommend jumping to User Tools: Features in Beta (3:50) and Management Tools: Features in Beta (13:00).

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Office Hours Recap :: March 2017

Office Hours is 45 minutes of news, stories, and Q+A with Susan, Chris, Zucu, and special guests from the KA Advance community.

March 2017’s Office Hours featured a Synthesis Spotlight with Catherine Curtis and Hillary Schlehuber, marketing leaders and intranet champions for LochNet, Lochner’s Synthesis Intranet.

Last year Catherine and Hillary set out to make basic resources, like the IT Handbook and Paid Holiday Calendar, super easy for new employees to find. They launched the LochNet employee resource page twelve months ago and the results are in—new and existing employees love it!

In this webinar you’ll learn what they did, how they did it, and best practices that emerged through the process.

If you only have a few minutes, we recommend jumping to two intranet tour highlights: Overview of the Employee Resources page (11:50) and Overview of the Marketing Team Manual page (24:00).

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Office Hours Recap :: January 2017

Office Hours is 45 minutes of news, stories, and Q+A with Susan, Chris, Zucu, and special guests from the KA Advance community. This month’s Office Hours featured an intranet tour of Fuscoe Engineering’s Synthesis intranet, ARC.

Launching a Synthesis intranet in the fall of 2016 was an important milestone in Fuscoe’s knowledge management journey. Highlights of the new intranet include:

  • Analog Communities of Practice got a digital home
  • Disconnected and siloed key information about employees and projects is now accessible to all employees in a single system
  • Employees can now find fundamental information about how work is done at Fuscoe via a single, informative toolbox

In this webinar, Jeff and Brandon give a tour of Arc and share their insights on brand alignment and employee engagement. If you only have a few minutes, we recommend jumping to two intranet tour highlights: Engineering CADD Standards (21:40) and #AskARC (38:45).

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Office Hours Recap :: December 2016

Office Hours is 45 minutes of news, stories, and Q+A with Susan, Chris, Zucu, and special guests from the KA Advance community.

Last month’s Office Hours featured a tour of Dewberry’s Synthesis Intranet with Lisa Cochran.

Dewberry’s information and communications needs are as diverse as their organization—54 offices, 2000 employees, and over 60 business units. They launched ID, their Synthesis Intranet, at the beginning of 2015 and the business is so happy with it that the intranet team received an internal award of excellence. Yet their intranet only has 6 community sites. Watch the recording to learn how Lisa and the Dewberry team set priorities and managed complexity to keep their intranet simple and easy to use.

If you only have a few minutes, we recommend jumping to 4:00 for information about KA Connect 2017’s theme and 18:45 for an overview of ID’s Home Page and Communities.

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Office Hours Recap :: November 2016

Office Hours is 45 minutes of news, stories, and Q+A with Susan, Chris, Zucu, and special guests from the KA Advance community.

This month’s Office Hours featured an introduction to the Essential Content Checklist and interviews with Pat Peyton (Mead & Hunt) and Molly Johnson Wagner (Dewberry) about how they’re using Synthesis to improve operational efficiency in their firms.

If you only have a few minutes, we recommend jumping to 7:45 for an introduction to the Essential Content Checklist, 16:25 for Pat’s thoughts on how to use the checklist to improve IT and MarComm intranet content and 33:20 for Molly’s thoughts on using the checklist to support project management process reengineering.

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Streamline Your Operations with the Essential Content Checklist

Essential Content Checklist

Clients often ask us, “what content is essential to a successful intranet?”

Because we have built over 90 intranets for architecture, engineering, and construction firms over the last seven years using Synthesis, Knowledge Architecture is uniquely positioned to answer this question.

We find that this question typically arises when a firm is either:

  1. Preparing for the launch of a new intranet, or
  2. Conducting a content audit of an existing intranet

Both of these events provide an opportunity to step back and evaluate how your intranet can give employees what they need, when they need it. Our Essential Content Checklist will help you do just that.

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Office Hours Recap :: July 2016

Office Hours is 45 minutes of news, announcements, and Q+A with Susan and Chris. This month’s Office Hours featured an interview with Jim Martin and PJ Centofanti from Shepley Bulfinch about how they are using Synthesis to improve the employee onboarding experience at Shepley Bulfinch.

If you only have a few minutes, we recommend jumping to 6:30 for an introduction to the new resource on Establishing a Firmwide Q+A Program Using Synthesis and 12:00 for an interview with Jim Martin and PJ Centofanti from Shepley Bulfinch about how they are using Synthesis to improve the employee onboarding experience at Shepley Bulfinch

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Office Hours Recap :: June 2016

Office Hours is 30-45 minutes of news, announcements, and Q+A with Susan and Chris. This month Chris talked us through our Synthesis Product Roadmap with demonstrations of new features along the way.

If you only have a few minutes, we recommend jumping to 14:50 for a demo of Synthesis Search Optimization and 35:00 for the sharing related features that we’ve got on deck for Synthesis 5.3.

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Establishing a Firmwide Q+A Program Using Synthesis

Synthesis_Q+A_Hero_575
In this article you’ll learn…

5 Benefits of a Q+A Program
3 Key Roles in a Q+A Program
9 Steps to Roll Out a Q+A Program at Your Firm

“If you can teach people to help themselves you get an additive effect: they not only help each other; they grow themselves as experts. Essentially, you have little experts pop up left and right and they sort of grow on their own. Over time, you raise people up from basic competency towards expert level.” — Jack Chaffin, LMN Architects.

Four years ago LMN Architects hired Jack Chaffin to lead the firm’s transition from CAD-based MicroStation to Revit. They knew they had an expert to guide the process because he’d led similar transitions twice before. Jack’s expertise met such a critical need that after a short while, Jack found that “help desk issues were taking up an increasingly larger portion of [his] energy; taking focus away from other strategic activities” related to the transition.

When it comes to this problem, LMN is not alone. According to research published by Rob Cross, Reb Rebele, and Adam Grant in HBR, “up to a third of value-added collaborations [in any organization] come from only 3% to 5% of employees.” As a result, often the people who are most in demand (those with the answers) are becoming increasingly over-taxed by the burden of responding to requests for their expertise. The really scary thing is that in most organizations leadership doesn’t even know who their top collaborators are. As many as 50% of an organization’s top collaborators can’t even be identified by the organization.

Enter a Q+A program. Increasingly, we’re seeing more and more firms successfully implement formal Q+A programs inside Synthesis to identify and activate subject matter experts. We’ve learned from firms like LMN, brainstormed what this looks like at previous Synthesis Workshops, and shared some successful programs through our Office Hours webinar series. In this article we’re going to share the benefits of a Q+A program along with some of the roles and steps necessary to roll one out in your firm.

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Introducing Synthesis Search Optimization

Search Optimization is featured in Synthesis 5.2, the latest release of our social intranet for architects and engineers. The goal of Search Optimization is to provide you with the insights and tools you need to realize best in class intranet search.

Analyze Underperforming Terms
Detailed Search Logs and Search Sessions will help you understand why certain search terms perform poorly and provide insights on how to improve them.

Provide the Right Content
Search Log analysis helps take the guesswork out of determining what content your users really want.

Fine Tune Your Search Engine
Best Bets and Synonyms allow you to immediately improve the relevance of your intranet’s search results.

Measure + Benchmark Performance
Search Scores, Testing, Key Stats, and Benchmarking allow you to evaluate your intranet’s search performance.

Are you ready to optimize your intranet’s search?
Synthesis 5.2 is now available. Contact us to get started.

Office Hours Recap :: April 2016

Office Hours is 30 minutes of news, announcements, and Q+A with Susan and Chris. This month we were joined by Krista Doeding, Business Systems Manager at Moffatt & Nichol.

If you only have a few minutes, we recommend jumping to 5:50 for an introduction to Krista, which is followed by stories of her experience launching Synthesis and engaging employees to use the platform.

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Office Hours Recap :: March 2016

Office Hours is 30 minutes of news, announcements, and Q+A with Susan and Chris. This month we were joined by HLW International’s Marketing & Communication Coordinator, Sarah Batchelor.

If you only have a few minutes, we recommend jumping to 11:11 for an introduction to Sarah, followed by an introduction to HLW’s knowledge management ecosystem, a deep dive into the mechanics of HLW University, and an exploration of how HLW leverages Synthesis to make HLW University more successful.

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Office Hours Recap :: January 2016

Office Hours is 30 minutes of news, announcements, and Q+A with Susan and Chris. This month we were joined by:

Stefnee Trzpuc – Design Research and Knowledge Management Specialist at BWBR
Kayla Leverton – Director of Marketing & Communications at MSA Professional Services

If you only have a few minutes, we recommend jumping to 6:30 for the Synthesis Product Roadmap at a Glance, 14:50 for Stefnee’s thoughts on supporting technical teams in more effective knowledge sharing and 29:10 for Kayla’s thoughts on connecting leadership and staff on the Intranet.

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Office Hours Recap :: November 2015

Office Hours is 30 minutes of news, announcements, and Q+A with Susan and Chris. This month we were joined by Kathy Schumann from Mead & Hunt and Drew Wiberg from Eppstein Uhen Architects who shared their Fall 2015 Intranet Improvement Projects.

If you only have a few minutes, we recommend jumping to 9:00 for Kathy’s thoughts on improving employee onboarding at Mead & Hunt and 13:10 for Drew’s thoughts on filling information gaps at Eppstein Uhen Architects.

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