Synthesis 5 Resource Center

Synthesis 5 was our biggest release ever—introducing a redesigned search, renovated profiles, and several enhancements to the stream. In addition, Synthesis 5 is based on SharePoint 2013, which also brings along several new features and enhancements. Because of all of these changes, we have created several resources to help your firm successfully upgrade to Synthesis 5. This article brings them all together in one place.

Webinar Recording :: What’s New in Synthesis 5 and SharePoint 2013

Susan Strom, Chad Parsons, and Christopher Parsons led this webinar on June 25th, 2015, which introduces both Synthesis 5 and SharePoint 2013 in detail.

New KA Support Articles

What’s New in Synthesis 5 – A detailed overview of new features and product enhancements in Synthesis 5.

Search Overview + Documentation – Detailed documentation of the new Search Engine we introduced in Synthesis 5. If you are wondering what data sources Synthesis searches or how Synthesis ranks content in search results, this is the article for you.

Search Operators – Synthesis Search contains common Search Operators for manipulating and narrowing down search results such as wildcards, exact terms, and Boolean operators like AND, NOT, and OR.

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Behind the Scenes: How Shepley Bulfinch Prepared Their Community Managers to Drive Intranet Success

Shepley Bulfinch Community Managers

Not long ago, I described one of the more successful Intranet launches I’ve seen—the launch of Finch at the Boston-based architecture firm, Shepley Bulfinch. While the launch itself was certainly a story worth sharing, the planning leading up to the launch is equally so. In my experience, the long-term success of any Intranet hinges heavily on developing a small group of highly engaged and effective Community Managers. In this regard, Finch was no exception. Much of the success of this launch started with the thoughtful and intelligent approach used to engage and train the firm’s Community Managers engineered by Jim Martin, the firm’s CIO and Synthesis Sponsor.

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Behind the Scenes: How Shepley Bulfinch Launched Their Intranet and Engaged Users Post-Launch

SB_Finch_Logo

New products are launched all around us everyday. Usually, we hardly even notice. Sometimes, they yield a passing nod or a mention. And, other times…well…everything is executed so intelligently that we just have to step back, take stock, and say, “Now that was something!”

I had one of those moments last Fall with the launch of Finch, a new Synthesis Social Intranet for architecture firm, Shepley Bulfinch. To start, the launch statistics were astounding—in just 90 days the firm had over 50% participation and an average of 9 posts a day. More importantly, after seeing the inner workings of this launch, I was really impressed with the thoughtful, intelligent approach taken by the team and had to document what I learned for the KA Advance community.

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Office Hours Recap :: March 2015

In addition to community and product news with Susan and Chris, Shepley Bulfinch’s Intranet Champion Jim Martin and Head Community Champion PJ Centofanti gave us a tour of their Synthesis Intranet, Finch.

If you only have a few minutes, we recommend jumping to 3:10 for information about the upcoming Synthesis Workshop and 16:55 for the Intranet Tour of Finch.

March 2015 Topics

0:50 KA Connect: Registration Information for KA Connect 2015

1:45 AEC Knowledge Management Survey Reminder

3:10 KA Advance: Synthesis Workshop San Francisco Program Overview

7:30 KA Advance: Questions from the KA Advance LinkedIn Group

8:55 KA Advance: Driving a Professional Development Grant Program at DLR Group Using Synthesis Article

11:15 Synthesis 5 Update

12:25 Synthesis Mobile: Share Extensions

13:00 Product Roadmap: What’s Next?

14:15 When will Synthesis Mobile for Android will include the activity stream?

16:55 Intranet Tour: Finch at Shepley Bulfinch

30:00 Do “practice links” on the left nav open community sites or wiki pages?

30:50 Did Community Managers take leave with any action items based on their group exercise of analyzing the most active posts?

32:35 What was the genesis of #AskFinch?

37:00 What are the mechanics of the “no orphaned post” policy?

39:45 Do you have plans to use variations on #AskFinch for specific communities or to curate #AskFinch discussions into wiki pages?

Next Office Hours on July 16

Registration is now open for the next KA Advance Office Hours on July 16th at 11 AM PST.

Announcing the Synthesis Mobile Share Extension for iPhone

Our new Share Extension makes it easy to share photos and links on Synthesis Mobile from common iPhone apps like Camera and Safari.

This video provides step-by-step instructions for enabling the Share Extension as well as examples of using it to post a photo and share a link.

The Synthesis Mobile Share Extension is available in Synthesis Mobile 3.1 (the version currently in the App Store) and requires iOS 8.1 or higher.

Office Hours Recap :: February 2015

In addition to community and product news with Chris and Susan, Intranet Champions Zoe Sanderson and Whitney Welxer gave us a tour of Ballinger’s Synthesis Intranet, Bhive.

If you only have a few minutes, we recommend jumping to 1:50 for information about the upcoming AEC Knowledge Management Survey and 11:30 for the Intranet Tour.

February 2015 Topics

1:15 Introducing the AEC Knowledge Management Survey

3:55 KA Connect: Registration and Program Information for KA Connect 2015

5:45 KA Advance: Questions from the KA Advance LinkedIn Group

8:20 Synthesis 5 Update

11:30 Intranet Tour: Bhive at Ballinger

17:55 What do the Interiors Community Managers do on a daily basis? What makes them Community Managers and not just community members?

26:15 How did you come up with the Idea Center Community?

27:35 What’s next? What will you be working on in the next few months with Bhive?

29:20 What do you focus on in 1:1 training sessions?

Next Office Hours on March 26

Registration is now open for the next KA Advance Office Hours on March 26th at 11 AM PST.

Behind the Scenes: How DLR Group Drove a Professional Development Grant Program Using Synthesis

DLR Group PDG Winners

The culture of knowledge sharing at DLR Group goes back over a decade. In fact, it was 2006 when the firm launched its most high profile peer-to-peer network — DLR University (DLRU). Hosted at the IslandWood center on Bainbridge Island, just outside Seattle, DLRU brings together the firm’s senior leaders with rising stars and younger staff for three days of face-to-face knowledge sharing, learning and team-building.

I had the pleasure of experiencing DLRU first hand in August of 2012. The theme of that event was Technology + Innovation. I was asked to share my thoughts on the state of technology-driven knowledge sharing and introduce the firm to our concept of The Connected Practice. In addition to speaking, I stayed for the entire event and I was able to participate in the social activities which make DLRU work — small breakout sessions, walks in the woods, communal meals, and small group report outs.

From the moment I stepped foot on IslandWood, it was obvious to me that DLRU was about connecting the firm across offices and disciplines long before we started using the term Connected Practice. Over the years, DLRU has served as an incubator of sorts for a wide range of innovative ideas and has become a “sought after ticket” for individuals across the firm. To date, over 350 people have participated in DLRU.

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Office Hours Recap :: January 2015

Office Hours is 30 minutes of news, announcements, and Q+A with Susan and Chris.

If you only have a few minutes, we recommend jumping to 1:10 for an introduction to this year’s KA Connect program and 12:45 for a preview of the new Share Extensions feature coming to Synthesis Mobile for iPhone.

January 2015 Topics

1:10 KA Connect Program Tour

6:00 Synthesis Workshop :: San Francisco 2015 Registration Information

7:45 KA Advance: Questions from the KA Advance LinkedIn Group

9:00 New Article: Manage Synthesis More Successfully with the Intranet Champion Checklist

12:45 Synthesis Mobile: Preview of the new Share Extensions feature for iPhone

15:15 Synthesis 5 Demo: Federated Search + Revamped Company, Contact, and Opportunity Profiles

20:25 Synthesis 5 News: More Profile Fields will be Searchable + New Option to Base Employee–Project Associations on Hours Billed to the Project

21:40 When will Synthesis 5 be released?

Next Office Hours on February 19

Registration is now open for the next KA Advance Office Hours on February 19th at 11 AM PST.

Manage Synthesis More Successfully with the Intranet Champion Checklist

Synthesis Intranet Champion Checklist
As your firm’s Intranet Champion, you’re relied upon to drive your Synthesis Intranet towards your firm’s vision for knowledge sharing and information management. Essentially, you’re tasked with understanding the big picture and translating it into a discrete set of daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly activities to make it happen. We created this checklist to help you do just that.

The activities in each section are organized with the more fundamental activities at the top of the list and the more advanced activities towards the bottom. You might find that you begin by just doing one activity in each section and over time you layer on additional activities, or exchange one activity for another.

This checklist is neither exhaustive nor mandatory. It is, however, a great place to start building your own routine.

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Introducing the Stream for Synthesis Mobile

With Synthesis Mobile 3 you can use the stream to stay connected with your firm’s news, updates, and ideas, compose and comment on posts, and share photos and links—all from the convenience of your iPhone.

In addition, all of the Contacts, Projects, Companies, and Opportunities available in Synthesis now sync to Synthesis Mobile. (Not just the ones you’re following.)

Synthesis Mobile 3 is now available for download in the App Store.

Happy sharing.

Download Synthesis Mobile from the App Store

Office Hours Recap :: November 2014

Office Hours is 30 minutes of news, announcements, and Q+A with Susan and Chris.

If you only have a few minutes, we recommend jumping to 0:55 for reflections on the New York Synthesis Workshop and 17:40 for a demo of Synthesis 5 Search and changes to Project and Employee Profiles.

November 2014 Topics

0:55 Two Takeaways from the Synthesis Workshop :: New York

5:40 Deltek Insight 2014 Takeaway: Next-Generation Vision CRM

9:00 New Article: 6 Easy Techniques to Get and Keep Deltek Vision Data in Shape

10:00 New Article: What Does a Successful Synthesis Intranet Team Look Like?

13:50 How do you see the new Vision CRM informing or influencing what KA does with mobile apps? Has there been a suggestion to add the ability to create Opportunities through Synthesis Mobile?

15:45 Synthesis Mobile 3: Logo Customization + Release Schedule

17:40 Synthesis 5 Demo: Federated Search + Enhanced Profiles

22:15 When will Synthesis 5 be released?

24:30 Can you provide some guidance on streaming videos (for example, in-house seminars) in Synthesis and SharePoint?

27:40 Will “I’m a Resource For” be searchable in Synthesis 5?

28:30 How do we sign up for a Skill Builder?

Next Office Hours on January 22nd at 11 AM PST

Registration is now open for the next KA Advance Office Hours on January 22nd at 11 PST.

Office Hours Recap :: October 2014

Office Hours is 30 minutes of news, announcements, and Q+A with Susan and Chris.

If you only have a few minutes, we’d recommend jumping to 4:20 for reflections on the Milwaukee Synthesis Workshop and 14:40 for a sneak peek of changes to Directories in Synthesis Mobile 3.

October 2014 Topics

0:40 KA Connect: Keynote Speaker Announcement

4:20 KA Advance: Reflections on the Synthesis Workshop :: Milwaukee

11:15 APQC Knowledge Management Diagram

14:40 Synthesis Mobile 3 Product Preview: Updates to Directory Synchronization

18:20 Synthesis 5 Product Preview: New Images in OpenAsset Web Part

20:20 Will the updated “New Images in OpenAsset” feature extend to multiple photo uploads in Synthesis 5?

21:25 Are you exploring the ability to compose stream items via email?

21:45 How specific can you make an RSS feed?

22:25 Does the global navigation in Synthesis 5 stay at the top of the page as you scroll?

22:40 Can you demo how shares, comments, and likes work in Synthesis 5?

23:45 Are there any API changes coming in Synthesis 5? (+ follow up at 25:30)

25:15 Will there be new document management features in Synthesis 5?

25:40 Has Axomic officially taken over the Vision – OpenAsset connector? Has Newforma officially taken over the Vision – Newforma connector?

Next Office Hours on November 20th

Registration is now open for the next KA Advance Office Hours on November 20th at 11 AM PST.

What Does a Successful Synthesis Intranet Team Look Like?

Example KA Synthesis Intranet Team Diagram

It’s usually one of the first, and most important, sets of questions I’m asked by a new client: “To be successful with Synthesis, what type of Intranet Team should we build around it?” “What are the roles and skills we need?” “What do we expect of them?” “And, how do we pick the right people?”

The reality is that no Intranet Teams are the same. Every firm has different objectives for their Intranet, different people, and different skills. So, while this post can’t offer definitive answers to all those questions, it will get you headed in the right direction.

Over the years, we’ve found that the most successful Intranet Teams have established a handful of pivotal roles within their firm:

  • Synthesis Sponsor — Empowers the firm to make the sustained investment necessary to be successful.
  • Intranet Champions — Take ownership for driving the Intranet towards the organization’s vision for knowledge sharing and information management.
  • Specialists — Communications, information management, and technology specialists who work together to realize the Intranet’s full potential.
  • Community Managers — Take leadership roles in activating, engaging, and supporting members in each of the firm’s Knowledge Communities.

Let’s take a look at each of these roles in a little more detail.

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Office Hours Recap :: September 2014

Office Hours is 30 minutes of news, announcements, and Q+A with Susan and Chris.

If you only have a few minutes, we’d recommend jumping to 4:30 for information about the upcoming Synthesis Workshops and 13:00 for a sneak peek of Synthesis Mobile 3.

September 2014 Topics

1:00 KA Connect: Early Registration, Conference Theme, and Recently Published Clips

4:30 KA Advance: Synthesis Workshop Information

7:45 Deltek Insight 2014: Connecting with Knowledge Architecture and Synthesis Clients

9:55 Will recordings or slide decks from Synthesis Workshops be published?

11:30 KA Advance: Questions from the KA Advance LinkedIn Group

13:00 Product Preview: Synthesis Mobile 3

19:40 Is Synthesis Mobile compatible with iOS8?

19:45 Will the Synthesis Mobile stream show up as a “Share Option” in other apps?

21:00 When will Synthesis Mobile 3 for Android be available?

21:30 Product Preview: Synthesis 5 Search

26:15 What are hashtags and when do I use them?

30:30 What happens to hashtags in the stream if they are disabled in Stream Administration?

Next Office Hours on October 28th

Registration is now open for the next KA Advance Office Hours on October 28th at 11 PST.

Office Hours Recap :: August 2014

Office Hours is 30 minutes of news, announcements, and Q+A with Susan and Chris.

If you only have a few minutes, I’d recommend checking out questions from the KA Advance LinkedIn group at the 6:50 mark and the Synthesis Mobile 3 demo at the 12:20 mark.

August 2014 Topics

0:40 KA Connect News + Highlights

4:50 KA Advance News + Highlights (Questions from the LinkedIn group @ 6:50)

9:45 KA Support News + Highlights

10:45 Synthesis Product Update (Synthesis Mobile 3 demo @ 12:20)

15:35 Are Synthesis analytics coming?

16:55 Will documents appear in the Synthesis Mobile activity stream?

19:10 What makes for a great Community Champion?

23:20 How do Synthesis clients use their project communities?

27:45 What is your advice on breaking through the lulls of activity with an online community?

Next Office Hours on September 25th

Registration is now open for the next KA Advance Office Hours on September 25th at 11 PST.

Save the Date: Fall 2014 Synthesis Workshops

Synthesis Workshops combine short presentations and roundtable discussions.

Our clients share innovative digital and analog approaches to connecting their practices. We share sneak previews of new technology from the lab.

Synthesis Workshops are free of charge and limited to active clients of Knowledge Architecture.

FALL 2014 WORKSHOPS

Milwaukee Skyline Milwaukee
October 16, 2014
9am – 5pm
@Eppstein Uhen Architects
RSVP Here
New York Skyline New York
November 11, 2014
9am – 5pm
@Steelcase New York
RSVP Here
Seattle Skyline Seattle
December 4, 2014
9am – 5pm
@LMN Architects
RSVP Here