Flat vs. Deep Intranet Hierarchy?

Are you subscribed to the Nielsen Norman Group e-mail list? If not, you should be. Nielsen Norman conducts research, produces content, and runs seminars in the areas of website, intranet, application, and product usability. They are top-notch.

Here’s a link to the mailing list: http://www.nngroup.com/articles/subscribe/

Last week, they sent out a really interesting article on website hierarchy, though I think most of this applies to intranets as well. Intranet hierarchy (or navigation) was a big topic at the KA Advance Synthesis Workshop in Boston a few weeks ago.

Susan is currently compiling examples of top navigation (aka top navigation or top link bar) and examples from Synthesis clients. If you are willing to let us include your intranet’s top navigation in a blog post or support article, please shoot us a note at advance@knowledge-architecture.com.

Posted: November 21st, 2013 | Filed under: General | Comments Off on Flat vs. Deep Intranet Hierarchy?

Connect with KA at Deltek Insight 2013

Connecting Vision: Improving your Return on Information through Systems Integration

So you’ve got great information in Deltek Vision. Congratulations! Now the question becomes, “What else can you do with it?”

Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA), an international award-winning structural and civil engineering firm, has improved their “return on information” by connecting Deltek Vision to their newly redesigned website, Knowledge Architecture’s social intranet platform, Synthesis, and Axomic’s image management database, OpenAsset. In addition, MKA has worked with a local web developer to create a variety of custom interfaces and workflows to improve data entry and retrieval.

MKA’s investment in Deltek Vision systems integration has led to better quality information, reduced data entry costs, and a more highly connected practice. Attend this session to learn why they did it, how they did it, and lessons learned along the way.

Julie Jackson
Marketing Manager, Magnusson Klemencic Associates

Christopher Parsons
Founder and CEO, Knowledge Architecture

Building a Knowledge Team

“Who is responsible for making sure our knowledge is shared and leveraged?”

If you’re asking this question, you’re not alone. Nearly every firm leader we talk to is thinking about the same thing.

In this session, we’ll discuss the knowledge sharing roles and responsibilities commonly found in highly connected practices and present rich case studies of A/E industry knowledge teams. We hope that you’ll leave with new and practical ideas for leveraging your existing human resources to connect your practice.

Susan Strom
Director of Client Success, Knowledge Architecture

Client Workshop

Monday, October 14
1 PM – 5 PM

What’s on the Agenda?

  • Sharing Knowledge, From the Inside Out
  • Sharing Stories with Video
  • Exercise: Mapping your Knowledge Team
  • Product Roadmap Overview & Discussion
  • Roundtable Discussion: Improving your Return on Information

Limited to active clients of Knowledge Architecture.

Full Agenda

Visit us in the Expo Hall

Knowledge Architecture is a sponsor of Deltek Insight 2013. We’ll be at our booth in the Insight Expo Hall showing off our latest technology.

Please come by and say hello.

Posted: September 5th, 2013 | Filed under: General | Comments Off on Connect with KA at Deltek Insight 2013

Disruptive Innovation in under 8 minutes.

Not familiar with Clayton Christensen’s theory of disruptive innovation? Watch this 8-minute video. (Then read more.)

Posted: August 7th, 2013 | Filed under: General | Comments Off on Disruptive Innovation in under 8 minutes.

Save the Date: Fall 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.


Pike_Market_Fish Seattle
September 26, 2013, 9AM – 3PM
Venue and Agenda to follow
RSVP here.
Texas_Flag Dallas
October 14, 2013, 1PM – 5PM
Preceding Deltek Insight 2013
Venue and Agenda to follow
RSVP here.
BostonRedSox Boston
November 7, 2013, 9AM – 3PM
Venue and Agenda to follow
RSVP here.
Posted: July 10th, 2013 | Filed under: General | Comments Off on Save the Date: Fall Synthesis Workshops

How do you disconnect?

As we all become more and more connected, it is clear that we also need to become better at disconnecting. Or, to put it more precisely, as we all become more and more digitally connected, it is clear that we need to find ways to remain connected in an analog way. (You know, with nature, people, books, and stuff.)

I’ve been experimenting with something lately that I wanted to share.

There are several emerging movements such as Digital Shabbat, the Sabbath Manifesto, and the National Day of Unplugging, all of whom advocate disconnecting from communications technology on a regular basis.

My wife and I have done a weekly “computer free day” off and on for a few years, but we’ve been pretty good about it lately. While it was tough at first, I think the key is to be consistent. Over time I’ve found that at the end of the work week, I’m actually looking forward to “computer free day,” even craving it, instead of dreading the withdrawal symptoms.

So that’s my first question – how do you disconnect personally?

Which leads me to my second question – how does your firm disconnect?

I’ve read about firms who post rules of digital engagement. For example, firms with policies that ban e-mailing team members after 8 PM or on weekends. Or firms who strongly discourage checking in on email and voicemail from vacation. Or firms who ban smartphones and tablets in meetings.

I’m not suggesting that our firm does all of these things, or that yours should either. But I am curious to know if the trend in personal disconnection will spread to companies. As our firms become more connected, will they also need to learn how to disconnect?

Your thoughts?

Posted: July 8th, 2013 | Filed under: General | Comments Off on How do you disconnect?

KA Connect 2013 talks are now available online.

KA Connect 2013 Speakers

We just posted the talks from KA Connect 2013. Watch them here.

Posted: June 20th, 2013 | Filed under: General | Comments Off on KA Connect 2013 talks are now available online.

Think like a poet. Work like a bookkeeper.

Letters to a Young Scientist

I’m really enjoying Edward O. Wilson’s Letters to a Young Scientist. Here’s an excerpt that really resonated with me:

“I’ll end this letter by telling you how I conceive of the creative process of both a novelist like Crichton and a scientist. (I have been both.) The ideal scientist thinks like a poet and only later works like a bookkeeper. Keep in mind that innovators in both literature and science are basically dreamers and storytellers. In the early stages of the creation of both literature and science, everything in the mind is a story. There is an imagined ending, and usually an imagined beginning, and a selection of bits and pieces that might fit in between. In works of literature and science alike, any part can be changed, causing a ripple among the other parts, some of which are discarded and new ones added. The surviving fragments are variously joined and separated, and moved about as the story forms. One scenario emerges, then another. The scenarios, whether literary or scientific in nature, compete with one another. Some overlap. Words and sentences (or equations or experiments) are tried to make sense of the whole thing. Early on, an end to all the imagining is conceived. It arrives at a wondrous denouement (or scientific breakthrough). But is it the best, is it true? To bring the end safely home is the goal of the creative mind. Whatever that might be, wherever located, however expressed, it begins as a phantom that rises, gains detail, then at the last moment either fades to be replaced, or, like the mythical giant Antaeus touching Mother Earth, gains strength. Inexpressible thoughts throughout flit along the edges. As the best fragments solidify, they are put in place and moved about, and the story grows until it reaches an inspired end.”

Yeah, it kind of works like this with products too.

Posted: May 19th, 2013 | Filed under: General | Comments Off on Think like a poet. Work like a bookkeeper.

AEC Technology Symposium in NYC on May 20+21

Image: AEC Technology Symposium

The Advanced Computational Modeling Group at Thornton Tomasetti has put together quite an impressive lineup for their inaugural AEC Technology Symposium in NYC on May 20 and 21.

Check it out!

Posted: April 30th, 2013 | Filed under: General | Comments Off on AEC Technology Symposium in NYC on May 20+21

What do YOU want to talk about at KA Connect 2013?

KA Connect 2013 is one week from tomorrow. We’re really excited about the quality, diversity, and passion of our speakers.

Equally important are this year’s cohort of attendees. We have almost 150 people attending KA Connect this year. What a great group!

What’s a Hangout?

We’ll be running four hour-long Hangouts at KA Connect 2013 — two sessions in the middle of both days.

Attendees of prior conferences have asked for “conference infrastructure” to help them connect with people who want to talk about the topics that they are passionate about. We tried this for the first time at KA Connect 2012 and it was a big success, so we’re bringing it back.

Each table at KA Connect 2013 will have a number. During the Hangouts, we’ll put suggested topics up on the main conference screen and assign those topics to table numbers. Here’s the cool part — conference attendees will suggest the Hangout topics and moderate the discussions.

What makes for a good Hangout topic?

What burning issues are keeping you up at night? What ideas, technologies, or strategies are you most excited about heading into 2013? Or most curious about?

Hangouts are meant to be very fluid and dynamic discussions with your peers. They are not presentations.

To get you thinking, I have pulled together some Hangout topics from KA Connect 2012:

  • Funding R+D
  • Do Innovation Competition Programs Work?
  • The role of the CEO in a Connected Practice.
  • Using Social Media on Projects
  • Social Media successes, failures, and lessons learned.
  • How do Generations X, Y & Z affect your firm?
  • What does a successful Intranet/KM team look like?
  • Cloud Computing Challenges and Opportunities.
  • What book are you reading?

How to share your Hangout Topics with us

We’re ready to start collecting topics now. You can submit your idea in one of three ways:

1) Via Twitter using the #KAConnect2013 hashtag.
2) E-mail us at connect@knowledge-architecture.com.
3) Come to the KA Connect 2013 Information Booth during the conference and tell us in person.

So, what do YOU want to talk about at KA Connect 2013?

Posted: April 29th, 2013 | Filed under: General | Comments Off on What do YOU want to talk about at KA Connect 2013?

How often should my firm post to our blog?

Hi all,

I got a question from a friend of mine this morning. I’ve changed the phrasing a bit, but the gist of her question was this:


“How often do you think it is important for firms to blog? I’ve been trying to have someone on my team (including me) blog once a week. Some months have been better than others. There has been a great deal of resistance in doing this. Do you think four blogs a month are too much? Am I being unrealistic? I’ve been told by our strategic planner that worked with us that perhaps we need to decrease to one newsletter a month and one blog a month. Any thoughts on the subject?”


My short answer was this — write when you have something to say. Some of the best bloggers I read post once every six, eight, or ten weeks, but when they have something to say, wow, they can blow the doors off. Conversely, there’s nothing more boring than reading a blogger that is clearly going through the motions to force out content just because it is Wednesday at 10 AM and “Wednesday at 10 AM is when we post.”

I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on the subject. If you have something to add, please join the conversation on our LinkedIn Group.

Thanks in advance!

Posted: April 23rd, 2013 | Filed under: General | Comments Off on How often should my firm post to our blog?