Tuesday, 10 April 2018

BIM Implementation Workshop - 25 April - London

Evolve’s BIM Awareness Workshops help AEC businesses prepare and develop a strategy for adopting BIM on design and engineering projects. KnowledgeSmart will be talking about the importance of skills assessments, measuring BIM capability and capturing key business metrics to support a wider learning and development framework.

Through interactive one-day workshops presentations, best practice advice, discussion, and hands-on project-based exercises the Evolve team make sure AEC firms appreciate how BIM integrates with existing workflows and production of project deliverables. By the end of the day, teams will be able to identify key actions and prepare a company-wide, office or project BIM strategy.

Assessing what Building Information Modelling really means and how it applies to your business.

Understanding the basic requirements for data production & exchange.

Understanding the expectations of BIM Level 2 and managing projects.

Additional documentation designed to align BIM methodologies across design teams.

Appreciating the issues of digital production and data exchange.

The education process; maintaining production while minimising risk.

Formulating an action plan and the necessary strategies to implement BIM.

Join Evolve and KnowledgeSmart at Evolve's offices on WEDNESDAY 25 APRIL 2018 for this powerful opportunity to drive your BIM understanding and adoption.

Click here to book your place. KS customers and partners can enter the code KSBIM01 for a 20% discount at the checkout.


Thursday, 5 April 2018

KnowledgeSmart for Human Resources Management

This new video focuses on the tremendous benefits Human Resources Departments can expect from a KnowledgeSmart Subscription. 

How would it be if you could:
  • Liaise with team leaders to identify skills gaps and improve staff performance (backed up by inter-company and global benchmarks)
  • Interview and select job candidates and add reliable, objective skills assessment data to the selection criteria
  • Develop and implement more effective policies for performance management
  • Advise on pay and other remuneration issues, including promotion and benefits based on valuable metrics
  • Plan, and sometimes deliver, more effective training - including inductions for new staff based
  • Analyse training needs in conjunction with departmental managers using an intuitive, intelligent data query tool


KnowledgeSmart for Human Resources Management

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

10 Best Practice Tips for Writing Custom Assessments

KnowledgeSmart offers companies a flexible solution for assessing their teams.

Choose from a wide range of 'off the shelf' test titles, for design and engineering software or write your own custom assessments from scratch.

We have put together a handy guide with 10 best practice tips for writing custom assessments.

10 Best Practice Tips for Writing Custom Assessments - KnowledgeSmart

Friday, 9 March 2018


The most critical element of any skills assessment activity is to draw together support from management to drive the process and ensure a successful deployment and adoption.

Experience shows that it is helpful to gain support from the following key business areas:
  • Human Resources and Learning & Development
  • Technology and Building Information Modelling Management (to ensure alignment with company CAD / BIM standards and protocols e.g. BIM Level 2)
  • Senior Management
Without collective management support, your skills assessment activity might turn into a very frustrating, futile exercise.

Clarify the concept of skills assessment

People’s perception of skills assessment may be very different. Make sure that you define your interpretation of skill assessments, keeping in mind the priorities for each business division and ensuring alignment.

Once the definition is clarified it is substantially easier to explain the resulting benefits. Since most people have an adverse reaction when the word ‘test’ is mentioned, it is often a good idea to start with a quick comparison between ‘test’ and ‘assessment’. In most cases, the purpose of most tests is to assign a score. They offer limited diagnostic information to identify areas for improvement. Users often report feeling judged when tested and fear results might be used for other purposes than skills development.

To achieve the ultimate purpose of assessment - to improve learning and development - we need to answer not only questions on how our teams have learned but also questions on how they learned and why specific results occurred. Thus, an assessment is a far-reaching concept, focalising its efforts on learning, and serving the purpose of enhancement and development through a variety of ways.

Demonstrate the benefits

Firstly, your influencing skills will be tried and tested. There is no doubt that you will have to demonstrate how a skills assessment process can help your organisation with quantifiable benefits.

Linking the skills assessment benefits to a current strategic goal will undoubtedly go a long way towards helping to spark and keep management attention.

The most important benefits typically focus on the company’s recruitment process, efficient use of training budgets, productive skills development plans and optimised project resourcing. The challenges that each business division face might differ, but you will often find they are symbiotically interlinked.

In some cases, it is best practice to identify a ‘pilot’ group within the company first and develop a compelling internal case study before rolling out an assessment plan across your whole organisation. Stay aware of the tangible benefits of each business division. It is not productive for managers to continually fight fires. A successful assessment process shines a light on the root causes of some of the challenges faced. A successful skills assessment plan allows for the necessary course correction to be identified and implemented.

Catalyse improved management with improved data-driven decisions

Make sure you understand how your management team is measured and what their current strategic deliverables are. Connect the outcomes of the assessment programme to the overall metrics that management needs for reporting and to the overall strategic priorities and you will have a better chance of getting approval and buy-in. 

At RTKL – a global architecture, engineering, planning and creative services organisation – HR leadership challenged its BIM management team to source a BIM skills analysis tool to help the firm make smarter, more well-informed data-driven decisions about people’s CAD and BIM skills when resourcing project teams. The team reviewed the market and selected KnowledgeSmart based on reasons described by Andrew Victory, an Associate at RTKL, London, UK.


HR now understands ‘why’ people were hired and provides a high-level view of the firm’s talent base, but historically it has not fully appreciated some of the finer details about CAD and BIM skills. The nature of project-centric resourcing determines that individuals are moved from one project team to another as the workflow rises and falls across a project’s lifecycle, and their BIM skill-levels will critically influence their ability to contribute to their new team. With KnowledgeSmart results and analysis in hand, HR now has perhaps the most comprehensive oversight of all staff and their skills.”

Remember the financial benefits

Remember that a big priority for any successful management team is to show a good return on investment or prove financial benefits. Make sure you illustrate how the outcomes of your proposed assessment plan can lead to those management priorities. 

A quick cost-benefit analysis focusing on one of the following factors could be helpful:
  • the cost to employ inappropriate personnel over a 3-month period the cost of losing top performers (due to lack of recognition, support or training)
  • retaining an under-performing user (due to poor performance management)
  • project productivity gains due to identified performance improvements (being able to deliver on projects faster or with fewer resources

KnowledgeSmart is an invaluable tool for professionals that helps businesses capture knowledge on a wide range of software tools, workflows and, standards. More information is available at www.knowledgesmart.net

Sunday, 11 February 2018

KS Value Proposition - an Explanation

A KS software subscription price is determined by two factors: number of users to be tested (in a year) and number of required library topics to be included in the assessment mix.

There are 4 KS license types:
KS Pro1 - 1 primary library topic, i.e. Revit Architecture
KS Pro2 - 2 primary topics, i.e. Revit Architecture, Revit MEP
KS Pro3 - 3 primary topics, i.e. Revit Architecture, Revit MEP, Revit Structure
KS Enterprise - 4 or more primary topics

We also have different user number bands, to help identify firm size, i.e. 1-25, 26-50, 51-100, 101-250, 251-500, 501-1,000, etc.

For firms who only need to perform a small number of assessments each year, the 'pay-as-you-go' cost is $50/£50/E50 per test.

Before deciding on the best type of KS license, an AEC business should give due consideration to both of these factors.

It is important to establish precisely how many primary test topics they plan to use. If it is 4 (or greater), then KS Enterprise is the best fit. If they want to focus on fewer titles, then perhaps a KS Pro1, Pro2 or Pro3 would be more appropriate. 

Also, we do not monetise 'secondary' library titles, if a customer has invested in one or more 'primary' titles.

Here are some examples:

Revit Architecture, Revit MEP, Revit Structure, AutoCAD, Civil 3D, InfraWorks, Plant 3D, Inventor, AECOsim, MicroStation, GEOPAK, InRoads, ProjectWise, ARCHICAD, MS Office, BIM L2, Primavera P6, MS Project, Newforma.

Bluebeam, Design Review, Photoshop, InDesign, Rhino, SketchUp, Navisworks, Glue, Solibri, Vault, Revit Process, BIM Fundamentals, BIM Software Management, BIM Coordination, BIM Authoring, USACE BIM.

To further clarify, a 'test topic' refers to all related assessment titles under an 'umbrella' heading. For example, to assess Revit Architecture  skills for a company would require a KS Pro1 license, but might include the following titles:

Revit Architecture for occasional users
Revit Architecture fundamentals
Revit Architecture – Xpress 
Revit Architecture advanced
Revit Architecture - Extra questions
Revit Content Creation
Revit for Interiors
Revit Project Process
BIM Authoring with Revit
BIM Software Management (Revit)
BIM Coordination (Revit)
Practical BIM fundamentals

If a customer exceeds their user count by a small margin, we tend not to worry about it, and will review their future needs at the license anniversary. If they find their requirements go up by a bigger number (part-way through the license), then we typically have a conversation and sometimes upgrade to the next user band before the anniversary swings around. In this circumstance, they pay the difference between price bands, pro-rated to the license anniversary date. Customers are not blocked from using the tools at any time.

Here are links to the KS product and price pages.


Sunday, 4 February 2018

Developing Group Learning Strategies

We talk a lot about collaboration in the AEC industry... particularly in the context of delivering BIM projects.

Group learning, also known as “collaborative learning”, refers to the instructional strategy of having learners work together in groups in order address a task or goal.

The clever folks at efront Learning wrote an articulate and informed blog about developing a better approach to group learning strategies.

By taking a new approach to group learning, AEC businesses can develop an effective strategy to increase employees’ team spirit, collaboration skills, and workplace productivity.

Group learning which includes a mix of mentoring, lunch and learns, classroom training and focused E-learning - backed up with effective skills gap analysis - allows businesses to implement a blended, collaborative learning program that allows employees to study and work together to achieve common goals for themselves and the wider organisation.


Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Assessing BIM Skills

I recently read an articulate and informed blog post by Carillion's Technical BIM Lead, John Ford, about the business of measuring BIM skills.

Read the full post here: 'Are we Underestimating the Value of BIM Assessments?'

John makes a number of perceptive points about the organisational and process challenges facing AEC businesses, on their journey to BIM excellence.

There is no 'right or wrong' way to capture useful business intelligence, if it feeds into a wider BIM improvement plan. As Ford points out in his article, there are many effective methods for analysing data and metrics around the topic of BIM experience and capability, both within an organisation and across the wider industry supply chain.

A mix of formal assessment, self-assessment, survey responses, RAG tables and industry certification offer AEC firms all the tools they need, to create a clearer picture of BIM experience and credentials.

KnowledgeSmart has been working consistently in this space for the past 5 years, creating software and library content designed to help AEC businesses measure BIM maturity, skills gaps, training needs and technical expertise.

Here is a link to a recent KS webcast, which provides all the necessary tools and benchmark data for Global AEC businesses to create their own tailored BIM excellence plan.

To slightly misquote management guru, Peter Drucker, 'If you can't measure it, you can't manage it'. Wise words.