The sixth pillar of an Engineering Culture
An Engineering Culture consists of eight pillars. The sixth pillar is Knowledge Driven. Combining this with the other pillars helps companies to become great and successful IT companies. But what does it mean to be Knowledge Driven, why is it important, and what can you do to achieve that? In this article, we are going to answer these questions.
Why focus on knowledge
IT is an industry that evolves very fast. New technologies seem to emerge daily and existing ones are advancing at a rapid pace. Being able to keep up with these new technologies and implement them efficiently, helps companies to become better, faster, and cheaper. This means the capability to adapt and learn is essential if you want to stay ahead of the curve.
At Xpirit, we believe that the way to do that is by gaining and sharing knowledge. That is why sharing knowledge is in our company’s values and plays a large role in our own Engineering Culture.
But you can also find it embedded in the other pillars. For example, if you want to create State-of-the-art Software, you will need to make sure that you keep learning to keep up–to–date with the latest technologies. And being a knowledge-driven organization can also overlap with having an Epic Work Environment where you can offer opportunities to people for personal and professional growth and really put their growth first. That makes Knowledge-Driven not just a pillar, but an important overarching concept in an Engineering Culture.
How to focus on knowledge
Now that we know that knowledge is an important part of an Engineering Culture, the question arises of how to embed it into the organization. There are multiple ways to do so, which can be combined into a knowledge-sharing strategy. Below are some ideas on how to make knowledge a central part of the organization.
The first and most concrete way to gain knowledge is to enable people to participate in things like training, workshops, meetups, and conferences. This is a very straightforward way to learn new skills because the focus is on knowledge sharing. These activities can be used both for personal and technical development.
Besides participating in training and other knowledge-gaining activities outside your organization, start looking at opportunities to share knowledge from within. This can be as easy as organizing a pizza session where people can tell something about what they are doing. Or organize sessions around a specific theme and invite people to tell something about that. People within an organization have a lot of knowledge that can help colleagues learn new things. And especially when you are enthusiastic and passionate about something, what is better than sharing that with others?
The next thing that can help is stimulating a work environment where people can work together, and that way learn from each other. Instead of dividing work between team members, enable people to work with multiple people on the same problem. Techniques like pair programming, where two people work from the same workstation, can be a fun way of working, whilst being educational at the same time.
If you want to keep up, you need to make time for innovation. Go and experiment with new technologies regularly and try what works for you and the organization. Sometimes you will come across something that is really going to help you, other times the experiments will completely fail. But in both scenarios, you will have learned a lot. Time for innovation should be scheduled somehow, to avoid skipping it altogether because you got distracted by the whim of the day.
Knowledge plays a huge role within the Engineering Culture, and more generally in being a successful company. The IT is a fast-moving sector where it is crucial to keep up to date to stay ahead in the market. That is why it is important to focus on the way you gain and share knowledge, both from within and outside of your own organization.
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