Case Study: Improving safety, business development and risk management for a mid-sized engineering and construction firm.

April 19, 2018



The Client:


A mid-size engineering and construction company based out of Canada, with a diverse range of projects, from commercial retail, school facilities, professional centres to light industrial facilities.


# of users: 200+


The client began using CornerThought Software as their lessons learned repository to manage their project knowledge beginning in early 2017.


The Challenge:


The client faced a multitude of knowledge sharing challenges, including:


Sharing safety knowledge


In particular, sharing incidents related to a specific project type and activity, in order to ensure field workers were aware of job specific hazards prior to starting work. The client was having trouble sharing the most relevant safety lessons learned due to the fact that incidents weren’t categorized with metadata for easy retrieval.


Assessment of past bids when engaging clients


Specifically, the Tender Management team had challenges retrieving client specific win-loss lessons learned in a timely manner when submitting a bid for the same client, in order to ensure repeat mistakes were not made in the bid process.


Risk Management


The original risk management process was to hold risk identification workshops in order to identify risks based on the attendee’s experience. This method meant less accurate and missing information due the fact that many past project members had left the company, taking their knowledge and experience with them. The client needed a way of capturing lessons learned throughout the project while the team was there in order to retain that information for future project’s risk assessments.


Our Approach:


We started by taking the client’s lessons learned from all the separate sources (SharePoint, Excel files) of which the various delivery teams were holding their data. Using the client’s method of defining project types, stage gates, scope, and tasks from their work breakdown structure, we uploaded their lessons learned to their CornerThought account, segmented the lessons learned on a project-by-project basis, and added metadata both to their projects (such as client, location, deliverable, etc.) as well as their individual lessons learned (i.e. tagging lessons based on what tasks they affected, what stage gates they occurred, as well as other terms used in order to make the information more searchable).


We also setup their team with accounts, setup their current projects, and had the team start recording their lessons learned as they were carrying out their projects.


The Result:


Improved Safety Culture:


Field users found that the setup of CornerThought, which showed them the most relevant safety lessons learned from similar past projects, based on the tasks assigned to them made them more cognizant of the hazards. As well, the notification system meant that new safety incidents that came up on similar ongoing projects were shared with them automatically, reducing the need for creating formal safety newsletters.


Reduction of bid development time by approximately 4 hrs per bid


By categorizing bid lessons learned by client, finding relevant win-loss lessons learned became more streamlined.


Continuous capture of project knowledge


While still ongoing, the project management team has found an improved knowledge sharing culture within the company, which makes identifying risks for new projects easier and encourages a more collaborative environment.



This case study is ongoing and as we collect more data on time and cost saved, reduced safety incidents and overall business improvement, we will continue to share the information with you.










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