Thread: Managing context in project environments
Creative design agencies are unique organisations as various disciplines and priorities combine to deliver solutions in often complex client problems. A suite of software platforms is used in the day-to-day operations of project-based organisations, however there still appears to be a disconnect between communication and shared understanding. While the market for project management software is saturated, a need exists for a complementary platform that can help encourage shared understanding throughout the client project lifecycle. This project aims to explore issues of boundary spanning, project knowledge management, and communication with DNA Design serving as a project partner. In this exploratory research process, a qualitative research approach revealed several issues revolving around inadequate handover processes, low work self-efficacy, and a lack of alignment between priorities. The core finding of this project found that while practitioners do communicate throughout the project lifecycle, there is no one best fit for all project members and despite the high levels of communication, many practitioners feel they lack the necessary information and understanding in a client project. From this core finding, the product development strategy pivoted. Instead of developing and implementing a knowledge repository, it could be more beneficial for DNA and other project-based organisations to consider strategies and technologies to actively manage expectations and understanding within a client project. The proposed solution, Thread, aims to track each project team members’ attitudes at a regular interval to map the stage of the project lifecycle and provide DNA a bird’s-eye view of the user experience of project team members to allow for active project management during the project lifecycle and a quantifiable post-project review process. It is hoped the recommendations and proposed solution can be scaled to other project- environment organisations as the challenges of knowledge sharing and communication are felt heavily in multi-disciplinary teams and organisations. As the future of organisations are moving towards specialised knowledge workers, it is increasingly important that staff are aware of the context of the project to be empowered and productive.