Create Your Own Knowledge Centre

Creating my own Knowledge Centre has become an extremely useful tool for my work.

I started doing this in a small way by scanning articles in professional magazines that I found interesting, or that contained useful information and filing them in an ‘information’ folder on my computer. I also filed course notes from seminars and conferences in the same place, as well as various information and articles that I had dug up on the internet whilst researching a particular subject. Realising that over time our memories become dim, I also filed work that I had produced myself and which could potentially become useful in the future in the same place, so that it was readily accessible.

The file eventually became so full of such information that eventually I had to set up some sort of ‘document control’ system if I was ever to be able to find anything when I needed it. I did this by way of a simple index created on a Word document table. The table contains columns for author, article title, brief description of the article and a hyper-link to the article. This now allows me to open the Word index, enter a key word search and, providing that the key words are included in the index, Word will take me to whatever articles are relevant to the search. These days I hardly ever have to search anywhere other than my own ‘knowledge centre’ to find what I need.

If you are involved on contractual issues and/or claims, or if you are one of our distance-learning students who has searched for and found useful reference material during the course of completing your assignments, I would highly recommend that you start a similar system. The small amount of effort to save and file such information as and when you come across it will repay itself many times in the years to come.

Whilst reviewing the documents I came to realise that by far the largest proportion of information was sourced from the Chartered Institute of Civil Engineering Surveyors’ (CICES) magazine and their annual Construction Law Review. The latter is an excellent publication that anyone involved with claims should have at their fingertips. I was happy to be invited to make a contribution in this year’s edition and you can read my article here.