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3 Ways to Improve Knowledge Retention and Issue Tracking in AEC

February 17, 2023 | 4 min read

The Knowledge Retention Issue in the AEC Industry

When an employee leaves an organization, they don’t leave empty-handed—their knowledge often goes with them. It speaks of a knowledge retention problem—the organization loses what that employee had brought in and learned during their stay.

Tech company Panopto found that only the person currently in a given position will know 42% of the skills and expertise necessary to perform capably in that position. Hence, someone hired to replace that person will need to learn that 42% from scratch. What’s worse is that the average new hire will spend almost 200 hours working inefficiently – whether by trial and error or asking colleagues for information and waiting for responses.

These inefficiencies lead to employee frustration, unnecessary delays in work outputs, and an overall loss of productivity that can significantly impact a company’s bottom line. For instance, the average U.S. enterprise-size business may incur $4.5 million/year in productivity losses due to failure to preserve and share knowledge during employee turnover and onboarding.

Zooming in on the AEC industry, 44% of companies report having no well-defined training or knowledge retention program. As a result, many companies get stuck in a cycle of repeating the same mistakes year after year:

  • The measured direct cost of repeat issues across the construction industry is 5% of the project value.
  • Rework in construction projects costs around 6% of the total project cost.
  • The mean direct and indirect costs for design errors is 7% of the contract value.

How can we manage these avoidable issues better?

It’s about collecting lessons learned properly and putting them to good use. In Ryan Companies‘ case, they take clients’ feedback into a knowledge management platform that they can use as a library for future client conversations – to inform new team members about them.

However, with so many knowledge management platforms to choose from, it can be a bit difficult to find the right one.

“The clock is ticking. Capturing and institutionalizing knowledge gained through the decades is a one-time opportunity—really an imperative—for our firms, our profession, and our industry.”

Ray Kogan, AIA, President, Kogan & Company

VIATechnik recently launched Precogs, a predictive insights & learning platform for the AEC industry. The development of Precogs was influenced by NASA’s mission control plans and procedures. The initial idea stemmed from comparing rocket launches to construction projects: What if failure was not an option? What would a construction mission look like?

With Precogs, users can easily achieve the following objectives:

  • Drive to zero project issues faster
  • Grow and evolve your knowledge bank to scale learning across the organization
  • Avoid future mistakes with digital checklists and predictive intelligence

In line with these objectives, Precogs offers the three best ways to improve knowledge retention and issue tracking in AEC:

1. Issue Management

  • Manage, create, assign, sort, and prioritize issues within projects
  • Track customizable metadata and attach documentation to issues
  • Import issues from .csv and Procore (additional platforms on the roadmap or supported as customization)
  • Collaborate and communicate within issues
  • Pin issues to drawings
  • Visualize issue telemetry within projects and at the corporate level
  • Nominate issues for acceptance as corporate lessons learned

2. Knowledge Retention

  • Review, approve, edit, and add administrative metadata to nominated lessons learned
  • Create lessons learned from scratch
  • Import lessons from .csv
  • Identify duplicate lessons within your knowledge retention database and assign issues as encountered instances of existing lessons
  • Assign lessons to knowledge retention groups
  • Search lessons learned database
  • Rate lessons learned

3. Digital Checklists

  • Create checklists and populate them with individual lessons, knowledge retention groups, and basic rules
  • Assign metadata and tags to checklists
  • Apply checklists to projects and receive intelligent checklist recommendations on projects based on metadata matches
  • Fill out and track checklist progress

Interested in learning more about how Precogs works and can help you achieve your business goals?

We would love to learn more about your needs and discuss how we can partner with you to level up your projects. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch! You can contact us at or use the contact form.