Creating an environment for innovation in engineering design

Creating an environment for innovation in engineering design

The Challenge

A major international engineering and design practice was concerned that its application of digital engineering and other construction-software techniques was behind its competitors.
Furthermore, it wanted advice on how to drive forward a digital improvement programme – considering not only the steps that were required to introduce new technology, but also how to create a sustainable culture for innovation and growth.

The Solution

Through a set of structured interviews with directors and managers across the UK and Europe, we carried out an audit of “innovations” within the company. We were able to benchmark the various initiatives against industry practice; and consider both the investment and the potential for growth surrounding each. We then advised on the most promising innovations to pursue.
We considered a range of models to make innovation sustainable: our recommended approach was a mixture of partnering with software specialists (to bring DevOps and user acceptance testing skills); and the creation of Independent Operating Units (IOUs) as preferred by Geoffrey A. Moore in Zone to Win.

The Result

The client has radically changed its approach to R&D expenditure, centralising and optimising its expenditure on a small number of major initiatives.

It is reducing dramatically the number of offices that carry out design work, so that it can invest in centres of excellence that take forward more advanced aspects of BIM (design libraries, standardisation etc).

It is looking to partner with a software developer and a major client to develop a building surveying software product pioneered by a dynamic internal team (but who did not have the resources and experience to commercialise this properly as a product.


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