Building a Virtual Network

This article is included in the Spring/Summer 2007 edition of the DPR Newsletter.

The Power of Collective Intelligence, Increased Information Sharing

No one is as smart as everyone.

We have known this for a long time. It is one of many reasons why DPR was very purposely founded as a flat organization that empowers people at every level to give input and make decisions. Some call it pushing power to the edge of the network or knowledge management. We just think of it as smart business.

Open offices. No titles. Shared leadership. Our core ideology and missions, such as Mission 2030 and Camp 2010. These are all characteristics and tools of DPR, designed to provide an operational framework without a lot of strict policies and to create an environment that promotes more interaction and collaboration, allowing us the freedom and flexibility to deliver greater customer value.

Most recently, we enhanced the company’s internal virtual network with the launch of the DPR Toolbox, a web-based central portal for our decentralized community. The DPR Toolbox includes the usual elements, such as company culture, links to all our applications and designated workgroup areas. It also features:

  • DPRWiki, our version of Wikipedia, for sharing lessons learned and best practices in real-time.
  • The Learning Center, a custom-created online application, for employees to access and manage their training opportunities and individual career development.

According to Wikipedia, wikiwiki means quick in Hawaiian, and the DPRWiki is an area on the DPR Toolbox where all employees can quickly update information on a page, collaborate on finding the best solutions and sharing stories—recording and perpetuating knowledge. When launched, the DPRWiki was “seeded” with information from various groups within DPR, from preconstruction and operations to risk management and finance and accounting. Now, everyone is encouraged to share their lessons learned, ideas and experiences. This type of open-forum knowledge-sharing advances our collective intelligence and helps us expand upon solutions to build smarter for our customers.

The Learning Center

DPR is a learning organization. Ever forward, one of DPR’s four core values, demands that we as a company continue to improve and advance standards for their own sake, and we recognize that continuous education and training are integral to the process. In fact, we have set an annual goal for every employee to participate in a minimum of 80 hours of self-initiated training per year. To facilitate higher learning, we developed The Learning Center. Currently, the online center focuses on training and offers a company wide view of available courses, easy “one-click” enrollment and a running personal percentage for employees to track themselves against DPR’s training goal. Shortly, the center will evolve to include an enhanced career development area to ensure that we continue to build better builders. After all, who we build is as important as what we build at DPR.