The Importance of Knowledge and Expertise Sharing for Engineering

The Importance of Knowledge and Expertise Sharing for Engineering

Knowledge is one of the most important elements of any engineering company. Knowledge comes in different forms, however, including individual knowledge and collective knowledge.

Individual knowledge is the knowledge that each member of your team has. It is important, but the collective knowledge of a company is, arguably, more important, particularly when you take a longer-term view. One of the best ways to improve collective knowledge is through knowledge and expertise sharing.

John Ward is the Managing Director of Ward Automation, a leading manufacturer of assembly machines and automation solutions for the medical device and pharmaceutical industries. Find out more about Ward Automation.

MedTech Industry Job Vacancies - Find the Next Step in Your Career this Easter

What is Knowledge and Expertise Sharing?

There is a clear distinction between information on one hand, and knowledge and expertise on the other. Knowledge and expertise allow you to put information to good use.

A good way to describe this is to use a cooking analogy. You could, for example, give people the name of a complex dish and a list of ingredients. This is information which a chef might be able to use to turn the ingredient list into something that somewhat resembles the specified dish.

However, there are no guarantees the chef will get each stage of the process right, so they might have to restart or redo many of the stages along the way. In addition, the end result might not be as good as it could be.

Sharing knowledge about the dish in this analogy involves sharing not only the list of ingredients, but also the measurements as well as the recipe for how to make the dish.

With this information, a skilled cook should be able to prepare the dish reasonably well.

To make the dish really great, however, to give it flair and character, you need expertise, i.e. the little tricks and methods that good chefs use to make a nice dish spectacular.

Back to Engineering

Let’s now get away from cooking and back onto ground we at Ward Automation are much more familiar with – engineering. That said, the principles are the same as the analogy above.

In other words, with knowledge and expertise sharing, we take the learnings from every project we work on and we disseminate that knowledge and expertise across the entire company.

We still have experts and specialists in certain areas, but we have a policy of sharing as much knowledge and expertise as possible, increasing the collective knowledge of the company.

Benefits of Knowledge and Expertise Sharing

Knowledge and expertise sharing offer us at Ward Automation a range of benefits, but it is also of considerable benefit to our customers. Those benefits include:

  • Makes projects run more efficiently – there are many reasons for this, including the fact that engineers can solve problems faster because they have the benefit of the experience of others in the company who encountered a similar issue. In addition, knowledge and expertise sharing improves the speed, quality, and accuracy of decision making.
  • Enhanced innovation – knowledge and expertise sharing fosters and encourages innovation. For example, it lets one engineer take the learnings and experience of another to create new and more effective solutions.
  • Reduced risk – the opposite of knowledge and expertise sharing is where knowledge and expertise sit in silos. At it’s extreme, this can result in only one individual in a company having lots of knowledge and experience in a certain area. What happens to your project, however, if that person is no longer available? With a policy that shares knowledge and expertise, it is possible to more effectively deal with this type of situation as more than one person will have the required capabilities.

Knowledge and expertise sharing are essential to remain competitive and to ensure continuous improvement. It’s an approach that Ward Automation embraces.

MedTech Industry Job Vacancies - Find the Next Step in Your Career this Easter