Activity 9: Resource Building
At the end of the project there are insights, methods and information that could be used to improve subsequent projects. It is valuable to capture and organise these.
You should create a data-bank of information that can benefit new projects. Even insights that you gathered that were not applicable on an existing project could be utilised on another scheme. You will typically have created and adapted methods, so capture the changes. Planning how you build resources from the early stages can save time and effort, adding skills to your practice and helping you communicate results in a more evidenced manner.
- Plan documentation from the start: To simplify the gathering and utilisation of user insights and methods, plan how you will do this from the beginning and how you will create a process of continual capture throughout. Decide whether this is the sole responsibility of an individual or whether you will make this part of team practice. Setting milestones and goals with checkpoints in place will ensure that this happens, even on a large, complex project.
- Save and keep insights: As well as benefiting new projects, you can also learn from mistakes. Cluster insights into themes to develop insight databases, image libraries and digital recordings. Providing easy access will help the current project team as well as future ones. This is an investment that will pay off. Recognise the ethics behind the data you have gathered and adhere to the local legislation.
- Decide on access: Some aspects of your documentation will be for internal use and some will benefit from external access. The former can help build your business and competence and the latter is about showcasing results and skills. Both represent expertise that can distinguish you in the marketplace.
- Look at the bigger picture: Information from your insight bank can give everyone from developers to politicians a better understanding about how people actually want their cities to develop and their spaces to function.
People who have been involved may be more willing to participate in your next Inclusive Design activity. They will see how their contribution has impacted on the result and this can lead to citizen empowerment. Information gathered will give you a better understanding of what different people actually want from their buildings and neighbourhoods.
A great result will raise the reputation of any stakeholder, such as the construction company, developer, builder or architectural practice, leading to new business.