IMPACT Challenge returns to drive innovation
Earlier this month, Entuitive launched its fourth annual IMPACT Challenge, our internal innovation competition asking our employees to sprint and solve some of the biggest pain points across structural engineering and our additional services.
While we’ve shared our take on spurring innovative thinking through formalized initiatives before, some of IMPACT’s past winning ideas and initiatives have led directly to how we work and what we can offer clients.
For instance, the winning idea in 2021, BIM 2.0 was pitched using an existing module called AutoWarehouse, which automates the design of single-storey steel buildings, while another winner, our Thermal Performance Database, was born from a focus of leveraging past project data to make design decisions quicker and more seamlessly.
We also launched EntuitiveU after it successfully pitched during IMPACT. EN U is a platform for engineering students to learn more about professional opportunities, explore design challenges, and foster their own network of likeminded engineers.
Even runner-up ideas, such as Reality Capture, have been workshopped on ongoing rail inspections projects for Entuitive, speaking to the influence that pursuing innovative thinking can have for our clients.
Pain and Gain
From the earliest iterations of IMPACT, which included Dragon’s Den-style pitches and crowdsourcing ideas through a company-wide call for submissions, the competition allows our employees to carve out time to solve some of the industry’s greatest pain points.
This year, we’re taking a new approach to pinpointing winning ideas with high-potential value, testing them with the final goal of firmwide implementation.
We’re starting with a question we suspected most people working in the demanding, fast-paced AEC industry would find appealing: Which pain points, if resolved, yield the greatest impact on the efficiency of your project delivery?
We want to focus on challenges that are faced by several different teams within Entuitive, as these reflect the areas of greatest opportunity for improvement across the firm.
Narrowing in on the Opportunity
Over the last few months, our Innovation Specialists sourced over 60 pain points from 10 different pockets of our business at the leadership level. Some of these pain points were localized and specific to each team, whereas other pain points were shared across several disciplines. The pain points collected for this year’s IMPACT range from implementing low-touch training across all teams, to maximizing the impact of our design and analysis efforts.
Staff were then asked for their firsthand experience with the pain points to find commonalities and expand on which issues were the most pertinent. Think whiteboards, pizza, and a project-driven focus fostered by strong teams.
Using the data collected through leadership, along with feedback from the open engagement and employee submission period, we’re now prioritizing which of the paint points stand for the largest areas of opportunity. Zeroing in on the problem is the key to making the most out of our sprint-based development process.
The three pain points that pose the largest opportunity to create efficiencies through innovation will be selected for a shortlist.
Lastly, we’ll put together the best team to begin the prototyping and testing phase, before announcing our sprint development timeline.
Every Pitch-er Tells a Story
Who doesn’t love a good pitch? Not only are new ideas presented to an engaged audience, but pitching provides more junior employees at Entuitive an opportunity to hone their presentation skills, share a big idea to our Principal and Associate team, and feel a sense of ownership over an exciting new project.
On pitch day, all employees can take part by casting a vote for the winning idea, and the IMPACT Challenge winner will be announced this fall.
Winning Ideas in the Wild
As we’ve seen, the IMPACT Challenge can play a key role in developing promising new ideas, workflows, and technologies to help Entuitive differentiate itself within the AEC industry.
When winning ideas find their way into our service offering, help us differentiate ourselves, or help realize a project mandate, well, you can understand why we call it the IMPACT Challenge. As engineers, designers, and technologists, we’re fueled by finding the most efficient and innovative ways to do things.
This year, our hope is that the outcomes from our new approach, leading with pain point identification and sprinting to address and solve them, will see tangible results.
If you’d like to learn more about the IMPACT Challenge, or if you’re interested in sharing an idea for pain points in the AEC industry, contact Blaine Jansen or email email@example.com.