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Tech Sprint: Our future is safe with the next generation

At last week’s Construction News Summit, BIM Show Live and Space Group helped support the Tech Sprint teams to provide a proof of concept to communicate their idea.

To do this, we provided around half a dozen coders and developers from our Space Applied Technologies group. This team works with clients and internally to develop bespoke solutions to challenges facing the industry, aligning them perfectly to work with the Tech Hack teams.

The team don’t get out much so it was a little treat to be in London and to spend time with others from the sector.

Once the event started it was really interesting to watch the teams and the different dynamics.

Going into the 24-hour sprint, my perception would be that the teams would each come up with a killer idea and then spend the next 20 hours developing the solution for the pitch.

This was a long way from the reality, but I believe the teams got more from the process than the actual solution.

The team dynamics were very interesting. Some fell into a collaborative approach immediately. Some selected a leader and others would have benefited from a wider discussion.

Through the night

Regarding ideas, the groups who settled on a direction early were at a huge advantage.

Also, the solutions that were easier to develop were very simple and had real clarity. If the idea needed more than two minutes to explain, it struggled.

The teams who looked to address a small issue fared better.

Others tried to address a huge industry issue, which was commendable but difficult to hone to a solution in the timescale. The breadth of issues was also enlightening.

“Generation Y collaborate well and work successfully in teams. From past experience, I have not necessarily seen confidence to collaborate to this extent in those of us who are a little older”

The teams worked through the night, while our team worked on developing the ideas into proof of concept.

Out of the four, some were narrow enough to develop a high-level solution. Others were too broad to be able to deliver something tangible.

By lunchtime the groups were ready to present. All teams presented really well with confidence.

This is an interesting characteristic of Generation Y. They have the confidence to communicate clearly.

Infectious enthusiasm

What else did I learn about the future generation of our industry and how are ideas best developed?

Most importantly, a good idea is essential – but so is collaborating well to make it as good as can be.

Generation Y collaborate well and work successfully in teams. From past experience, I have not necessarily seen confidence to collaborate to this extent in those of us who are a little older.

Clarity of communication is essential and less is more. Filling space with noise doesn’t make an idea any clearer.

Trying to solve the challenges of our industry in one go is probably too ambitious. Taking one small issue at a time is the most effective way forward.

Ultimately, I was really encouraged by all the teams and that they will be the one taking our industry forward.

They understand the challenges and all participants were creative and entrepreneurial in their solutions. Their enthusiasm was infectious.

I also learned that I need my sleep and the younger generation has far more energy!

Our future is in safe hands.

Rob Charlton is CEO of Space Group and founder of BIM Show Live. BIM Show Live sponsored the Tech Sprint at the Construction News Summit

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