This research identifies the challenge of Knowledge Management implementation in twelve DEM companies in Portugal.

The challenge of Knowledge Management (KM) can bring new innovative solutions, competitiveness advantages, reduced response times and increased control risks. For the Design, Engineering and Management (DEM) companies, identification, capture, dissemination and reuse of knowledge is a priority and, therefore, one their most valuable assets. However, there is little consensus on the ways this knowledge is managed and the true nature and challenges of knowledge creation and dissemination processes. Previous research has found that the knowledge created in each design is often lost due to the fast pace of the design process of a typical building project.

This research identifies the challenge of KM implementation in twelve DEM companies in Portugal and with three international Business Consultants (BC) with successful Knowledge Management Systems (KMS). Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with closed and open-ended questions. The analysis of the data revealed that DEM companies in Portugal are aware of the importance of KM systems, but that only one-third has implemented them. Comparison with international BC companies with mature KMS clearly demonstrated that some management rules are essential to success. In conclusion, ten recommendations were identified to help DEM companies in their KMS implementation challenge.

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