As an interactive group of professionals in the AEC industry who thrive on collaboration and strive to improve project outcomes by sharing ideas and best practices, it was not easy transitioning from face-to-face meetings to virtual interaction. However, less than two months after Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued his Work from Home order due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the COGENCE Alliance had planned and presented its first ever virtual webinar. On May 13, the COGENCE Alliance conducted the webinar, “Hands-On to On-line,” with a panel of six design and construction industry leaders discussing how the industry is utilizing emerging best practices and finding innovative ways to progress work while also remaining safe. The webinar was free to attend and open to all COGENCE partners and their guests. Pam Neckar (CFO and Project Coach of Bostwick Design) was the webinar facilitator.
Since then, both the Central Ohio and Northeast Ohio Chapters of COGENCE have started their bi-monthly meetings virtually with topics including a presentation of the COGENCE-developed GMP process and a discussion on alignment of project scope and budget. These meetings were held virtually through Zoom Video Communication software and included break-out meeting room groups, virtual white-board technology, Q and A activities using the chat feature and real-time survey questions. A virtual happy hour was held after each meeting where the conversation continued, and partners had a chance to chat about changes in their day-to-day activities with the new coronavirus reality.
The Central Ohio Chapter is planning their next virtual interactive program, scheduled for Wednesday September 23, 2020. This program will build off the discussion of scope and budget alignment to identify how each partner group contributes to the misalignment of scope and budget and what we can do as a collaborative group to correct these actions.
COGENCE partners should be looking for the September program announcement and invitation. Feel free to reach out to me for additional information on this program or the COGENCE Alliance or visit the COGENCE website at www.cogence.org.