Knowledge Management


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  • This might seem like an odd way to start a presentation, but…What it meansWhat’s your organisation’s position on IP in presentations?
  • There are more slides in this pack than I have time to present – this is intentional. When you view the full pack you will see that some of the “Errors” towards the end have very little or no content attached – I hope you will take forward the spirit of creative commons and as a community and collaboratively we can create a resource pack for the Project Management community on knowledge management.
  • No? What’s the difference then?But what about my lessons learned database?Oh dear. So why are we here?
  • Shout out. Write on flip chart. Delegates give each one marks out of 10 for effectiveness.Come back to these later and see whether your ideas have changed.
  • Session loosely structured around the Eleven deadliest sins of KM, an article published in 1998. The scary thing is that a lot of the errors described in the article are still made. Handouts on tables. Not going to cover all of them. Get through as many as we can.
  • The most important error, and the cause of all the others.
  • What is knowledge? How does it differ from information? What is information? What is data? What is the relationship between them? Not a trick question. More of a philosophical one. There is no right answer. Which is why it’s important to have a working definition of knowledge.One of the reasons for the confusion between information and knowledge is that there are different types of knowledge.
  • The most common (and useful) way of classifying knowledge.Once explicit knowledge has been codified, it isn’t really knowledge any more – it is a representation of the author’s knowledge, but it is information. If someone writes a book, the reader has to apply their own knowledge to make sense of it. And different readers will probably interpret it in different ways. Tacit knowledge – how do you recognise a known face in a crowd?
  • If you don’t have a working definition of knowledge? Shout out.Suggestions: you invest all of your effort in capturing lessons learned and then find they are not being re-used; you choose the wrong intervention - for example issuing a user-guide when a seminar or on the floor coaching would have been more effective, you miss the opportunity to innovate
  • If knowledge can be managed then it must be a ‘thing’ – something you can get hold of. If that was true then you could put knowledge in a wheelbarrow. Of course you cannot do this. You could put some brains in a wheelbarrow but that would not be the same thing (and you would probably attract the attention of the authorities!) You could put some people into a wheelbarrow but you would still not have knowledge – unless of course they started talking to eachother.
  • If knowledge is treated as information, no surprise that it is treated as objects that can be captured and stored – usually in databases. Organisations need to manage data and information in this way – but it isn’t managing knowledge. It’s managing representations of explicit knowledge, the tip of the knowledge iceberg. And missing out much of the valuable part of the iceberg.
  • An imaginary conversation I had with you while I was preparing this presentation.The point here is that transmitting knowledge isn’t enough. Us telling you about KM doesn’t mean knowledge is flowing. For knowledge to flow, you have to understand what we mean, make sense of it, make sense of it using your existing knowledge about KM and your project, your organisation, whatever... And then you have to use it, otherwise it is of little value to you.Also, none of what I’m saying is new...(which is, incidentally, why this presentation is licensed under Creative Commons)(and, also incidentally, this is the difference between teaching and learning)So how do we make knowledge flow?
  • Also called knowledge transfer.These are some of the flows we are concerned with – first the simple case of a single project in a single organisation, showing the connections between individuals, the project and the organisation. Even in this simple case there are 12 knowledge flows.And of course it's not that simple… (second diagram) The concept applies equally to programmes and portfolios, and to the project management profession – the diagram on the right is a simplification of this. Knowledge also has to flow between projects and organisations – and I've added the concept of the knowledge of the profession. This is where APM comes in.Final point – there has been much discussion on LinkedIn about Lessons Learned – probably the best-known knowledge process amongst project professionals. Lessons Learned is essentially a knowledge or information flow from an individual to a project or an organisation. You can see from these diagrams that this is just one small part of the overall picture.Knowledge sharing is messy. All the elements in these diagrams influence and are influenced by each other.
  • Return to KM tools and techniques on flip chart. Pick a few and ask how they are used in practice. Where knowledge is ‘captured’, how do you know whether it has been understood? Or even accessed?
  • These are general
  • But how do you know which ones to use? No decision tree. Complicated or complex? It’s not the tools and techniques that are important, it’s the environment they are used in. The tools just help reinforce the environment.
  • With touch points between the two – eg CoPs (networks) sponsored by people in the hierarchy
  • Another way of thinking about stocks and flows. Which would you rather have?
  • AndyA reminder of why knowledge is important…
  • Knowledge Management

    1. 1. Insert your image in the master slide What is Knowledge Management?Andrew Wall – United UtilitiesAdrian Malone – Faithful+Gould
    2. 2. The APM Knowledge SIG Judy Payne Steve Simister Andy Wall Hemdean Oxford Consulting United UtilitiesAdrian Malone Martin Fisher Katie Ball Philip PammentFaithful+Gould WRAP RBS PRP Architects
    3. 3. Creative CommonsThe remainder of this presentation is licensed under the Creative CommonsAttribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of thislicense, visit or send a letter toCreative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, MountainView, California, 94041, USA.These slides are based on an original set prepared by JudyPayne, Director, Hemdean Consulting
    4. 4. Creative Commons
    5. 5. Key Messages•Knowledge is not the same as information.•Knowledge can never be captured completely.•Knowledge management must involve connecting people to people as well as connecting people to information.•There is no one-size-fits-all recipe for effective knowledge management.
    6. 6. Your Experiences of Knowledge Management what tools and techniques do you use for managing knowledge?
    7. 7. What is Knowledge Management?
    8. 8. The deadliest sins of knowledge management
    9. 9. Lesson OneBe clear about what youmean
    10. 10. Some Definitions
    11. 11. Explicit and tacit knowledge Explicit: knowledge that can readily be codified into words and numbers. Easy to share. Difficult to protect. Tacit: knowledge that is personal and difficult to express. What we don’t know we know. Difficult to share. The most valuable kind of knowledge.
    12. 12. Why Does This Matter?Managing explicit knowledge Managing tacit knowledgeCapture and codify as much as Encourage people to connect,you can. Share. Quite easy. communicate and collaborate. Quite difficult.Document management, processes, case Communities of practice, conversations,studies, lessons learned databases apprenticeships
    13. 13. Working relationshipsRelationship Motivating Potential State of trust Outlook Behaviour type force outcomes Highly For the good BreakthroughCollaborative Synergy Responsible invested of the whole innovation For Transaction successful PreconceivedCo-operative Win-Win Willing oriented project success outcomes Reluctant or Win within Competitive To look good Shrewd Compromise cautious rules Win at any Adversarial Distrust Not to lose Cut-throat Unpredictable cost Hattori and Lapidus, 2004
    14. 14. What happens if you don’tmake a distinction betweenknowledge and information?
    15. 15. The Wheelbarrow Test
    16. 16. Knowledge and knowing Things an individual Things a group can can express (eg express (eg shared Explicit concepts, rules, stories, shared equations) jargon) KNOWING (AS ACTION) Shared Tacit Individual skills, understanding of ‘the intuition, judgement, way things work etc around here’ Individual Group Cook and Brown, 1999
    17. 17. DIKW Data does not create data information; information does not create knowledge and knowledge does not create information wisdom. People use their knowledge to make sense of data and information. People knowledge create information that represents their knowledge, which can then be wisdom more widely shared. Harold Jarche
    18. 18. A working definition of knowledgeKnowledge is a fluid mix of framed experience, values, contextualinformation, and expert insight that provides a framework for evaluatingand incorporating new experiences and information. It originates and isapplied in the minds of knowers. In organisations, it often becomesembedded not only in documents or repositories but also in organisationalroutines, processes, practices and norms. Davenport and Prusak, 1998
    19. 19. Lesson TwoRemember both knowledgestocks and knowledge flows
    20. 20. Knowledge flows Project Individual Profession Organisation Single project and organisation Programmes, portfolios, profession, society… 22
    21. 21. Do you focus on knowledge flows oron knowledge stocks?
    22. 22. What helps knowledge to flow?•Time, trust and territory (Miles, Snow and Miles)•Hire smart people and let them talk to one another (Davenport and Prusak)•Shared language•Think of and acknowledge everyone as a knowledge worker It’s the environment, stupi d!
    23. 23. Tools and techniques for knowledge flow
    24. 24. Hierarchies and Networks Hierarchies Networks •Relationships mandated •Relationships voluntary •Top-down control •Emergent, bottom-up •Good for sharing information •Good for collaboration, and managing explicit knowledge-sharing, and knowledge learning •Tend to be formal •Tend to be informal •Managed ‘traditionally’ •Managed by letting go
    25. 25. Communities and Teams Communities of practice Teams •Long-term development of •Focus on specific time-bound knowledge deliverables •Leaders establish •Leaders have authority over direction, connect members members and facilitate discussions •Seek to expand the resources •Consult peers and experts for and experts available to help with specific, known individuals problems •Knowledge stewardship with a •Focus on a given problem – no view to solving problems that ongoing responsibility for have not yet been discovered developing knowledge McDermott and Archibald, 2010
    26. 26. Putting It TogetherHierarchies AND networks
    27. 27. Some Key Principals•Knowing is a human capability. Knowledge itself can’t be managed•Collaboration is a pre-requisite for knowledge creation and sharing•Collaboration is voluntary•What we can do is create the right environment and provide appropriate tools for people to collaborate and to create and share knowledge.
    28. 28. Stocks and flows With thanks to Chris Collison for the butterflies metaphor
    29. 29. Final Thoughts
    30. 30. Why Knowledge Management MattersWhy collaboration and knowledge are importantEconomic era Standardisation Customisation InnovationMeta-capability Coordination Delegation CollaborationBusiness model Market Market Market penetration segmentation explorationGrowth driver Learning-curve Know-how Entrepreneurial gains and scale transfer to new empowerment Economies marketsOrganisational Functional Divisional, Alliances, spin-model matrix, and offs, and network federationsKey asset Tangible assets Information Knowledge Miles, Snow and Miles, 2000
    31. 31. KM in Project EnvironmentsKnowledge and projectsKnowledge is the most valuable of an organisationsintangible assets. Organisations exist to create, integrateand transform knowledge into goods and services.Projects create a portal through which the knowledge ofsingle or multiple organisations can be accessed andtransformed.Project-based working in its various forms provides a fast andflexible means of organising knowledge resources. Kogut and Zander 1992; Lampel et al 2008; Sydow et al 2004
    32. 32. Future Events Tuesday 14th May 2013. Birmingham 18:00-20:30 Where does information management end, and knowledge management begin? Tuesday 25th June 2013. Warrington 12:00 -18:00 Managing knowledge in a project environment (TBC).