Continuous ImprovementProject Management Office

Project Knowledge: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?

It may not be the “sexiest” PMO function, but knowledge management is still an important part of running a PMO. You want to make sure one project manager’s big insight (or even mistake) can be relayed to other project managers, to build a common pool of valuable knowledge. But too often, knowledge management is left informal. In a post at Service Management Journey, Ryan Ogilvie discusses what you can do to formalize it.

You Know It

A big issue with informal knowledge management is that knowledge “captured” is just as easily lost. Maybe one person is very good about managing knowledge, but then he or she leaves without any sort of knowledge transition beforehand. Then it is just up to others to pick up the pieces. And since there is a lack of proper governance in the first place, there is no mechanism to prevent such a thing from happening again in the future.

In the face of this, Ogilvie has some recommendations:

  1. Identify where you are on the knowledge maturity scale.
  2. Formulate a strategy to implement a knowledge process/policy.
  3. Identify what is and is not in the scope of knowledge policy.

Knowing your knowledge maturity is mostly important for understanding how you should set your goals. As Ogilvie says, it is not “bad” to be at the beginning of your maturity. He continues to say this about setting the scope of knowledge policy:

Remember in the beginning to keep it simple and small to get the ball rolling. Once we know ‘what’ is in scope we can go back and look at the documentation we have and see what is valid, current and usable. As I mentioned above this shouldn’t be a ‘side of the desk’ activity. To keep this moving along there should be some roles and activities assigned to ensure that we can continue to progress forward to ensure information stays current and accurate.

Rooting out redundancy in your knowledge records will take time. And in general, getting started with knowledge management will be cumbersome. But it will make for greater execution excellence moving forward, so the benefits will be there—eventually.

You can view the original post here:

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