Thursday, 1 March 2012

Knowledge management and risk management

Here's a very interesting blog post

It got me thinking about how KM starts to address the known and unknown areas

Hence the picture here, which shows how knowledge can grow through a project, as a result of Knowledge Management activity. 

In column one, a project maps out the important knowledge needed for the safe and effective delivery of the project objectives. There are known knowns, known unknowns etc etc, and we have shown these as equal in extent.

The first area they address is the known unknowns – the things they know they don’t know, and know that they need to know. Through Knowledge Management Planning they map these out, and put a set of learning activities in place to fill the knowledge gap. As a result, in column two, they eliminate this area, and increase the known knowns by “learning before doing”.

Then during the project they will encounter some of the unknown unknowns, which become apparent as nasty surprises. The fix these through learning from their own experience, or pulling in extra knowledge from elsewhere.  As a result, in column three, they reduce this area, and increase the known knowns by “learning during”.

At the end of the project they do some reflection, go through a facilitated learning exercise, and may discuss their learning with other projects. Through discussion and dialogue, they become aware of some of the other things they have learned. As a result, in column three, they reduce the area of unknown knowns, and increase the known knowns by “learning after”.

1 comment:

Sandy Milne said...

Great post. It really resonates with many project management best practices for expertise and learning from experience.

Your lowest segment there "what we don't know we don't know" matches up with a gem of Situational Leadership terminology Unconscious Incompetence. Not only is it a pithy phrase, it's fun to say. :)

I have some references to the topic in one of my first posts at my consulting blog.

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