In a project-based organisation, we can look at Knowledge Management on two orthogonal axes which together map out the space within which knowledge flows. These are the in-project axis and the cross-project axis.
Imagine a large project-based organisation, with multi-disciplinary projects operating in many different regions or divisions.
- Creation of a project KM plan
- Appointment of a project Knowledge Manager
- Activities to bring Knowledge into the project, such as Peer Assist
- Activities for learning within the project, such as After Action Review
- Collection of knowledge from the project, such as Lessons Learned and other knowledge artefacts
The cross-project KM axis represents those knowledge elements that link the projects, and that "breach the silo walls" that can separate projects and divisions. These elements can include
- Communities of practice or other knowledge sharing networks
- Appointment of Knowledge Owners for key knowledge topics
- Creation of Knowledge Bases
- Management of lessons learned
The in-project KM elements are focused on knowledge creation and knowledge application.
The cross-project elements are focused on knowledge seeking, knowledge sharing and knowledge synthesis.
Together, the two axes of in-project KM and cross-project KM allow knowledge to be created, shared, sought and re-used, and to flow across and between the silos, as shown in the picture above. Both these axes need to be included in any effective Knowledge Management Framework.
Contact us to discuss how these two axes can work in your own organisation.