Thursday, 31 March 2016

What's the point of project KM plans?

One of the push-backs we often get when we introduce KM plans is “why do we need a plan? Any good engineer will naturally do all the learning they need; surely a KM plan or learning plan is just added work for no added value?”



Post-its
Post-its, by adactio, on Flickr
My usual reply is to draw the analogy with a risk management plan. Any good engineer will naturally be aware of risk, and will put in place mitigations against all the risks he or she can think of, but there is still value in the whole team sitting down and discussing the risks to the project, and developing a risk management plan to address those risks. By adding structure, and by involving the whole team, the project comes out with a better approach to risk.

The same is true for knowledge. There is value in the whole team sitting down and discussing the knowledge needed by the project, and developing a plan to acquire that knowledge. By adding structure, and by involving the whole team, the project comes out with a better approach to learning.

In addition, a KM plan is documented evidence that the project has addressed the issue of knowledge, just as a risk management plan or quality management plan shows that they have addressed the issues of risk and quality.

The KM plan is therefore as much a governance document as it is a planning document. 

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