Tuesday, 10 December 2019

The 2 axes of "KM space" in a project-based organisation

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. KM needs to be addressed within the projects themselves, and it also needs to be addressed between the projects, for example within the functions or the communities of practice.

The in-project KM elements are focused on knowledge creation and sharing, and knowledge seeking and application.

The cross-project elements are focused on management of the knowledge as it grows and evolves over a series of projects. The cr

In-project KM

The in-project KM axis represents those knowledge elements that occur within a project, involving the project team. These elements can include

These in-project elements include the creation of knowledge products from the projects.

Cross-project KM

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
These cross-project elements manage the knowledge workstream for the organisation, which runs in parallel to the project delivery workstream.

Integration of the two axes.

The two axes need to be integrated. Any knowledge outputs from the projects need to be fed into the correct communities of practice, knowledge bases and knowledge owners. Also the knowledge owners and communities should be responsive to the needs of current and future projects. The knowledge taxonomy needs to be consistent across both axes.

When integrated 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 for a project-based organisation.



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