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Knowledge Management and Project Planning

written by: Jayant R Row • edited by: Jean Scheid • updated: 6/27/2011

The basic objective knowledge management project planning is to have on hand compiled and organized knowledge that can help a project manager execute a project successfully. Determined methods and process assets are studied and the knowledge gleaned from them should be organized into a database.

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    Explaining Knowledge Management

    A systematic method of managing the knowledge assets within an organization is known as knowledge management. This can include all processes whether they are concerned with internal working methods, finances, final products or customer inputs. Knowledge management project planning puts together all the knowledge regarding these processes and has the content available to the right people when they need it for the execution of the project.

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    Knowledge can be explicit knowledge that is available from specifications, manuals and other material which is related to the project. Such knowledge can also include the lessons learned from other successfully completed projects. It can also be tacit knowledge that is based on the experience of the individuals associated with the project. The difference between the two is that one is knowledge which tells us why things work. The other, tacit knowledge, would concern itself with the knowledge about what makes things work. Tacit knowledge allows project planners to concentrate their efforts on plans based on methods that have already been tried and tested and are, therefore, more liable to help the success of the project.

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    Knowledge Management and Project Management

    A project management organization has an advantage when the team members have the knowledge required to execute the project and are able to apply this knowledge for the success of the project.

    Knowledge management project planning allows team members on a project to use the disseminated knowledge and think in broad terms which go beyond the confines of their own limited roles. It allows issues to be studied and observed, and allows the team to suggest remedies when problems occur. The constant stream of shared knowledge allows any neglected area of a project to get the attention it warrants.

    This also allows a project manager to compile the project data after closure of the project, so that it can be used for future projects.

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    Systems and Roles

    A well managed project planning system for a project would have an individual whose duty it is to collect all the knowledge from various reports and events and compile them into a database that is easily accessed. This knowledge is then assessed to glean from it the lessons and pointers for the future direction of the project.

    This knowledge is then passed on to all concerned with an understanding that the knowledge gained would be used for the benefit of the project. Feedback received from the project members is further assessed to refine the knowledge database.

    It has been established that this constant interaction between team members, which leads to refining the knowledge database, is a major factor that adds to the success of a project. It gives all team members a sense of belonging and ownership which in itself is a morale booster.