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Knowledge Management

Learning the Hard Way about Projects Is the Best Way

Mistakes are the building blocks of life, so it’s no surprise that organizations are keen on using them to help prevent mishaps from recurring. This creates a dilemma because we learn more from our own mistakes than the mistakes of others, but it’s ineffective to have everyone make the same mistakes in an organization. There has to be a better way, right? In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Elizabeth Harrin explains how to …

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How You Can Improve Business Support

While on a support call recently, I had the misfortune of suffering through long hold times, dreary music, and being transferred from person to person with no end in sight. While I waited I had plenty of time to think about what could be done better not just for this experience, but also from my own perspective to improve interactions with my own business. Listen More, Speak Less First, start by listening to your business—really …

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Four Questions for Quenching Knowledge Management

The thirst for knowledge must be quenched. Every day people are looking for answers that they need. The question you have to ask yourself as a service provider is, “Are you positioned to satisfy their needs?” One of the fundamental challenges with knowledge management isn’t capturing the information; it is usually the ability to actually manage it. Part of the discovery process should lead us to ask ourselves why we need to do this in …

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Open a Window: Using Data and Self-Awareness to Remove Organizational Blind Spots

In 1955 the American psychologists Joseph Luft and Harrington Igham developed a technique to help individuals place themselves in context to the world and the people around them. This technique originated in the study of group dynamics and organizational behavior at the University of California and is a feedback/disclosure model of self-awareness. By combining the first names of the technique’s founders, this model came to be known as the Johari Window, represented by four quadrants. …

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Knowledge Management: What You Don’t Know Will Hurt You!

Every organization inevitably develops a treasure trove of valuable knowledge, but when you do not transfer it effectively among relevant employees, it becomes like a pirate’s buried chest, forgotten and inaccessible. In a post for Voices on Project Management, Lynda Bourne elaborates on how to effectively implement knowledge management. A Socratic Process Knowledge management is a discipline that extends beyond simple lessons learned. Lessons learned are explicit knowledge that can be “transmitted” to other people. …

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Why Organizations Need to Make Learning Hard

We live in a fast-paced world, dependent upon instantaneous results. However, in the grand scheme of things—and for the sake of our long-term memory—this is not necessarily a great thing. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Dorothy Leonard explains why businesses need to make learning a challenge if they want people to retain any information. Learn It and Retain It It is easy to get swept up in the fast-paced learning environment, but unfortunately …

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How Knowledge Management Overcomes the High Cost of Ignorance

A few weeks back I bumped into a friend of mine who is working as an application manager at a large food distribution centre. After the usual updates on what was new, she delved into a story about one of their legacy applications that was a pain point. In essence the problem was that the tool was not scalable, and it was this way because of change management. I admit at first when I heard …

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The Big Guide to Knowledge Management

IT terminology can be misleading. Is knowledge management (KM) the same thing as information management, intellectual capital, or data and document management? It’s not, says Mike Simpson of CIH Solutions, but it does contain those categories. In an article for The ITSM Review, Simpson covers the basics of knowledge management for the ITSM outfit. KM Truths When does data become knowledge? Answer: when static documentation gets mixed with the information retained by personnel. And make …

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Improving Knowledge Management When You’re Not a Knowledge Manager

IT people certainly know a lot about information. That’s obvious. What’s not so obvious is how IT people go about consuming, curating, and creating knowledge for the organization. In his Service Management Journey blog, Ryan Ogilvie explains why knowledge capture doesn’t always count towards knowledge use, and how the non-manager can improve the practical use of all that information: Everyone plays a part in knowledge management activities, whether the process is formal or not. While …

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Black Swans: Conquering IT Project Failure & Acquisition Management

In my last post on the Blogging Alliance I discussed information theory, the physics behind software development, the economics of new technology, and the intrinsic obsolescence that exists as a result. Dave Gordon in his regular blog described this work as laying “the groundwork for a generalized theory of managing software development and acquisition.” Dave has a habit of inspiring further thought, and his observation has helped me focus on where my inquiries are headed. …

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