Integration Management

Harnessing Knowledge for Effective Project Integration Management

I recall a time when I was managing a complex infrastructure project. The project was a first of its kind for our organization, and we were navigating uncharted waters. It was during this project that I truly understood the importance of the process known as Manage Project Knowledge.

This process is all about leveraging existing knowledge and creating new knowledge to achieve project objectives and contribute to organizational learning. It's not a one-time thing, but a process that is performed throughout the project. In our case, it was crucial for improving our project outcomes and supporting future projects or phases, especially since we were pioneering a new type of project for our organization.

Knowledge is typically divided into "explicit" and "tacit" knowledge. Explicit knowledge can be easily codified and shared through documentation, while tacit knowledge is personal, context-specific, and harder to express. It is typically shared through conversations and interactions.

The main objectives of knowledge management are to reuse existing knowledge and create new knowledge. This involves key activities such as knowledge sharing and knowledge integration, which combine knowledge from different domains, contextual knowledge, and project management knowledge.

However, managing knowledge is not just about documenting it for sharing purposes or obtaining lessons learned at the end of a project. While codified explicit knowledge can be shared through documentation, it lacks context and can be interpreted differently, leading to misunderstandings or incorrect application. On the other hand, tacit knowledge includes context but is challenging to codify.

Creating an atmosphere of trust is crucial in knowledge management. It motivates people to share their knowledge and pay attention to others' knowledge. The effectiveness of knowledge management tools and techniques depends on this motivation.

Knowledge is typically shared through a blend of knowledge management tools and techniques, which involve interactions between people, and information management tools and techniques, where people document their explicit knowledge for sharing. This combination ensures that both explicit and tacit knowledge are effectively managed and utilized for the success of the project.

Reflecting on my infrastructure project, I can see how managing project knowledge played a pivotal role in our success. We were able to learn from our experiences, document our knowledge, and share it with the rest of the organization, setting the stage for future projects of a similar nature. This experience underscored the importance of managing knowledge for project success, a lesson I carry with me in every project I undertake.