Project management standards state that a project is not truly over until any lessons learned throughout the project are discussed, documented, and cataloged for use on future projects. When I was in my MBA program I developed an interest in knowledge management that has stayed with me. Whether this interest is driven by my generally-organized nature or my love of reading and teaching, it is a topic that I have passion for and enjoy discussing.
You can find countless articles and papers on the theoretical aspects of knowledge management just as you can find a tremendous amount of guidance on the best way(s) to ensure that knowledge is disseminated throughout an organization. What I fear gets lost is this discussion, however, is the more fundamental topic of what is the best place to store (and share) this knowledge in the first place. On this topic, I believe a structured hierarchy approach is the best way to tackle the problem.
An organization (or individual) that does not take a systematic approach to managing its knowledge will so find itself disorganized and unable to find an disseminate needed information in a timely manner. All of these solutions should have a back-up plan in place and should be used as progressive steps in the process of actively managing knowledge. Additionally, some knowledge may require additional security and/or encryption that is not discussed here.
Perhaps the biggest lesson to learn when it comes to actively managing knowledge is that knowledge must be curated over time. Knowledge that is never reviewed, revised, edited or sunset will, eventually, become useless and potentially harmful to an organization or individual.
Do you think I am missing an option or step or simply have a question or a comment on my thought process? Please leave a comment below or contact me for more information.