Re: KM Project Management #project-management

Murray Jennex

yes Daan, the PMBOK is great for using KM to assist project management but I'm more focused on how to use project/program management to improve KM.

-----Original Message-----
From: Daan Boom <daanboom@...>
Cc: innotecture@... <innotecture@...>
Sent: Fri, Jul 3, 2020 12:24 am
Subject: Re: [SIKM] KM Project Management

Dear friends:
Maybe I overlooked this in the messages on this subject but I would like to draw your attention to  ‘A Guide to the PROJECT MANAGEMENT BODY OF KNOWLEDGE” or PMBOK of the Project Management Institute. To my knowledge the 6th edition is the latest version. The PMBOK has a chapter on KM (chapter 4.4) and other related subjects e.g. communications, quality, risks, etc. 

Regards and stay healthy


On Jul 3, 2020, at 10:53 AM, Murray Jennex via <murphjen@...> wrote:

good points and insight Matt.

I'm talking about having a project or a program management office in charge of KM projects, however, I was wondering if the KM group or knowledge manager are providing the functions a PMO would provide.  I'm not trying to be confusing but I see a KM PMO as providing PM expertise, technology expertise, coordination, reporting, success story telling, etc. that KM projects need (just one PMO for all KM projects).  I'm not trying to suggest we need more management, but I am suggesting that PMOs do help organizations improve project performance.  Also, an organization can have as many PMOs as needed but I'm proposing KM use a single organization wide center of excellence PMO model to guide and provide oversight for all the various KM activities/projects.  And I agree with you that this in effect is a KM approach to project management so I'm proposing we put the KM into PM and in the process, put the PM into KM.

I've also been reviewing KM manager job postings and I'm seeing very little call for PM skills in candidates.  I find this odd as when I did research on KM manager job postings for security in 2014 I found that PM was the third most common skill requested in candidates.  This is also why I suspected that KM practitioners were using a PMO model but not calling it a PMO.  I was thinking that perhaps the KM consultants on this list were being hired to provide guidance and oversight like a PMO would.  And if that was the case, then I was thinking that we just needed to tweak the idea a little and embrace the PM terminology and perhaps more of the processes.  That said, I do apologize for being US focused with PMI but in my defense, PMI is a global organization and I have nothing against the European/UK approach.


-----Original Message-----
From: Matt Moore via <innotecture@...>
Sent: Thu, Jul 2, 2020 6:42 pm
Subject: Re: [SIKM] KM Project Management


The relationship between project management and knowledge management is an interesting one so thanks for bringing it up. I'm not really clear on your "KM PMO" - is it a separate PMO for KM projects? (if so are you proposing a PMO for each type of project  - e.g. KM, Finance, IT? that seems to go against the idea of a PMO in the first place) Or is it about applying KM to PPM activities? Or is it just about applying good PPM practices to KM projects? Or something else?

Here are some comments about the state of project management (which are from my experience - which may be different to others).

Project management is in a healthier state than knowledge management. Tho that isn't saying much. In my experience, most organisations are bad at managing projects overall (altho there is some data that implies that they have gotten better over the last 20 years). They are generally competent at their core operations - because that's what they do. Projects are always in competition in BAU activities and generally come off worse. There may be a PMO - altho in my experience, most PMOs neither have a remit across all an organisation's projects nor do they always wield any authority over projects (their role may simply be to provide project managers or to provide templates or advice).

Another point of issue is funding and staffing. Projects are generally staffed by contractors who exit at the end of the project - which has obvious knowledge transfer issues for moving to BAU. Many organisations try to mitigate this by involving BAU staff in the project - but this doesn't always work (because BAU is always more important than the project). 

Overall, most organisations could definitely manage their projects better. We know how to manage projects well (or at least better than we do currently). We just don't do what we should do. A PMO can help as a part of a systematic approach to improving project delivery but by itself it will be ineffective.

The exceptions to all this are: 1. organisations that do projects as their core business (consulting, construction) - altho there the tension is between external and internal projects and 2. projects that are existential for an organisation (typically these get sufficient executive attention to succeed).

There is also the "wars of religion" that go on in project management (which can confuse outsiders). The US has PMI/PMP/PMBOK and the UK/Europe has Prince2 (here in Australia we see both). And then there is "agile" (scrum! kanban!) vs "waterfall". The decision on how to structure a project often seems to be defined by either the background of the project manager or the budget cycle of the organisation rather than the best approach for the project.

The relationship between the PMO and KM is interesting. In my experience, a good PMO will do some kind of KM activity - although they may not call it that (lessons learned, retrospectives, etc). Some project-oriented organisations may even employee a KM person across their projects running these. However not all PMOs are "good".

My overall takeaways would be:
- KM practitioners benefit from having exposure to and experience in a variety of PPM approaches, frameworks and tools. Project management is both an important personal skill and organisational capability. Also - there are also more jobs in PPM than KM (at least here in Australia).
- Understanding how your KM projects are interdependent with each other - AND ALSO with other (non-KM) projects in the organisation - is important. A well-run PMO makes this easier to do. A well-run PMO will benefit an organisation more generally (a badly-run one probably won't).
- If there is already a PMO, having a separate KM PMO doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Ensuring that KM works with the PMO to both further the KM agenda and embed good KM practices in PPM is a good idea. If there is no PMO, I guess having a "KM PMO" might make sense if you are running A LOT of KM projects.

In my experience, more KM folks (and indeed outside KM as well) have PPM skills than have Security skills.



Join to automatically receive all group messages.