Re: How would you describe this knowledge failure? #strategy #culture #question


Robert M. Taylor
 

Stephen, call it the sunk cost fallacy, I think. It's not special to KM. The fallacy is not ignoring past costs, it's theĀ failure to ignore past costs. They should be ignored, the theory says. Yeah, organisations are very additive and show less tendency to drop or stop anything, which I guess is where they tend to bureaucracies, getting ever more complicated. One thing I've found consistently over the years is that data collected (e.g. forms you have to fill in) are seldom ever really used. So I have the habit of asking what difference will be made by collecting all this data and wouldn't it be better we just didn't collect it if nobody is going to do anything with it? I can't readily think of a KM example.
I think there's another bit of organisational psychology here in that nobody's going to be recognised for the good work they did in retiring some large bit of infrastructure. It's just going to seem like a loss and they were to blame rather than to thank!
Ah, I did just think of an example. Well, it was a contracts management system and people thought it was KM so we hacked one with our KM toolset. But oh no that was no good, So there was a long project and procurement and around $300k spent on "a proper system". Couple of years later I stumbled across it and found it was unused so I looked at out hacked system. Yeah, all the buyers were still using that and were quite comfortable but I guess the proper system was on a balance sheet somewhere, slowly amortising!
And now I remember a // story with similar figures which was a PM system. Yeah, it was considered too embarrassing to just switch it off even though the more fleet of foot KM version was the one that was used./R

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