Knowledge management in development projects
2011-02-14T10:11:40Z (GMT) by
Studies have shown that knowledge management is an enabler of organisational processes and helps achieve projected objectives. This research is aimed at investigating the role of knowledge management in enabling development project management to achieve the following objectives; project success, faster completion times, efficiency, innovation, knowledge sharing and best practices. The research conceptual model (The CRAI-Codification, Reproduction, Assimilation and Interpretation model) focused on four types of primary knowledge needed by development projects for successful execution. These are: -Interpretative knowledge, Assimilative knowledge, Reproductive knowledge and Codified knowledge. Using a mixed method approach, qualitative and quantitative data were collected from over 1000 respondents from development organisations in 8 regions in 11 development project areas. Data were obtained using web questionnaires, structured interviews and organisational documentation. The selection of case studies arose as a result of responses to the online survey. The research used four case studies which exhibited KM 'consciousness and other criteria which enabled the researcher to identify them as knowledge generating projects. The cases were drawn from Nigeria, Uganda and Senegal. The research applied the CRAI model within these case studies and also compared the results of the survey data with the case study data. The survey achieved a 30.3% (303) response rate. The data gathered were analysed using quantitative analysis tools (SPSS) and techniques (regression, correlation, hypothesis testing, analysis of the model and other general analysis techniques). The survey and case studies focused on identifying best practices, knowledge sharing and management practices, knowledge processes in the project management cycle as reflected by the conceptual model, technology and other aspects of Knowledge Management. Some of the findings made by the research are: (a) No standard best practice exists across the board among development projects. Each project has a set of practices that represent best practices for managing their projects; (b) KM was found to be a factor in speeding up project completion times. It was also linked to project success, knowledge sharing, innovation and efficiency; and (c) The CRAI model was found to be applicable to development projects and the type of knowledge projects embody. The model positively correlated with each of the expected outcomes-innovation, completion times, efficiency, project success and knowledge sharing. Recommendations made by this research include: 1. Development Projects should begin to design KM strategies as part of Project Management systems; 2. A development project should begin with mapping essential knowledge needed by the project; 3. Development PM should pay closer attention to the existence of communities in the project; 4. KM should be included in the list of critical success factors; and 5. DPs should use PM technologies which integrate KM capabilities.