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A methodology for the 'live' capture and reuse of project knowledge in construction

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posted on 01.02.2011, 16:42 authored by Hai Chen Tan
The importance of capturing and sharing useful knowledge from construction projects has been recognised by the construction industry. However, issues such as the loss of important insights due to the time lapse in capturing the knowledge, the need for sharing the knowledge captured as soon as possible in order to maximise the benefits brought about by reusing the knowledge, and the need to share the knowledge before the opportunities for reusing the knowledge diminish have not been adequately addressed. To address this, it is crucial for knowledge to be captured as soon as possible once it is created or identified (i.e. 'live') in a collaborative environment, and presented in a format that will facilitate its reuse during and after the project. This research was aimed at developing a methodology that facilitates the `live' capture and reuse of project knowledge in construction. An extensive literature review was first conducted on the concept of knowledge management and the current practices for managing project knowledge. Subsequently, case studies involving six companies were carried out to investigate the shortcomings of current practice and the end-user requirements for the capture and reuse of project knowledge. These requirements informed the development of the methodology for `live' capture and reuse of project knowledge. The Web IS Development Methodology (Avison and Fitzgerald, 2003) employing ASP. NET 2.0 was adopted to encapsulate the methodology into a Web-based prototype application. The evaluation of the prototype revealed that the methodology can enable project knowledge to be captured and shared `live' across different organisations without significant additional workload and costs. It is concluded that the `live' capture and reuse of project knowledge in construction is important in preventing knowledge loss and helping to harness the project knowledge captured. A combination of both KM technologies and techniques is essential for the effective management of tacit and explicit knowledge. The prototype application developed can facilitate the `live' capture and reuse of project knowledge as shown by the results of the evaluation. There is scope for enhancing this study by exploring the integration of the prototype application with other information systems, and the use of software agents to automatically locate useful knowledge from the Internet and project extranets. The methodology developed will help construction organisation to leverage their knowledge in a timely way to meet the challenge of today's fast evolving world.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


© H.C. Tan

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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