The PM Podcast


Project Management for Beginners and Experts

Episode 423: Knowledge Management (Free)

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B. Anyacho + C. Fichtner
Benjamin Anyacho and Cornelius Fichtner

By 2029, 76 million baby boomers will retire. And organizations, including yours, are losing knowledgeable employees due to retirement and a competitive labor market.

With 50% employee turnover in 2016, this brain drain of historical proportions increases our vulnerability to loss of institutional knowledge and critical skill sets required to conduct our business. In this interview, we explore the trends, urgency, value, techniques, and how-to of knowledge management — the new competitive and comparative advantage for high performing organizations.

This interview with Benjamin Anyacho (LinkedIn Profile) was recorded at the superb Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

In the interview we also discuss strategies for creating a knowledge management culture in your business environment and how to develop knowledgeable project teams.

Episode Transcript

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

Podcast Introduction

Benjamin Anyacho: In this episode of The Project Management Podcast™, we discover strategies for creating a knowledge management culture and your business environment and how to develop knowledge management project teams.

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome to The Project Management Podcast™ at www.pm-podcast.com. I’m Cornelius Fichtner.

Podcast Interview

Cornelius Fichtner: We are coming to you live from the superb 2018 PMI Global Conference in Los Angeles. And with me right now is Benjamin Anyacho. Good afternoon, Benjamin! How are you doing?

Benjamin Anyacho: Good afternoon, Cornelius! I’m doing fantastic.

Cornelius Fichtner: Yeah! So you already gave your presentation this morning on knowledge management. How did it go? How many people did attend?

Benjamin Anyacho: Hundreds of people. It was intriguing and people were very impressed with the presentation and the delivery, the content, the richness of the content. I had so many people who are coming to take pictures with me. They made me a celebrity at the end of the presentation. But it was a very relevant subject that is rarely discussed. It’s part of the strategic PMI Triangle, is purely 100% strategic. So many people have very little information about knowledge management. So those who came were very impressed.

Cornelius Fichtner: Why do you think it is very rarely discussed?

Benjamin Anyacho: Yeah because it’s one of those subjects that is all over the place. People whom you think know about it have no knowledge or very little. One of the illustrations is I met with a group of executives to talk to them about knowledge management. One of them said: “Please forgive my ignorance. Is knowledge management not succession planning?” Actually, I told him, say: “It is like asking somebody: Is work breakdown structure not project management?”

Cornelius Fichtner: Yeah, okay.

Benjamin Anyacho: So knowledge management, succession plan is just a tool and a very little tool in the whole picture. And knowledge management is vast. It has different components, techniques. It’s bigger than just a succession plan. A succession plan is one of the tools but it goes beyond that.

Cornelius Fichtner: So if you had to summarize it to give us a definition of what knowledge management is, how would you define it?

Benjamin Anyacho: Knowledge management is according to many definitions, it has to be the ability to ease up a program. If I look and test a program that incorporates knowledge sharing, knowledge codification and knowledge management, okay? So in other words, knowledge management is the concept of articulating the knowledge asset of an organization and how to transfer that knowledge from the heart, from the hand of one employee to other employees and having fun doing it and creating new knowledge.

Cornelius Fichtner: So this is beyond just project management that it encompasses the whole organization, right.

Benjamin Anyacho: Whole organization. So it talks about codification of the knowledge. It’s one element. We have two different components of knowledge management --- tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge.

Most of the time when we talk about knowledge management, what people concentrate is on the explicit knowledge. The one you codify. But a big percentage, about 95% is tacit knowledge - tips, techniques, how people do things, achieve results.

Cornelius Fichtner: Knowing how things work in our company, yeah.

Benjamin Anyacho: Experience, skills. There are skills you can’t codify. How people maneuver their ways and get the job done, that you can really document. Those are very big chunk of knowledge management. How do you transfer it from their hands of employees to other employees?

Cornelius Fichtner: How important is knowledge management for us project managers?

Benjamin Anyacho: Very, very, very important. You see one of the tools of knowledge management is ‘lessons learned,’ okay? And ‘lessons learned’ is a joke. Why is it a joke? Because thank God for PMBOK® Guide 6.

PMBOK® Guide 5, project management, oh when we finish a project, we do lessons learned. But knowledge management actually is in line with PMBOK® Guide 6 where manage knowledge is one of the knowledge tools, one of the processes is…

Cornelius Fichtner: Knowledge management.

Benjamin Anyacho: Manage knowledge.

Cornelius Fichtner: Yes!

Benjamin Anyacho: And it makes lessons learned as a living activity, progressive activity. So it is not what you do at the end of the lifecycle of the project but something that you do throughout the iteration. So when you discover a new knowledge, you learn a new knowledge, you revise it. You implement it in the project and people learn it.

One community of practice in my organization, why they are so unique is that if they are doing their project maybe in the planning phase of the project, they learn some new knowledge. They edit the standard operating procedure, write it and include it and send email to all the team that: “Hey, there’s a new way to this. Henceforth, the standard operating procedure had changed.” So that’s what lessons learned should be. You implement those new things you learned and utilize them and create new knowledge.

Cornelius Fichtner: Until the moment comes where you look at it and you go: “That old rule that we have in our standard operating procedures is now also outdated, we have to remove it again” right?

Benjamin Anyacho: Yes!

Cornelius Fichtner: So adding knowledge and removing knowledge I think is also an important thing to do.

Benjamin Anyacho: Yes!

Cornelius Fichtner: Earlier on, you mentioned explicit knowledge and tacit knowledge. Can you give us sort of the definition of what the differences between the two?

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

Tags: PDUs: Strategic and Business Management, PMI Global Conference, PMI Global Conference/PMI Global Conference 2018, Knowledge Management

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