Learning from Project Experience: Creating, Capturing and Sharing Knowledge

By Irene Kitimbo and Kimiz Dalkir.

Published by Knowledge Management: An International Journal

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

Project-based organizations encourage transfer of lessons learned within and across projects to avoid duplication and repetition of mistakes, save time and improve efficiency. Drawing on cognitive and situated learning theories, we conducted a qualitative inquiry into the process of learning from past project experiences in an international project- based organization located in Uganda. We studied how project team members at three regional offices of the organization create, capture and share project knowledge with a view towards organization-wide learning. After analyzing data from a web-based survey and personal interviews, we found that project knowledge is highly tacit and for the most part embedded in practice. Knowledge about the project was encoded in project reports and shared with clients as part of standard project process, however, knowledge of how the project was executed was informally shared within the project team and only with others on a need to know basis. Learning across project boundaries is difficult to articulate, therefore, project based organizations stand to benefit from integrating social interactions in their formal, structured learning systems.

Keywords: Cross Project Learning, Project Knowledge Management, Project-based Learning, Knowledge Sharing, Case Study, Knowledge Transfer, Project Lessons

Knowledge Management: An International Journal, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp.59-74. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 630.662KB).

Ms. Irene Kitimbo

PhD Student, School of Information Studies, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Irene Kitimbo is a doctoral candidate in the School of Information Studies at McGill University. She holds a Masters in Information Studies from McGill with an emphasis in Knowledge Management. Irene currently studies learning practices in different types of organizations. Other research interests include: intellectual capital, knowledge sharing and qualitative research methods.

Dr. Kimiz Dalkir

Associate Professor, School of Information Studies, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Dr. Kimiz Dalkir is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Knowledge Management (KM) Stream at the School of Information Studies at McGill University. She teaches Master’s level courses in Knowledge Management Foundations, Knowledge Taxonomies, Intellectual Capital Management and Communities of Practice. She has published “Knowledge Management in Theory and Practice” (June 2005, Butterworth-Heineman). Dr. Dalkir pursues research on the effectiveness of knowledge processing in both profit and non-profit organizations, learning in peer networks and measurement frameworks for assessing knowledge management success. Prior to joining McGill University, Dr. Dalkir was Director of Global KM Services at DMR Consulting where she was actively involved in the transfer of knowledge management (KM) and electronic performance support systems (EPSS) to clients in Europe, Japan and North America.