Attaining Technical Excellence in Project-Based Organisations through Multidisciplinary Knowledge Management Strategies and Tools to Improve the Transfer, Application and Reuse of Critical Knowledge

Weightman, Janine (Penspen) | Curson, Nigel (Penspen)



In these lean times, many organisations are considering investing in custom knowledge management (KM) strategies and enabling technologies to drive sustainable and enhanced business performance to reclaim or redefine their competitive advantage. The financial squeeze, movement of employees, and pressure to meet challenging customer requirements in the aftermath of Oil and Gas industry consolidation has effectively curtailed an organisation's ability to compete with financial advantages, retain critical knowledge and demanded increased agility in terms of delivering competence and services to tighter budgets. The changing face of competitive advantage in an increasingly technological and economically challenging world has directed organisations to look within to exploit their knowledge as a resource for innovation and sustainability. Success depends on how organisations have nurtured their differentiating knowledge.

It is imperative to rewire industry thinking around a subject that has been misrepresented as a voluntary business strategy. Such thinking has been detrimental to the intellectual health of organisations and the individuals that sustain it. This paper presents a resourceful approach to rescue or advance a KM strategy so that knowledge is created and transferred within the flow of work by ‘hiding KM in plain sight'.

Penspen's 8-point KM strategy and model for knowledge creation is a pragmatic approach to improve the transfer, application and reuse of critical knowledge in an organisation where the pressure of meeting project deadlines is always at odds with the imperative to manage knowledge. The discussion around personal knowledge capital and social capital seeks to sober up the reader's mind to the human and technological element of knowledge creation inside managed organisational environments. Insight into the tangible connection between knowledge creation and competitive advantage is offered, and how this is realised through a custom multidisciplinary approach that can elevate the maturity of a KM strategy. Recommendations and insights are provided as intervention strategies, which should appeal to organisations that have either limited KM resources, limited time to leverage critical knowledge or present lower levels of KM readiness.