Manage Project Knowledge

We’re continuing a series of posts concerning the project management best practice processes described in the Project Management Institute’s Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide). So far we’ve covered Develop Project Charter, Identify Stakeholders, Plan Stakeholder Engagement, Manage Stakeholder Engagement, Develop Project Management Plan, and Direct and Manage Project Work. This post will discuss Manage Project Knowledge.

What’s the purpose of Manage Project Knowledge?

This process uses knowledge, and creates new knowledge, to achieve the project objectives and contribute to organizational learning. Existing knowledge, such as lessons learned documentation, is used to improve project performance. New knowledge, created by the project, is made available to help future operations and projects.

Why is Manage Project Knowledge important?

manage project knowledge

The process is important for three reasons. Firstly, the project makes use of lessons learned documented during previous projects. In the PMBOK Guide the database of lesson learned is referred to as the lessons learned repository.

Secondly, the project documents lessons learned, in a lessons learned register, as work is performed. This benefits future project phases, and ultimately other projects.

Thirdly, most projects create important knowledge during the creation of project deliverables. If this knowledge is not successfully transferred to other parts of the organization, it may be lost when team members are released from the project. Some of this knowledge is “explicit” knowledge that is relatively easy to document, if people take the time. But “tacit” knowledge is harder to capture and transfer. This type of knowledge relates to skills, experience, and “muscle memory”. Often the project team doesn’t even recognize the extent of the tacit knowledge they possess, and transferring it to others can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive process.

Who performs Manage Project Knowledge?

All stakeholders are involved in documenting lessons learned, since anyone and everyone can have an opinion about what went well and what could be done better.

The project team is responsible for incorporating lessons learned into their work, and for documenting and managing project-related knowledge.

Interested to know more about this process?

Check out one of our project management best practices courses.

About Kevin Archbold

Kevin Archbold, PMP, PMI-SP, has over 30 years of project management experience with large and small organizations in a variety of industries, including automotive, nuclear, telecommunications, trucking, IT, recruiting, mining, construction, and government. Kevin has presented at local and national levels within the Project Management Institute (PMI), is the winner of a local chapter PMI Project of the Year Award, and is the current president of a PMI Chapter.

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