11 December 2007

3 Great Knowledge Management tools for Project Managers

A couple of Project Management academics, Besner and Hobbes (2006) ran a survey on processes and tools that project management practitioners use with a view to identifying ways of improving project performance. Among other things they identified 3 great tools for lifting your organisation's project management performance.

The investigation focused mainly on project managers and identified that knowledge management tools – usually databases - such as lesson learned, risks and cost estimates versus actuals were excellent tools that were under-utilised.

The thing about these systems is that you can’t effectively take full advantage of them by yourself. These information repositories need to draw on the organisation’s or the professional community’s historical data. It's about sharing knowledge and learning from those who have gone before.

Does your organisation keep this information somewhere? Is it hidden away in a project file or is it readily available through an intranet or project office reports? Depending on the answers to these questions there are two action items for you today.

If you do have these assets in your organisation - Be smart: Go and find the repository, read it and share the information with your team. Be Altruistic: Make sure your all projects’ information goes into the repository before your close out and move on.

If you don’t have these assets in your organisation - Consider how much time and money could be saved by better knowledge management and speak to who-ever in running your project office about what needs to be done and why.

Tip: If you use, or are putting together a balanced scorecard for your project office, the quality of these repositories can become a measure of effectiveness in the innovation and learning quadrant.

Source: Claude Besner and Brian Hobbs (2006) “The PerceivedValue and Potential Contribution of Project Management Practices to Success" Journal of Project Management, August 2006


  1. You should explore some of the initiative management capabilities of the Executive Strategy Manager at http://www.executivestrategymanager.com. This will help you manage your strategic projects appropriately.


  2. Anonymous2:40 pm

    Rightly said. Though companies have spent heavily on developing and maintaining these databases, incorporating usage of these databases in the project methodology is a pain area for many.

    Many such databases now form the backbone of Software as a Service (Saas) modelled applications. (e.g. http://www.plmconnect.com etc).

    It would be interesting to see how a database containing helpdesk (support) issue resolutions could also translate into lessons learnt.

  3. Thanks for your comments guys.

    Anu - I know what you means regarding help desk reports. THey would probably make a good agenda for next season's maintenance projects wouldn't they.