Managing Knowledge and Learning in IT Projects: A Conceptual Framework and Guidelines for Practice (Reich, 2007)

Knowledge gaps and risks

Reich, Blaize Horner: Managing Knowledge and Learning in IT Projects – A Conceptual Framework and Guidelines for Practice; in: Project Management Journal, Vol. 38 (2007), No. 2, pp. 5-17.

This paper won the PMI award for the best paper in 2007. She identifies 10 risks on the projects which arise due to knowledge gaps. Reich structures the risks from a systems and process perspective. Risks 1&2 are project inputs, Risks 3&4 are linked to the project governance, Risks 5-8 are operational risks, Risk 10 is an output risk.

  1. Previous lessons are not learned
  2. Team selection is flawed
  3. Volatility in the governance team
  4. Lack of role knowledge
  5. Inadequate knowledge integration
  6. Incomplete knowledge transfer
  7. Exit of team members
  8. Lack of knowledge map
  9. Loss between phases
  10. Failure to learn

Since learning the way to bridge knowledge gaps, Reich concludes that the best way to address the risks is 4-fold (1) establish a learning climate, (2) establish and maintain knowledge levels, (3) create channels for knowledge flow, and (4) develop a team memory.

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