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Home > Sections from ProwLO book proposal - useful example #2

Sections from ProwLO book proposal - useful example #2


1. Blurb and core message

In the knowledge economy, in which knowledge is the most important production factor, organizations are challenged to manage knowledge effectively in order to sustain competitive advantage[1]. In project environments this implies proper management of project knowledge. Existing project management methodologies lack a well-defined process to handle this type of knowledge in all its variety. The ProwLO methodology, taking a project and programme life cycle as the starting point, provides a framework of multiple processes known as ‘project knowledge management’. It is characterised by parallel processes to project management and fully compatible with existing approaches such as PRINCE2 and Praxis. Only by integrating KM with PM systematically can long term organizational learning be realized. In order to take ProwLO in effect, solving knowledge related business problems, a knowledge management system must be in place. This solution is a combination of organizational mechanisms and technologies supporting generic knowledge processes, driven by knowledge needs, and a component of ProwLO. Therefore, the ProwLO methodology is supported, enabled by IT. Alignment is a recurring theme. In short, ProwLO needs to be aligned with a KM System based on corporate KM strategy. ProwLO also has to be part of the formal Project Approach and aligned with the project management methodology, tailored according to specific project needs. The adopted KM Strategy as part of the Project Approach, in turn,  needs to be aligned with corporate KM Strategy. Furthermore, there are numerous process interfaces at a more detailed level in need of organizational alignment. ProwLO establishes the role of Project Knowledge Manager in projects for process execution (who has clear oversight), but as knowledge needs drive all actors in projects and beyond, every member has a stake in successful project knowledge management.

Core message: ProwLO is a practical methodology that stresses the importance of the value of knowledge, enables its measurement, and thereby provides a tool for estimating return on investment of KM initiatives aligned with ProwLO.

2. Statement of aims

ProwLO consists of eight related processes consisting of sub-processes, i.e. activities, a process model. So there is a flow of activity for every process. Every activity has a result or output. These outputs combined are sometimes linked by intricate relations. The process-data modelling technique is used to illustrate the activity flow on the left hand side and output defined by concepts on the right hand side. Every activity is explained for step-by-step execution. The processes are essentially time and event driven, interacting at the process level and interfacing at the activity level. All processes, except one (which is continuous), are shaped the universal project / programme lifecycle and executed mainly by the Project Knowledge Manager in parallel to traditional project management processes, linked by interfaces. As a distinct process, project knowledge management takes away significant burden typically associated with project management. For example, it is postulated that the Project Knowledge Manager is responsible for the capture and validation of Lessons Learned, not the Project Manager as suggested in PRINCE2.

As a methodology, ProwLO provides more than a step-by-step process and method. It provides a practical explanation of knowledge, knowledge management, and sufficient background information on project management. It is based on key principles like knowledge reuse and satisfaction of knowledge needs (in, between and across projects). ProwLO aims to solve business problems related to knowledge as experienced in practice and explains how this is achieved. Accordingly, it contributes to a Business Case for change. ProwLO elaborates on a KM system for effective implementation of this methodology. The ultimate goal of ProwLO is long term organizational learning thanks to optimized knowledge processes. But as projects unfold as vehicles of learning also attention should be paid to increasing the learning potential of project team members and stakeholders, for example, by more reflection and dialogue. This will increase knowledge production, in addition to capturing existing and newly discovered knowledge. 

Existing books and literature have failed to establish project knowledge management as a concept, process and step-by-step method. In all three, ProwLO is unique. It should be noted that ProwLO is inspired by complementary software created by the author.

[1] Jashaparra, A. (2004). Knowledge management: An integrated approach. Harlow: Prentice