Knowledge recycling – Re-use, review and improve

Re-use, review and improve are the three basic components of any Knowledge Management cycle

Start a piece of work by re-using knowledge that already exists, in preference to starting from a blank sheet, or re-inventing the wheel. There will be times when there is no knowledge to re-use and you have to start from scratch, but 8 times out of 10, when faced by an unfamiliar problem, there is already knowledge somewhere in your organisation or network which you can build upon. You just need to seek it, find it and pick the brains of those who have it.
Once you have re-used and built upon the existing knowledge, and successfully finished the task or the project, it’s time to review. Hold an After Action review or a Retrospect, and collect your lessons, What was supposed to happen? What actually happened? What have you learned? How reliable was the knowledge? Was anything missing? Have you learned something new?
Once the review is complete, improve the knowledge. If the knowledge is documented, say in a manual or a wiki, then fill in any gaps, and add any additional knowledge you have gained.  If it is undocumented, share the new knowledge within your community of practice. By improving the knowledge, you pass it on to the next person in a better state than when you found it. Over time the knowledge gets better and better, and more and more refined. 

Through a combination of re-use, review, improve you are contributing to a continuous improvement loop for knowledge, which will help you and your colleagues continuously improve delivery. 

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Shared by: Nick Milton