Content and Conversation – equal and complementary focus areas for KM

I  blogged recently about Connect and Collect – the two parallel approaches to transfer of knowledge. Now let’s look in more depth about the two modes by which knowledge is carried – Content and Conversation. 

During the Connect approach we facilitate the transfer of knowledge through Conversations, whether these are online conversations or face to face meetings.

During the Collect approach we facilitate the transfer of knowledge through captured and codified Content in the form of documents, files, text, pictures and video.

    We also know that Conversations are a far richer medium than Content, potentially 14 times richer, though Content can reach far more people, and has a longer life-span than a conversation.

    Any comprehensive Knowledge Management framework needs to enable, promote, facilitate and otherwise support both Conversation and Content.

    Focusing on conversation and focusing on content are not alternative strategies, they are complementary and interlinked. Neither approach is sufficient on its own (although the content-only focus seems very common), and each relies on the other.

    Managing conversation without content leaves no trace, other than in the minds of the people involved. That in itself is useful, and we know that most of the processes of Knowledge Management, such as Retrospect, After Action Review, Peer Assist and so on are valuable individual learning experiences. But managing conversation without content is not a valuable organisational learning experience. Unless new knowledge becomes embedded in process, or guidance, or recommendations, it is never truly “learned”, and without this we find knowledge becomes relearned many times, with errors being repeated, wheels reinvented and so on.

    Managing content without conversation leads KM towards the already established fields of Content Management and Information Management, and you could (as the author of the famous “Nonsense of Knowledge Management” did) challenge what KM adds over and above these other disciplines. A focus on content without conversation results in a focus on publishing; on creation of reports and files, blogs, wikis, as a proxy for the transfer of knowledge; on Push rather than Pull. But unless people can question and interrogate knowledge in order to internalise it, learning can be very ineffective, and this approach always seems to deteriorate into technology, search, and the perennially soon-to-be-delivered benefits of AI.

    There is a saying in social media circles that “Conversation is King, Content is just something to talk about“. Like any other dualism-based statement, this is wrong. Knowledge Management, as a field, is far more “both/and” than it is “either/or”.

    Content and Conversation are the King and Queen of Knowledge Management – they rule together.

    • Content is something to talk about
    • Conversation is where Content is born and where it is Tested.

    As a Knowledge Manager, please focus equally on both, and please do not assume that all Conversation needs to be by written means. Face to Face is still the preferred transfer mechanism for high-context knowledge, and “getting people together to talk about what they know” is an amazingly effective tool within your Knowledge Management Framework.

    Make sure you promote and support Conversation and Content as equal partners in your KM Framework. 

    View Original Source (nickmilton.com) Here.

    A new way to differentiate Industry approaches to KM?

    If you are interested in how different industries approach KM, here is a new way to differentiate them. 

    Different industries tend to approach KM in different ways, or apply KM in “different flavours.”  In September I posted a ternary plot, where different industries were plotted on their relative focus on Product Knowledge, Process Knowledge, or Customer Knowledge. Below is a similar plot, but looking at the preferred “default approach” to KM.
    This plot is derived from answers to our KM surveys in 2014 and 2017, answered by more than 700 knowledge managers worldwide. One of the questions asked the respondents to list, in order of importance, a series of KM components (communities of practice, for example). In this plot we look at three components, 
    • Connecting people through communities of practice;
    • Learning from Experience;
    • Improved access to documents (including search and portals)
    The plot maps out the percentage of companies from each industry which chose each one of these three as their top area of importance. Of course for many companies, all three were important, but for this plot, we look at which of these three components was chosen as MOST important.
    A Ternary plot such as this one shows a choice between three components, measures on three axes (labelled in the plot above) and the closeness to each of the apices shows the proportion of companies in that industry which chose that KM approach as the most important of the three. For example, the data point on the far left, the “Legal” data point scores 
    • 71% on the axis “improved access to documents”
    • 26% on the axis “connecting people through communities”, and
    • 3% on the axis “learning from experience”
    This represents the views of the 35 survey respondents from the legal industry concerning which of these three was most important for KM. 
    What is interesting about this plot, is that the points are well spread out, suggesting that this is a way to differentiate some of the industries. 
    • Legal, for example, sees access to documents as the most important of these 3 KM tasks. Finance/Insurance and Health are similar. 
    • Oil and Gas, on the other hand, sees a mix of communities of practice and learning from.experience as more important (only 15% of respondents voted for “improved access to documents”).
    • IT/telecoms has the highest proportion of people preferring “connecting people through communities”, perhaps related to their long history of online collaboration.
    • “Learning from Experience” gets its greatest attention from Aid/Development, Military/Emergency and Mining.
    • In the middle of the plot, where all three areas get equal votes, are Utilities, Construction, and Education/Training.
    You can see the outworkings of these preferences in all sorts of things, such as the ways KM job descriptions are written, the skills from which KM teams recruit, and the preferred components of the KM Frameworks
    What’s the conclusion? I think that this plot may be an interesting way to differentiate different KM approaches, but perhaps the main conclusion is that id you are looking at analogue Km approaches to learn from; stick to a neighbouring industry. There would be no point in an oil and gas company applying a KM framework from Legal, or Legal applying a KM framework from IT, or IT applying a Framework from Mining. 
    Understand how your industry approaches KM, and use that as your starting point. 

    View Original Source (nickmilton.com) Here.

    A KM framework for frontline sales

    Knowledge Management case studies are often from the manufacturing, projects, operations or service world. However Knowledge management can be applied to any business activity. In this reprise from the archives, we look at how it can apply to Sales.

    The sales force often work as individuals,  grouped into teams covering specific regions and specific products or product ranges for their organisation.  They may be selling FMCGs (fast-moving consumer goods) such as clothing or pharmaceuticals to buyers in high street chains, they may be selling IT solutions to blue-chip businesses, or they may be selling cars to fleet buyers in major multinationals.

    They work to sales targets, and are often highly motivated and incentivised to meet those targets. They spend a lot of their time with the buyers and customers, and relatively little time at “head office” with the rest of the team.

    In this blog post, we explore some of the issues of KM for frontline sales staff (we exclude the practice of Knowledge Management for bid teams – that is far closer to the practice of KM in project-based activity).

    Critical knowledge for sales

    The sales force needs the following knowledge
    • Knowledge of how to sell. They need the basic knowledge of the sales process, such as relationship building, negotiation, and closing. This can be taught in theory, but the knowledge is really only acquired through practice, for example through role-play and coaching, as well as on-the-job learning and “learning before doing”. As one sales director told us, “we always do a lot of scenario planning. Before reviews I sit with my team and I plan what is the worst case that might happen, and how do we combat it? What is the most likely case, and how do we combat this?  What is the best case, and how do we maximize the outcome”?
    • Knowledge of pricing. Sometimes the price of an item is flexible, with the potential for offers and promotions such as “buy one, get one free”. The sales force need to know the pricing strategy, the pricing options, and how to sell the benefits of the pricing approach to the buyer. This knowledge needs to be provided to the sales force by the experts in the sales organisation, who themselves rely on input from the sales force. Pricing strategies can usefully be shared between sales forces in different regions and different countries.
    • Knowledge of product. The sales force need to know the details of the product, and to be rapidly briefed in any new products that may be developed. In the conversation with the buyer, the sales person has to be the product expert. This knowledge comes from the product development unit, and may also be informed by feedback from customers and consumers. One firm producing motor oil products delivers regular training to its sales and marketing departments to bring them up to speed in new products.
    • Knowledge of the consumers and their behaviour. This includes knowledge of buying habits and how to influence them; through display, promotions, education and negotiation. The sales person selling to a retailer, for example, must be the recognised category expert and understand the category shopper better than the buyer, and better than the competing companies. “One thing that we offer is our understanding of the local consumer, and we need to use that knowledge to advise the retailer” said one sales manager. This knowledge can be used to sell the products and brands better, to build more shoppable displays, and to help to grow sales for the retailer, and thus for the sales force. The sales rep starts to act as a consultant to the retailer, offering a knowledge based service.
    • Knowledge of the sales to that buyer. They need to know the sales data, the margins, and the trend. This knowledge will be delivered by the central sales organisation, based on studies and on aggregated sales data from across the firm. One sales manager told us “we have to know our data and information much better than the buyers do. They will use a set of information on how much they buy and sell from us, we need to know this data far better than they do”. If the buyer understands the data better than the seller, then the buyer is at an advantage.  This knowledge needs to cover the buyer’s competitors’ data as well, if possible. The sales rep selling to a retailer will probably have data for all of the retailer’s competitors, and although they cannot give away any specifics, they can talk about trends, and provide them insight in terms of what is going on across the overall marketplace. This knowledge is much appreciated by the buyer, and becomes an added service the sales force can offer.
    • Knowledge of the buyers and the buying companies. The best sales work through mutual advantage, so that both the buyer and the seller benefit from the deal. Therefore the sales force need knowledge of the buyers (both individual and organisational) and their goals and objectives.  They seek to understand their big customers, their game-plan and drivers, and develop and define a customer profile which is shared with and understood by the entire sales force. Although much of this knowledge comes from the sales force themselves, it will again be aggregated by the central organisation. 
    • Knowledge of the production capacity of the organisation. There is no point in selling something that can’t be delivered, so the sales force need to know what can be produced for and delivered to the client. Again, this knowledge needs to be delivered to the sales force, by knowledge transfer along the internal supply chain, and needs to be incorporated into sales targets

    A KM Framework for sales

    A Knowledge Management framework for a sales organisation, to allow transfer of these areas of knowledge, will probably contain some of the following elements (obviously tailored to the specific organisational context).

    • Roles – these will include  a KM person or team providing KM support for the sales organisation; also owners of critical knowledge, such as practice owners for the key areas of sales practice, product owners who ensure product knowledge is up to date and accessible, and key account owners, who hold the knowledge of dealing with key accounts.
    • Processes – Coaching and training (including role play and scenario planning). Regular knowledge exchanges and mini-peer assists during meetings of the regional team, and the wider sales community. Regular (e.g. quarterly) Retrospects for the sales team to generate lessons. Creation of knowledge assets on pricing, consumer behaviour, effective techniques, and dealing with buyers (especially major accounts). These knowledge assets will have been developed through interviews with key successful sales staff.
    • Technology – Access to the sales community of practice while on the road, to share updates and ask questions. Access to customer-related and account-related data while on the road, and in the office, through a CRM application. Provision of knowledge of products, supported by a mobile-enabled knowledge base.  Access to past sales lessons
    • Governance – tracking the frequency and effectiveness of sales KM, including the completeness and availability of knowledge assets, and the interaction within the Sales community. Monitoring the effectiveness of Knowledge Management in increasing sales.

    Together these 4 elements form a KM framework for frontline sales staff.

    View Original Source (nickmilton.com) Here.

    Seven potential building blocks of a KM framework

    Knowledge management is a large and complex field, covering many elements, and applied in many different ways (see my blog post on 50 shades of KM for example). However there are a small number of Knowledge Management sub-components or modules which come up time and time again, and probably represent the main building blocks for KM.

    These modules are applied in different ways in different organisations, and use different processes, technologies and roles. Each of them delivers a certain amount of value; combined, they can create a complete Knowledge Management framework. Any one of them might be favoured in any particular industry.

    The seven main KM modules are listed below.

    1. Connecting people, through Communities and Networks.

    Connecting people through Communities of Practice and Networks is the most popular module within Knowledge Management, applied (according to our global KM surveys) in three quarters of KM programs; Legal KM programs being the main exception. This module requires an effective set of Community software, but more that this, it requires governance, leadership roles, and community processes (see the ten success factors for Communities of Practice).  Through connecting people in this way, knowledge can flow from person to person, across silos and organisational boundaries.  Questions can be asked and answered, and individuals can collaborate on solutions.

    2. Learning from Experience.

    About two-thirds of KM approaches include some form of learning from experience, or lesson-learning (again, Legal KM programs often proving an exception).  Learning from experience can be applied at many levels; to teams, to projects, to products or to programs. It may involve After Action Reviews, Design improvements, Toyota A3s, Retrospects, and other techniques. But however it is applied, and however it is supported by technology and roles, the same principles of systematic gathering and re-use of new knowledge are needed if learning from experience is to be successful.

    3. Creation of “Best Practices”.

    The third most common KM module is the creation of some form of compiled and documented knowledge base. Whether you call it “Best Practices” or not, 60% of KM approaches address this issue of “gathering and synthesising what we know”. The home for this synthesised knowledge may be a Wiki, a Knowledge Asset, a Checklist, or even an Expert System. I am not talking about libraries here – the key to a Best Practice approach is developing and making available the Current Best Way to do something, and then continuously improving that “Best way” to make it even better.

    4. Provision of Knowledge to external Customers

    This is a version of number 3, which focuses on providing knowledge to external parties. This can be done through Knowledge Centred Support (customer support staff working with the help of a knowledge base), through chatbots, or through customer self-service (publishing knowledge on a site for customer use). 

    5. Better access to knowledge documents.

    “Better access to knowledge documents” is a very common area of focus of Knowledge Management programs, although this verges into the adjacent fields of ECM and information management. Portals and Enterprise Search (even Semantic Search) are the key tools here for ensuring findability of documented knowledge.

    6. Knowledge Retention.

    Knowledge retention is a strategic approach to protecting against knowledge loss as experienced staff leave an organisation, and a whole variety of KM interventions can be applied to both retain and transfer the knowledge.

    7. Innovation.

    Innovation as a separate KM module deals with Knowledge Creation, often through development of innovation teams, creation of breakthrough innovation projects, and use of structured innovation processes.

    Business sectors and the seven building blocks

    As already hinted above, different business sectors tend to have a focus on different KM modules. Some of the main differences are as follows (and please bear in mind that most organisations address the first 4 modules, and many address all seven to varying extents).

    • Connecting People is a core focus for multinational organisations, where knowledge is spread over many sites and many countries. Aid and Development organisations, for example, focus on Connecting People, as do the multinational oil companies.
    • Learning from Experience is a core focus for Project organizations, such as Construction, Engineering and Aerospace.
    • Best Practice is a core focus for service organisations, and for Manufacturing.
    • Provision of knowledge to customers is a focus for Finance, Insurance, Retail and Educational organisations, as well as the development banks.
    • Better access to knowledge documents is the core focus in the Legal sector, but is part of the KM Framework for almost every organisation.
    • Knowledge Retention is a core area of focus for many organisations; typically Western Engineering and manufacturing companies concerned about reliability (Nuclear, Aerospace, Utilities etc) or growing organisations relying on the knowledge of a few experts. 
    • Innovation is a focus for any competitive organisation, be it product innovation or process innovation, but is seldom the core focus for a KM program. 

    However whichever building blocks you choose, the key is to link them up into your final framework, as no block stands alone.

    View Original Source (nickmilton.com) Here.

    How projects and organisations work together to make a KM system

    Projects and the wider organisation are linked in a Knowledge-handling cycle

    Please note, in this article you can replace the word “project” with “department” or “division” or “team” or “office” throughout.

    The Boston Square here is one that I have used with projects as part of their Knowledge Management planning, and is a useful framework to allow projects to reflect about the knowledge sharing they need to do.

    The thinking is as follows.

    • The project knows some things
    • The wider organisation (the centre, the functional departments and other projects) knows some things as well.
    • At the start of the project, they need to learn as much from the wider organisation as they can. If there are important things the organisation knows but the project doesn’t, the project needs to learn these things.
    • At the end of the project, if the project has learned things the rest of the organisation does not know, then the project needs to share this knowledge.
    • At all other times, the project and the organisation should be in synch – in the green boxes in the diagram.
    • If there is any knowledge held in the red boxes, meaning that the organisation doesn’t learn what the project knows, or the project doesn’t learn what the organisation knows, then this is evidence of organisational silos, and of the lack of knowledge sharing. 
    The projects therefore import knowledge from the organisation at the start, and export new knowledge at the end. They are the users and the creators of knowledge. In many ways the rest of the organisation exists as a knowledge-handling mechanism to service the projects with knowledge. 
    Knowledge circulates through the interactions between the projects and the organisation, as shown below, and grows, deepens, evolves and develops as it does so.
     

    The projects and the organisations are like two chambers of a beating heart, responsible for the circulatory flow of Knowledge

    View Original Source (nickmilton.com) Here.

    The 4 Ifs of Knowledge Management

    This post is an elaboration of a Linked-In comment, and is based on a diagram from a paper I co-authored called Implementing a Framework for Knowledge Management

    There are four key enablers for Knowledge Management – the 4 legs on the KM table.

    The first 3 are generally recognised as the “People, Process. Technology” trio, while experience over a number of years (and documented in the paper referenced above) has shown that without governance, the other three cannot be sustained.

    It’s informative to look at what happens if any of these four are missing.

    • If there are no roles and accountabilities, then Knowledge Management is nobody’s job (or else, it’s “everyone’s job” which soon becomes “no-one’s job”)
    • If there are no processes for KM, then nobody knows what to do, or how to do it.
    • If there is no Technology for KM, then nobody has the tools, and KM can never extend beyond the immediate and local
    • If there is no Governance, then nobody sees the point. KM remains an optional activity, and nobody has time for optional activity.
    That’s the Four Ifs of KM

    View Original Source (nickmilton.com) Here.

    How knowledge and performance are linked

    There is a very close link between knowledge and performance, which is at the heart of any KM framework.

    Knowledge results in performance. The more knowledge we have, the better we can perform. The more we learn from performance, the more knowledge we have. This puts us in a reinforcement cycle – a continuous improvement loop – continuously improving knowledge, continuously improving performance.

    We are all well aware of this link as it applies to us as individuals. The more we learn about something, the better we get, whether this is learning to speak Mandarin, or learning to ride a bicycle. The knowledge builds up in our heads and in our legs and fingertips, and forms an asset we can draw on.

    It’s much harder to make this link for a team, or for an organization. How do we make sure the organization learns from performance and from experience? How do we collect or store that knowledge for future access, especially when the learning takes place in many teams, many sites or many countries? How do we access the store of knowledge when it is needed, given that much of it may still be in peoples’ heads?

    This link, between knowledge and performance, is fundamental to the concept of knowledge management.  Knowledge management, at its simplest, is ensuring this loop is closed, and applied in a systematic and managed way, so that the organisation can continuously learn and continually improve performance.  The  knowledge manager should

    1. Know what sort of organisational performance needs to be improved or sustained (and in some organisations this may not be easy – the performance requirements of public sector organisations, for example, may not always be easy to define);
    2. Know what knowledge is critical to that performance;
    3. Develop a system whereby that knowledge is managed, developed and made available;
    4. Develop a culture where people will seek for that knowledge, and re-use and apply it;
    5. Develop work habits and skills that ensure performance is analysed, and that new knowledge is gained from that performance (using processes such as lesson learning or After Action reviews);
    6. Set up a workflow to ensure that the body of knowledge is updated with this new knowledge; and
    7. Be able to measure both the flow of knowledge through this loop, and also the impact this has on performance.

    That’s KM at its simplest; a closed cycle of continuous learning and continuous performance improvement.

    The complexities come in getting this loop up and running, in a sustainable way, in the crazy complex pressurised world of organisational activity.

    But that’s what they pay us Knowledge Managers for, right?  Dealing with those complexities. Designing the framework that closes the loop. Delivering the value.

    Ensuring that knowledge drives performance, and that performance results in new knowledge.

    View Original Source (nickmilton.com) Here.

    Knowledge Management in a big organisation – local or global?

    “How can you implement a common approach to Knowledge Management, in a globally diverse company?

    How much of  a Knowledge Management framework needs to be consistent around the globe, and how much can you vary on a local basis?

    The answer is that you select certain global commonalities, but allow local expression of these. And the local expressions could be localised by geography or by corporate division.

    There are several elements which need to be common, and applied globally.

    • Knowledge Management needs a common vision and a common definition (see blog post on example visions). That means that KM, across the whole global organisation, is trying to do the same thing.
    • Knowledge Management should employ a consistent approach to Communities of Practice. CoPs are  likely to be one of the elements that cross the corporate geographical and divisional boundaries, so a common and integrated CoP approach is important.
    • Knowledge Management should use a common global set of technologies wherever possible. One set of Community software, one Yellow Pages, one search engine, one Portal, one Lessons Management System, one email system, and so on. There may be technologies that apply to only one part of the business – CRM being used only by sales, and not by manufacturing, for example – but it should be applied globally to sales.
    • Knowledge Management should be approached in the same way by Leadership. This will be expressed in a common KM Policy, and reflected in leadership expectations.

    The elements which need to differ from division to division, are as follows.

    • Embedding KM processes into business process. Each division will work with a different process. (Ideally processes should be harmonised globally within each division – if not, then this can be one of the early tasks that KM helps with). Therefore KM will need to be embedded differently, in different steps in the process, and sometimes using different processes. The Sales process and the Project Management process may be sufficiently different that each uses a partially different set of KM processes, embedding these processes in different places, but the principles of “Learn before, during and after” should still apply. Projects may “Learn before” by doing KM planning at the project start, while Production may do KM planning on an annual basis. Projects may “Learn After” through holding Retrospects, Sales through using Knowledge Exchange. The principles are the same, the local expressions of those principles are tailored to the business process.
    • Embedding roles into the organigram. Each division will have a different organigram, so KM roles (which will be needed in all divisions – roles for knowledge creation and use, roles for knowledge ownership, roles for KM support) will be placed in different spots on the organigram. If the Projects division has a Project Management Office, for example, this could be the ideal home for the KM support roles for projects – the facilitators, the trainers, the lessons management team. If the Marketing division has regional hubs, this could be the ideal place for the KM support roles for marketing. And so on. 

    So the implementation of Knowledge Management is set on global principles, adapted to local settings – all part of the work of defining the Knowledge Management Framework and the Knowledge Management organisation

    View Original Source (nickmilton.com) Here.

    The most common missing elements from KM frameworks

    When we review client Knowledge Management frameworks, it is often the same two elements that are missiong, or poorly developed.

    One of the services we offer at Knoco is an assessment and benchmarking of client Knowledge Management Frameworks, to assess for completeness and maturity.

    We do this in two ways, through a high level online self-assessment, and through a detailed diagnostic study where we conduct in-depth interviews and bring an expert eye to bear on your KM approach.

    And you know what? There are some interesting patterns emerging from the results.

    Let’s look at the average results from the online survey results first (top right; components are scored from 1 to 5) and look at the factors that, on average, receive the lowest score. These are:

    • Roles and accountabilities (a lack of clear KM roles and accountabilities in the organisation)
    • Business alignment (KM not aligned with business goals and objectives)
    • Governance (no governance, for example no clear expectations, no performance management, no support)
    On the other hand, the highest scores are Technology, and Behaviours and Cultures.
    Many organisations think that the way to address KM is to address behaviours and culture, and to buy technology. The results of the survey suggest that these elements are relatively well covered, and that instead, or in addition, you should introduce some accountable roles, align KM with the business objectives, and get some governance in place, in order to deliver value from the technology and behaviours you already have.
    If we look at the results from our detailed diagnostic analysis, we see a similar pattern. The diagnosis includes a more detailed analysis and different scoring levels, but if we extract the scores for the elements of People, Processes, Technologies and Governance, thenTechnology scores highest, Governance scores lowest, and People (roles and accountabilities) scores second lowest.
    Technology is not the biggest KM problem our clients have. A lack of governance is the biggest problem, and the lack of accoumntable roles is second.
    Also we can extract, from the detailed diagnostic, average scores for the four Nonaka elements of Socialisation, Externalisation, Combination, and Internalisation. 
    Socialisation (the transfer of knowledge through discussion and conversation, either face to face or through social networks) scores highest, followed by Combination (working with explicit knowledge, combining and storing it).
    The lowest score, and significantly lower, goes to Internalisation (the interaction with, and re-use of, explicit knowledge).
    Socialising and Sharing, and building knowledge bases, are not the biggest KM problems our clients have. Re-use and internalisation of knowledge is the biggest problem.
    The message from these results is that if you are seeking to improve the effectiveness of your Knowledge management approach, the knee-jerk reactions of “buy more technology” and “build a sharing culture” may not address where the weaknesses actually are. You may need to think more about roles and accountabilities, about business alignment, about governance and about re-use of knowledge. 

    View Original Source (nickmilton.com) Here.

    The "learn before, during and after" model in KM

    “Learning before, during and after” is one of the oldest models in KM, and still one of the most useful.

    Learning before, during and after was one of the early bywords for Knowledge Management at BP in the 90s – a simple and memorable mantra that project staff can grasp easily and quickly. It forms the basis for an operating philosophy for KM, and describes how Knowledge Management activities can be embedded  within the cycle of business activity.

    The management of knowledge, like any management discipline, needs to be systematic rather than ad hoc, and needs to be tied into the business cycle. In any project-focused business, where business activities (projects) have a beginning and an end, knowledge can be addressed at three points.

    1. The project team can learn at the start of the project, so that the project begins from a state of complete knowledge (‘learning before’). This is where processes such as Knowledge handover and Peer Assist can be applied. 
    2. They can learn during the project, so that plans can be changed and adapted as new knowledge becomes available (‘learning during’), for example through the use of After Action Review.
    3. Finally, they can learn at the end of the project, so that knowledge is captured for future use (‘learning after’) and entered into the Lesson-Learned workflow.

    These activities of “Learning before,” “Learning during” and “Learning after” can become an expectation, or even a mandatory activity, for projects.  This model of ‘learn before, during and after’ was developed in BP during the 1990s, and was also developed independently in several other organizations. Shell refers to this as “Ask, Learn, Share”.

    However, there is more to the model than the ‘learning before, during and after’ cycle. The knowledge generated from the project needs to be collated, synthesised, and stored as Knowledge Assets (guidance documents such as SoPs, or Wiki-based guidance) in order that knowledge deposited in the “knowledge bank” at the end of the project becomes more useful when accessed at the start of the next project. Communities of Practice need to be established to manage and share the tacit Knowledge Assets.

     This five component framework (learning before, learning during, learning after, synthesis of knowledge into Knowledge Assets, and building Communities of Practice) is a robust model which creates value wherever it is applied.

    View Original Source (nickmilton.com) Here.