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Project Management for Knowledge Management Systems

2004-11-21
 

Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to define, organize, oversee and control the various project processes. Project managers for Knowledge Management project require general project management skills, understanding of business processes and broad knowledge and experience of information technology.

Define the Scope of Knowledge Management Projects

The scope of a Knowledge Management project describes the major business processes the project will transform, the intended end users the project will support, the relationship of the project with legacy information systems, other e-business applications (ERP, SCM and SFA) and ecommerce applications, the high level technical architecture, funding availability, timeframe of project release and measures of the project success. Knowledge Management systems automate the processes of knowledge capturing, knowledge extraction and knowledge organization and representation. Knowledge management systems facilitate knowledge sharing between employees, customers and business partners.

Develop Project Plan

The project planning phase of Knowledge Management implementation details the project scope, and looks into the feasibility of the project - economic feasibility and operational feasibility.
Vendor Selection Packaged software is available for certain types of knowledge management applications. The project plan should detail the criteria of evaluating Knowledge Management software, processes of selecting vendors, and candidate list of software vendors.
Application Development Plan Many knowledge management applications are developed in-house. The development plan should detail the technical architecture, technologies, tools and programming languages used for the application development.
Implementation Plan Knowledge Management project is broken into phases horizontally and modules vertically. The customization of Knowledge Management software and the integration of Knowledge Management with enterprise information systems are the major tasks in Knowledge Management implementation. Organizations tend to underestimate the cost of customization and integration.
Time & Cost Management Project management software can help create a project schedule, resources and budget plan. PERT char and Gaunt Chart are commonly used to identify critical path of the project. Knowledge Management projects may need purchase of additional hardware and software though the major costs of Knowledge Management project are costs of Knowledge Management software licensing, software customization and system integration.
Quality Management QA of Knowledge Management software involves various software testings - component testing, regression testing, system testing and user acceptance testing. Implementation teams often utilize automated software testing tools to speed up the QA process and to improve the quality of software systems. Part of quality management at planning stage is the development of high level test plan. Implementation team can run the test plan against high level requirements to validate scope of the project.
Resource Management Perform organizational planning, manage staff acquisitions and promote team development.
Risk Management Identify risks, develop contingency plans for possible risks.
User Training Plan Outline the steps, resources and time required for end user training.

Monitor and Control Project Progresses

Projects seldom proceed as planned. The progress of a project is impacted by many variables - change of project requirements, unexpected technical challenges, and changes in resources availability. Project managers should closely monitor the progress of the project, identify the critical successful factors and foresee the risks of project implementation, and adjust project plan and re-allocate resources. The project plan is continuously updated to keep track of what's happening rather than what's planned.

Post Implementation Review

After the completion of the Knowledge Management project, project team can learn from experience and identify the things that went well and the things that failed to work as planned.



Related Topics
Knowledge Management Technologies and Tools
Benefits of Knowledge Management Systems - Benefits of Automation
Causes of Knowledge Management Failures
Knowledge Management Implementation - Critical Successful Factors
Content Management System
Document Management System - Physical vs. Electronic
E-learning - an Overview

 

 
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