An Investigation of the Contribution of Knowledge Management Systems on Engineering Project Performance

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1 An Investigation of the Contribution of Knowledge Management Systems on Engineering Project Performance Paul Lyons A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of Dublin Institute of Technology for the degree of M.Sc. in Computing (Knowledge Management) March 2015

2 I certify that this dissertation which I now submit for examination for the award of MSc in Computing (Knowledge Management), is entirely my own work and has not been taken from the work of others save and to the extent that such work has been cited and acknowledged within the test of my work. This dissertation was prepared according to the regulations for postgraduate study of the Dublin Institute of Technology and has not been submitted in whole or part for an award in any other Institute or University. The work reported on in this dissertation conforms to the principles and requirements of the Institute s guidelines for ethics in research. Signed: Date: 06 th March

3 1 ABSTRACT As competition increases in the market place, organisations must strive to remain competitive, productive and profitable. It is vital for companies to ensure they utilise their organisational assets - human and technical, in order to achieve maximum performance and efficiencies. In particular, it has been identified that the Irish construction and engineering industry must harness the potential of Information Technology in order to improve project performance. This research investigates the area of knowledge management in the domain of knowledge sharing and project performance and efficiencies, and raises the question - can knowledge management systems contribute to increased project performance? Existing research indicates that there may be financial benefits to organisations that use knowledge management systems to capture and manage explicit and tacit knowledge. Research was carried out within the Engineering Project Management Department of an Electronic Security Organisation Stanley Security Solutions (Ireland). The Project Management department handles repetitive requests from team members, installers and engineers on products, such as hardware and software related issues and project management related issues. There is a large amount of tacit knowledge throughout the organization, which needs to be harnessed and codified. In this study, a KMS was introduced into the organization within the Project Management Department, with a primary purpose of capturing existing knowledge on project related issues, in order to improve the efficiency of the Engineering Projects. Several tools and techniques were used to measure the performance of the KMS, such structured questionnaires and interviews. A Balanced Score Card was also developed to measure the benefits of the KMS against a number of key business drivers. The results may suggest that the use of knowledge management tools such as a KMS, may improve process efficiency, reduce technical support workloads and increase overall project performance. 1

4 The outcome and findings of the report may also produce a framework for introducing a Knowledge Management System into a Project Management Team in order to improve project performance. Key words: Knowledge Management, Wiki, KMS, Knowledge Sharing, Project Management, Project Performance, Engineering Project Efficiency. 2

5 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to express my sincere thanks to my Project Supervisor Damian Gordon for all his support and direction. I would also like to thank all of the college lecturers that I had for the subjects through the course. 3

6 TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT 1 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS.. 3 TABLE OF FIQURES.. 9 TABLE OF TABLES Introduction 1.1 Introduction Research Problem Research Objectives Research Methodology Structure of this Dissertation Knowledge Management 2.1 Introduction Knowledge Management Knowledge Sharing & Knowledge Creation Knowledge Management Tools Wiki s and KMS Microsoft WorkSpace Wiki s / KMS in Practice Sisk Construction

7 2.7.2 AECOM ICA Construction RLF Reasons for using a Wiki Implementation Strategy Knowledge Management Maturity Model (KMMM) System Development Life Cycles (SDLC) Measuring a Knowledge Management System The Balanced Scorecard Conclusions Project Management Tools and Techniques 3.1 Introduction Project Management PMBOK Project Management Book of Knowledge PRINCE2 Project in Controlled Environments Gulla s Assessment Tool for Project Managers Project Management Project Failures The CHAOS Report Seven Reasons IT Projects Fail NHS 12bn Computer System Failure California DMV

8 3.6.5 American Airlines Case Studies Project Successes Conclusions Change Management 4.1 Introduction People, Processes and Technology People - Organisational Culture People - Why Employees Resist Change Processes - Strategies for Managing Change Conclusion Knowledge Acquisition AND Modelling 5.1 Introduction Relevance of Knowledge Modelling to Project Knowledge Audit Building a KMS System Branding - Stanley Project Box Microsoft Workspace Implementation Strategy Measuring the Knowledge Management System The Balanced Scorecard Questionnaires and Interviews Knowledge Management Maturity Model KMMM 86 6

9 5.10 Staged Delivery Approach (SDLS) Conclusion Experimentation and Evaluation 6.1 Introduction Experiment Evaluation Key Observations Questionnaires Key Findings of Questionnaires Post Implementation Interviews Key Findings of Interviews Balanced Scorecard Audit Card Key Findings of Audit Card Conclusions Conclusion & Future Research 7.1 Introduction Research Definition and Research Overview Contributions to Body of Knowledge Experimentation, Evaluation and Limitation Future Work & Research

10 References. 106 Appendix A Questionnaire 110 Appendix B RFI Audit Appendix C SDLC Software Development Lifecycles 114 Appendix D Presentation Appendix E User Manual

11 TABLE OF FIGURES Figure 2.1 Knowledge Management Process 20 Figure 2.2 Knowledge Management. 21 Figure 2.3 Nonaka Spiral of Knowledge 25 Figure 2.4 People, Process & Technology. 26 Figure 2.5 Knowledge Sharing.. 27 Figure 2.6 WEB2.0 Source Wikipedia 30 Figure 2.7 Wiki 31 Figure 2.8 Microsoft Groove Workspace (Peer-to-Peer) 32 Figure 2.9 Microsoft SharePoint Collaboration. 35 Figure 2.10 AutoDesk BIM Building Information Modelling Figure 2.11 Organisational Success 39 Figure 2.12 Knowledge Management. 40 Figure 2.13 The Knowledge Pyramid. 41 Figure 2.14 Knowledge Management Project Implementation Process.. 43 Figure 2.15 Knowledge Management Process Maturity Model 45 Figure 2.16 The Balanced Scorecard.. 49 Figure 3.1 Project Management. 54 Figure 3.2 Project Management Triangle.. 55 Figure 3.3 PRINCE2 Model 58 Figure 3.4 Project Success Factors The Chaos Report (1994).. 60 Figure 3.5 Project Challenged Factors The Chaos Report (1994). 61 Figure 3.6 SharePoint Server Infrastructure. 65 Figure 4.1 Change, Strategy & Leadership 70 Figure 4.2 Change Management and Knowledge Management.. 71 Figure 4.2 Organisational Development Model For Change 72 Figure 5.1 Project Box Branding 80 Figure 5.2 Project Box Pilot User Interface 80 Figure 5.3 Stanley Security Web Interface. 81 Figure 5.4 WorkSpace Folder Ontology.. 82 Figure 5.5 Project Wiki for The Implementation of This Project.. 83 Figure 5.6 The Balanced Scorecard

12 Figure 5.7 The Balanced Scorecard Audit Card.. 85 Figure 5.8 Staged Delivery Software Development Life Cycle Approach. 87 Figure 6.1 Project Box Pilot Interface (1) 90 Figure 6.2 Project Box Pilot Interface (2) 90 10

13 TABLE OF TABLES Table 1.1 Dissertation Structure Summary 19 Table 2.1- Case Study. 42 Table 3.1 PMBOK Project Management Book of Knowledge 57 Table 3.2 PRINCE2 (7 Principles) Table 4.1 Types of Culture.. 70 Table 4.4 Organisational Goals 73 Table 6.1 Review of Question No Table 6.2 Review of Question No Table 6.3 Review of Question No Table 6.4 Review of Question No Table 6.5 Review of Question No Table 6.6 Review of Question No Table 6.7 Review of Question No Table 6.8 Review of Question No Table 6.9 Review of Question No Table 6.10 Review of Question No Table 6.11 Review of Questionnaire Scores 96 Table 6.12 Balanced Scorecard Audit Card

14 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 Introduction Knowledge Management is used by organisations to improve knowledge creation and knowledge sharing. Organisations who attempt to harness the potential of Knowledge Management may achieve improved overall efficiencies and productivity. As competition increases in the market place, organisations must strive to remain competitive, productive and profitable. It is vital for companies to ensure that they utilise their operational assets - human and technical, in order to achieve maximum performance and efficiencies. Knowledge Management is about People, Process and Technology. Organisations need to continually innovate is order to remain competitive. Innovative enterprises harness the knowledge of their people and evolve. Companies who endeavour to harness the potential of Knowledge Management aim to capture code and share knowledge throughout their organisation. In order to be profitable an organisation must have efficient and productive processes in place which requires planning, organising and controlling. A review of the literature shows that setting clear goals and objectives are key to achieving productive and efficient processes. Many researchers discuss the importance of knowledge goals and strategies within Knowledge Management and the goal of knowledge management is to work towards a framework and systematic approach for managing the generation, capture and sharing of information, business/project intelligence and knowledge. It can be seen from the literature that it is important to align knowledge management goals with the overall organisational strategies, goals and objectives. Within the Irish construction and engineering industry, Information Technology and in particular Knowledge Management has been identified as a key driver towards successful project delivery. Both Engineers Ireland (IE) and the Construction 12

15 Information Technology Alliance (CITA) have identified Knowledge Management as a crucial factor for the future success of companies engaged in the Construction and Engineering Industry. Graham & Thomas (2007). This research investigates the area of knowledge management in the domain of knowledge sharing and project performance, by evaluating how organisations use their knowledge assets - human and technical, through knowledge management systems, to achieve optimum performance and efficiencies. Existing research indicates that there may be financial benefits to organisations that use knowledge management systems to capture explicit and tacit knowledge. Working towards a framework for managing the generation, capture and sharing of information, business/project intelligence and knowledge, organisations can harness the huge potential power of collective knowledge. The general perception from the literature supports a positive answer to the research question - can knowledge management systems assist in the generation of improved Engineering Project Performance? 1.2 Research problem This research problem investigated the impact of using a Knowledge Management System within a Project Management department. Historically, Engineering Projects tend to create large volumes of information and data throughout project lifecycles. Most organisations utilize software applications such as , CAD, word processing and spreadsheets to capture and share information throughout the project teams. However as projects become more complicated the amount of information generated can cause management issues with regard to storage, sharing, availability and accuracy. This has raised Knowledge Management challenges over the years and knowledge generation and sharing has become more important to project success. Research was carried out within the Engineering Project Management Department of an Electronic Security Organisation Stanley Security Solutions (Ireland). The Project 13

16 Management department handles repetitive requests from team members, installers and engineers on products, such as hardware and software related issues and project management related issues. There is a continuous increase in the amount of tacit knowledge throughout the organization, which needs to be continuously harnessed and codified. Similar to other Engineering / Construction companies, the Project Management function within this organisation is vast, and this research focused on one particular process within the Project Management department The Request For Information (RFI) process. The RFI process provided mechanisms for capturing tacit knowledge from the project team members. This research investigated the area of knowledge management in the domain of knowledge sharing and project performance, and raised the question to an identified Research Problem - can knowledge management systems assist in the generation of improved Engineering Project Performance? Existing research indicates that there may be financial benefits to organisations that use knowledge management systems to capture and manage explicit and tacit knowledge. 1.3 Research objectives The following objectives have been achieved throughout the dissertation and contributed to the overall outcome: Reviewed the literature surrounding the following: - Knowledge Management. - Project Management. - Change Management. - Project Performance. - Knowledge Management Tools & Techniques. - Performance Management. Performed an experiment within an organisation to determine the impact of implementing a knowledge management system on project performance. - Developed a Pilot KMS. - Tested the Pilot KMS for a period of 4 weeks. 14

17 Qualitative Research Knowledge Acquisition Design & Implementation Survey Questionairres Interviews Incremental Development Evaluation Documented the findings of the research. Added to the existing literature and body of knowledge on knowledge management. Delivered a quality dissertation for the award of MSc. Computing. Made recommendations for further research. 1.4 Research Methodology The research was carried out in the domain knowledge management, knowledge sharing and organisational/project performance, and raises the question - can knowledge management systems assist in the generation of improved Engineering Project Performance? A number of research methods were used during this project and an experiment was carried out within the Engineering Project Management Department of an Electronic Security Organisation. The research methodology followed a seven stage process: Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Stage 6 Stage 7 Qualitative Research The Project Management department handles repetitive requests from team members, installers and engineers on products, such as hardware and software related issues and project related issues. There is a large amount of tacit knowledge throughout the organization, which needs to be harnessed and codified. 15

18 The literature was reviewed in the areas of knowledge management, project management and change management. Knowledge management tools and techniques were researched and a platform was chosen for the deployment of the Pilot Knowledge Management System (KMS). Knowledge Acquisition A knowledge audit was carried out on the existing Request for Information (RFI) process. This provided the information required for the initial design of the system and also highlighted areas were the existing manual system was failing. These findings created a list of improvement issues that needed to be built into the design of the Pilot KMS. Design and Implementation The system was designed based on Microsoft s Workspace platform. The design of the system took into account the improvement issues highlighted during the knowledge acquisition process. The Implementation strategy was developed to take into account the business drivers identified during the qualitative research. Survey/Questionnaire A questionnaire survey was carried out, which gave excellent insight into the overall, culture within the organisation in relation to knowledge creation and knowledge sharing. The survey/questionnaire was chosen as a qualitative research in order to establish people s views of how they think, believe, value and feel. These findings assisted in the development of the pilot KMS. Semi-Structured Interviews Following the implementation of the Pilot KMS, several interviews were held with members of the project management team. The key themes of the interviews were to explore further, the issues discussed in the questionnaires. The interviews also gave the Project Management members the opportunity to comment on the design and functionality of the Pilot KMS. 16

19 Incremental Development The findings of the interviews were formulated into action plans for improvements to the system. Some of these recommendations were implemented into the Pilot KMS where possible, while other formed recommendations for further development in the fully functional future system. System Evaluation The system was evaluated through a combination of the questionnaires, interviews and a balanced scorecard. In this study, a KMS was introduced into the organization within the Project Management Department, with a primary purpose of capturing existing knowledge on project related issues, in order to improve the efficiency of the Engineering Projects. 1.5 Structure of the Dissertation Chapter 1 sets the scene and introduces the project and background. The research problem is discussed and the research objectives are detailed. The research methodology is set out, and the structure of the dissertation detailed. The relationship and relevance of the individual chapters and topics to the research question are detailed. Chapter 2 reviews the literature of Knowledge Management principles. Knowledge Management Tools & Techniques are reviewed and their fit to this project is examined. Knowledge Management System (KMS) and Wiki s are discussed and there operation in practice are reviewed. Several case studies, where Engineering/Construction companies have used KM to improve project delivery are reviewed and their business drivers for success are noted for implementing into this project. Chapter 3 discusses Project Management tools and techniques and reviews the benefits of using a structured approach to managing projects. Several case studies relating to project failures and successes are discussed and the lessons learned are tied 17

20 into the implementation strategy for this project. Issues such as insufficient communications, ineffective management, lack of user involvement that contributed to the case studies failures have formed a central focus while implementing this project, while issues such as strategic alignment of KM objectives with overall organisational objectives have formed a central focus also in the implementation strategy of this project. Chapter 4 examines the area of Change Management. The literature is reviewed around change management principles and processes. Change Management issues such as culture, resistance to change, people, processes and technology are discussed. Change management drivers for successful change management programmes are noted and formed part of the design of this project. The Organisational Development Model for Change was reviewed and formed an important element in the implementation strategy for this project. Chapter 5 reviews the relevance of Knowledge Modelling to the project. The knowledge capturing strategy for the project is implemented through a Knowledge Audit. The project focuses on the Request for Information (RFI) process within the Project Management Department. This chapter details the Design and construction of the Knowledge Management System (KMS). The Implementation Strategy is detailed and discussed and methods for project measurement are reviewed. The lessons learned from the earlier chapters on Knowledge Management business drivers, Project Management drivers for project failures and drivers for project success, Change Management issues affecting Change Management Programmes are compiled into the implementation strategy. Chapter 6 discusses the performance of the evaluation process for this project, through the use of questionnaires and semi-structured interviews and the measurement of the system through a Balanced Scorecard. The findings are analysed and a conclusion is formulated from the results. 18

21 Chapter 7 discusses the findings from the literature review and the outcome of the experiment. Factors contributing to project success and project failures are discussed and lessons learned from this particular project are reviewed. Future research and recommendation are detailed. Chapter Title Main Topic Relevance to Project 1 Introduction Introduction Introduction, Background, Relationship to and Background Research. 2 Knowledge Literature Knowledge Management and Knowledge Management Review Management Tools & Techniques. Business drivers for success. 3 Project Management Literature Review Project Management principles. Project failure drivers and project success drivers. 4 Change Literature Change Management principles. Change Management Review management drivers for successful change management programmes. 5 Knowledge Acquisition System Design, Implementation Knowledge Modelling of the project. Knowledge capturing strategy. Design and construction of the & Modelling Design and Knowledge Management System (KMS). Evaluation Design. Development of an Implementation Strategy and Project Measurement Technique. 6 Experiment & Performing of Evaluation Evaluation through Questionnaires and Semi- Structured Interviews and the Balanced Scorecard. Evaluation 7 Conclusion and Future Research Conclusion Conclusion formation based on the earlier chapters and the performance of the system over a period of time. Discussion of future research. Table 1.1 Dissertation Structure Summary 19

22 2 KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 2.1 Introduction This chapter will discuss the domain of Knowledge Management (KM). KM is wide and diverse; however its application can be broken down into three distinct areas capture, code and share. KM involves people, processes and technology with the ultimate goal of sharing information and knowledge throughout organisations, communities-of-practice, Social Networks and group interactions in general. Knowledge management has often been described as comprising three elements: people, processes and technology Edwards (2009). Figure 2.1 Knowledge Management Process One of the initial tasks of KM is to capture information and knowledge from people and processes, through an acquisition process. We are increasingly focusing on capturing the knowledge of the NEX users and provide a mechanisms for sharing of with the community in order to facilitate reuse and accelerate research Votava et al., (2013). There are many techniques that can be used during this elicitation process, for example: interviews - semi structured (natural technique), group meetings (natural technique) and 20 questions (contrived technique). The people element of KM is very important at this stage of the acquisition process and focus is needed on human problem solving, personal construct theory, resistance and bias. People can feel threatened during this process and may display resistance. They may feel that their status quo is under threat. If change is too different from the culture, it will create disconnects and be a continuing stumbling block for successful implementation 20

23 Senior (2002). People s perception on change to their environment may affect the overall culture within the organisation. The next stage of the KM process is to codify the information and knowledge into a form/model that can be easily used and re-used. The model chosen may vary depending on the type of information to be represented. For example, a simple business activity may be recorded in a process flow diagram, or a complex product development project may be represented by a concept map. Within a project environment, this may form the codification process of capturing tacit knowledge from the project team members. Whatever modelling technique is used, the key deliverable at this stage is that the information is available in an understandable format. In a project environment, it is key to have information that is easily accessible and is in a format that can be reused. The failure to capture and trasfer project knowledge leads to reinventing the wheel, which will amount to wasted activity and impaired project performance Anumba et al., (2005) The sharing stage of KM provides a portal for communicating the knowledge stored to interested parties. It is at this stage that the benefits of a Knowledge Management System can be realised, as this is the output of the whole KM process. In a project environment the creation and transferring of knowledge is seen as a crucial factor for overall project success. Using knowledge transfer and knowledge sharing, for example the transfer of knowledge from an earlier project, can lead to project foresight from the outset. The need to capture and share knowledge from both current and past projects has the potential to improve project performance within the organisation Graham (2007) Figure Knowledge Management 21

24 2.2 Knowledge Management Drucker (1998) states that organisations need to continually innovate in order to remain competitive and that innovative enterprises harness the knowledge of their people and evolve. He says the evolution of command-and-control organisational models to information-based is of huge importance to the structures we see in companies today. Information-based models have led us to knowledge-based structures and knowledge workers are common in all types of business. Knowledge has been gathered for millennia; from Roman Civil Engineering practices through to today s leading Knowledge Management Organisations such as the leading innovating company 3M. 3M has harnessed the knowledge of their workforce to continuously develop new products through Architectural and Incremental Innovative product design. The practice of gathering information has not changed throughout the years; however the process of storing the information and how it is used has changed dramatically through the advancements in Information Technology. We process a vast amount of information on a daily basis in our personal and working lives. The goal of KM is to capture and organise information and knowledge so that it can be easily accessed and re-used Graham (2007). Knowledge is defined as: Information and skills having a theoretical or practical understanding of a subject or topic acquired through learning and experience. Oxford Dictionary. Management is defined : The attaining of organisational goals in an effective and efficient manner through planning, organising leading and controlling organisational resources. Daft Management 6th Edition Malhorta (2002) defines Knowledge Management Knowledge Management embodies organisational processes that seek a synergistic combination of information technology and the creative and innovative capacity of human beings. This project focused on the development of a knowledge management processes in the form of a knowledge management system in order to utilise people, processes and technology to 22

25 harness the power of knowledge creation and sharing throughout a project life cycle. One of the main objectives was to capture what people and the organisation knows. Knowledge management is a strategic, systematic program to capitalize on what an organisation knows Knapp (1998). KM also focus on knowledge creation and knowledge transfer throughout the organisation. Knapp (1998) sates that knowledge management can be a set of processes for transferring intellectual capital to value processes such as innovation and knowledge creation and knowledge acquisition, organisation, application, sharing, and replenishment. Determining the roots of knowledge definitions may prove difficult, however the Greeks defined knowledge through epistemology. They defined epistemology as: The Science and Philosophy of Knowledge. Dancy (2009) discusses the four main concepts to Epistemology: (1) Constructivism Knowledge is constructed bit by bit. (2) Assimilation Incorporation of new experience into already existing framework. (3) Association Learning by associating on thing with another thing. (4) Accommodation The process of moving things around in your brain to fit new things in. There are many definitions of knowledge, however broadly speaking knowledge can be broken into two categories. Philosopher and economist Michael Polanyi discussed two distinct type of knowledge Tacit Knowledge as knowledge embedded in people s minds and Explicit Knowledge as knowledge codified in books, documents, report and courses. Having broken down knowledge into both these categories allows us to choose an appropriate capturing strategy. 23

26 Awad & Ghaziri (2004) define the following types of knowledge: (1) Procedural Knowledge Understanding of how to do a task or carry out a procedure. (2) Declarative Knowledge Routine awareness, a simple understanding of cause and effect. (3) Semantic Knowledge Hierarchically organised concepts, facts and relationships between facts, a deeper understanding of cause and effects. (4) Episodic Knowledge Accumulated over a period of time in terms of episodes or scenarios, that is, what has happened. Small (2005) outlines that Explicit knowledge is knowledge that can be codified. It is more formal and systematic and is often found in books, enterprise repositories, databases and computer programs. Tacit knowledge,which is highly personal, is difficult to articulate and is rooted primarily in our contextual experiences. The knowledge management system developed for this project captured both explicit knowledge and tacit knowledge during the execution of project X. The capturing of tacit knowledge from project team members reduces the risk of losing knowledge in the event of a team member leaving a company. Fairchild (2002) states that loss of corporate memory as a result of downsizing is one of the prime reasons given for adapting formal KM practices. Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) stated that the key to knowledge creation lies in the mobilisation and conversion of tacit knowledge. Their Spiral of Knowledge process assists in understanding how: Knowledge is transformed or converted from one knowledge category to another. Knowledge is shared. Knowledge may be acquired, created, Improved or expanded. 24

27 Figure 2.3 Nonaka Spiral of Knowledge Transforming knowledge into a format that can be shared and re-used is the focus of Knowledge Management (KM). KM has benefited enormously from the huge investment in Information Technology (IT) in recent years. In the late 1990s IT investment in the United States was increasing at a blistering rate of 15 per cent per year, with actual capacity increasing twice as fast because of the dramatic decline in prices. Harnessing the power of development in IT KM can now play a vital role in organisational performance. It can be seen from the literature that when Knowledge Management Systems, when adequately applied and managed can contribute to improved efficiency, productivity and competitiveness thus leading to increased profitability. This projects aims to determine if a successfully implemented Knowledge Management System can lead to increased project performance within a project management department. Knowledge Management involves People, Technology and Processes. Researchers and Academics have written vast amounts of literature on the theories of learning at individual (personal) and enterprise levels (learning organisation). (Anumba, 2005) 25

28 Figure 2.4 People, Process & Technology 2.3 Knowledge Sharing & Knowledge Creation Knowledge sharing is the key to creating a knowledge-based organization, and the goals of knowledge management systems are to transform individual and enterprise knowledge into business intelligence, thus creating a competitive advantage and maximizing performance. Drucker (1998) says that Organisations who aspire to be knowledge rich environments need to focus on a knowledge sharing culture and champion it through influence and leadership. Small (2005) states that KM leadership and practitioners need enhanced tools to help them better understand what influences knowledge workers to share. From the onset senior management was involved in the planning of this project and provided support and encouragement to the project team. Organisational culture will be a considerable factor in the success of knowledge sharing among workers, departments, strategic partners and customers. Small (2005) states that knowledge sharing is a human behaviour that is influenced by both the KnS environment and other knowledge workers in the environment. Knowledge workers are diverse and heterogeneous. 26

29 Figure 2.5 Knowledge Sharing The term Knowledge Worker was first coined by Peter Drucker in He defined a Knowledge Worker as one who works primarily with information or one who develops and uses knowledge in the workplace. Today Knowledge Workers are normally experts in their field of study and use information to research and develop specific areas of interest. This requires creative thinking skills, problem solving abilities and Knowledge Management experience. Small (2005) states that enterprise knowledge management comes from two primary schools of thought: one that focuses on existing, explicit knowledge and second that focuses on the building or creation of knowledge. The objective of this project was to develop a system that would facilitate knowledge creation as well as knowledge sharing. Davenport (1996) states that while capturing knowledge is the objective of the knowledge repository, other projects focus on providing access to knowledge or facilitating its transfer among individuals. Small (2005) notes that while a survey of the literature yields numerous KM articles, frameworks and models, and assessment tools, few are targeted specifically at knowledge sharing. Enterprise knowledge sharing is often described in the literature 27

30 as being critical to the performance of knowledge creations and in the leveraging of knowledge. KM plays an integral part in organisational learning, development and performance and the key to capturing and codifying knowledge is to share it, Small (2005) says that knowledge which is created in the mind of the individuals is generally of little value to an enterprise unless it is shared. The individual is the important link in the organisation. To facilitate knowledge creation and sharing workers need to feel that they are important assets to the company. It is the responsibility of the management team to ensure that workers are empowered to carry out their function in order for the workers to collectively share knowledge. Wiig (1997) states that The present KM focus is not driven by commercial pressures alone. A practical, often implicit, aspect of KM is that effective people behaviour required for success rests on delegating intellectual tasks and authority to knowledgeable and empowered individuals. The positive benefits of knowledge sharing and creation are evident in the literature. Firestone (1998) says that organisations see KM as a means of avoiding repetition of mistakes, reducing duplication of effort, saving time on problem-solving, stimulating innovation and creativity, and getting closer to their customers. 2.4 Knowledge Management Tools There are many tools available for Knowledge Management. Generic content management systems give organisations the capability to store information and knowledge in one repository, where staff can easily access information. These systems however tend to facilitate knowledge storage as opposed to knowledge creation. Traditional corporate document management is based on content management systems, such as Xythos or Documentum, which emphasise collaboration around document usage and not document creation. (Arazy, et al., 2009). Whereas knowledge managmeent tools such as Wiki s and KMS tend to facilate knowledge creation as well as knowledge sharing. Davenport (1997) states that to transfer tacit 28

31 knowledge from individuals into a respository, some sort of community-based electronic discussion is often employed. Most project teams use the common tools to perform their duties, for example, , Microsoft Project, Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Microsoft OneNote and Drawings to name but a few, and collectively these tools form vast amounts of documents and data. Small (2005) notes that Knowledge resources vary from enterprise to enterprise, but usually include manuals, letters, customer information, and knowledge derived from work processes. The organisation of this data can be overwhelming, in terms of processing and storage. Organisations that realise the potential of their knowledge assets gained improved performance and increased competitiveness. Sisk Builders have leveraged the powered of Information Technology to streamline their construction processes in order to improve efficiencies and productivity. Costello (2010). With the advent of Web 2.0 other technologies have emerged that allow for knowledge creation, sharing and storage combined together. Technologies such as wiki s and blogs are now being used by corporations to encourage collaboration throughout their organisations. Levy (2009) states that organisations are encouraged to start using wiki s and in some cases also blogs It can be seen that companies that encourage the use of blogs and wikis beneift from improved knowledge creation and knowledge sharing. (Kuriakose, 2011) 29

32 Figure 2.6 Web 2.0 Source Wikipedia The development of Web 2.0 over the years has been a direct result of advancements in computing technology, such as the Internet, networking technology, mobile devices and user interfaces. There are many definitions of Web 2.0, however they all focus on improved connectivity of users, computing developments and knowledge sharing. Weinberger (2007) attributes the development of Web 2.0 due to open architecture, its lowering of the barriers to publishing, the ease with which people can connect ideas, the increase in available bandwidth and computing power. Web 2.0 facilitates knowledge management and provides the structural architecture required to create and share information among individuals and organisations. Levy (2009) states that the Web should be treated as a platform and not as a main application. Just as the telephone is regarded as a channel, while the conversation is the essence. Web 2.0 applications should be treated as channels only. Organisations have a wide variety of systems/technologies to choose from when they are considering investment in a KMS. The choice tends to lean towards the best Return on Investment (ROI) and the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), and the integration and utilisation of existing systems. Fairchild (2002) states that knowledge management investments are thus likely to include the extension of existing enterprise software to 30

33 eliminate barriers between transactional applications and repositories of corporate knowledge. 2.5 Wiki s and KMS A Wiki is a software application that allows people to come together and share information and ideas. It is a collaboration tool that can be used to generate and store ideas and knowledge in a central repository. Changes and revisions to content can be tracked and managed. Levy (2009) states that a Wiki is a structured website, i.e. collection of pages sharing the same structure templates. The word Wiki is derived from the Hawaiian word for fast. (Levy, 2009). Figure Wiki Many Authors have discussed the power of mass collaboration, where individuals join together in ad hoc settings to improve the body of knowledge in a particular area. Tapscott and Williams (2006) have examined the benefits of Wiki s in the corporate setting, with formal command structures, while Surowiecki (2005) discusses the fact that Wiki collaboration requires little command structure and states that another key quality for good decisions is independent thought - not isolation, but relative freedom from the influence of others. 31

34 There are many Knowledge Management Systems available, from customised KM systems to off-the-shelf applications. Their main purpose is to capture, codify and store knowledge for reuse. Organisations need to harness the collective wisdom of their people. Surowiecki (2005) in his book The Wisdom of Crowds discusses how Francis Galton, who in 1906 observed a competition at a fair, to guess the weight of an ox, gathered all the guesses together and aggregated them. He found that the average guess of the 787 guesses was within one pound of the correct weight of 1,198 pounds. Surowiecki (2005) also discusses the game show Who wants to be a millionaire and states that when a contestant phones a friend for the answer they are only correct 65% of the time, while others who ask audience are correct 91% of the time. Collective brain power is the goal and objective of Wiki s and KMS. Surowiecki (2005) states that Diversity adds perspective that would otherwise be absent and makes a group better at solving a problem. 2.6 Microsoft Workspace Figure 2.8 Microsoft Groove Workspace (Peer-to-Peer) 32

35 The infrastructure for setting up a Groove workspace allows users to work while offline. Once they are back online Groove synchronises the data. Data is distributed across all workspace members rather than stored in one central server Nicholson (2007). Jamison and Hanley (2010) say an effective Information Architecture is a tool that will assist users in understanding and interacting with the solution, and can mean the difference between users quickly embracing the new technology, and users becoming frustrated and disengaged In their survey of corporate Wiki users (Arazy, et al., 2009) found that the Technical Support function was a common work activity that a corporate Wiki was used to support such as information sharing, how-to notes, best known methods and requests for new hardware. The Project Management function further requires a central repository for storing coded knowledge. Jamison and Hanley (2010) say that a well designed ontology (where information is stored) and taxonomy (what it is called) increases the likelihood that users will find what they are looking for with minimal clicks In their paper titled SharePoint 2010 Adoption Best Practices, Jamison and Hanley discusses the importance of branding and identifies Information Architecture (including content, navigation and organisational branding) as a key area that provide the foundation for user adaption. Jamison & Hanley (2010) 2.7 Wiki s / KMS in Practice The main objectives of developing a corporate Wiki are to improve processes, increase knowledge creation and encourage knowledge sharing. (Majchrzak, et al., 2006) found three types of benefits from corporate Wikis:- 1. Enhanced reputation. 2. Work made easier. 3. Help the organisation to improve its processes. 33

36 Improved processes and efficiencies are the main concerns and objectives of management. In order for a system to be successful, there needs to be a solid business case. Although the focus on corporate culture and organisational change may extend the timeframe for a knowledge management program, only measurable benefits justify increased duration and cost in the eyes of senior managmenet Fairchild (2002) IBM have been using wikis since 2004 and by 2005 they had reached 5000 pages. After 16 months they had 18,000 active wiki users and 142,000 pages with 920,000 revisions (Arazy, et al., 2009). The following four case studies reviews knowledge management systems within the construction and engineering industy and discusses how they benifited the organiations Sisk Construction Sisk Builders is a privately owned Irish building company that was founded over 150 years ago. Sisk today have a construction portfolio of 1 billon. The company extended into the UK in the 1980s and further afield to the Poland and the Middle East in The company has a huge network of employees, sub-contractors, suppliers and clients and communication is key to survival. According to Costello (2010) technology and the management of all that diverse interactions are very important to the business Costello, T (2010). Sisk launched SharePoint in 2007 in order to achieve reduced costs through remote communication and sharing of organisational knowledge. This was achieved through the reduction in installations and maintenance of servers in remote locations. Kennedy (2010) says as an existing Microsoft customer with an enterprise agreement, SharePoint 2007 seemed the way to go as it was centrally based and we could store the data locally in our data centre and people remotely accessed it from the site. This drove down the cost, because we don t need to send servers out to sites or support them in the future. 34

37 Sisk have harnessed the power of Microsoft SharePoint to share documentations throughout the organisation. Kennedy further states that in essence, our internet site for Sisk Ireland is based around SharePoint 2007, and all of our collaborative information around our health and safety manuals, quality manuals, quantity surveyor handbooks are all based on SharePoint so that s the key information source for any of our standard documentation as well as how-to best practices, and all that type of documentation is loaded on our intranet, based on SharePoint Kennedy, K (2010). Sisk have a huge amount of sub-contractors working with them and they have found that managing snag lists on large projects is challenging. In response to this, Sisk intend to develop an application on SharePoint 2010 that will allow them to manage sub-contractors Punch Lists. Microsoft.com/Ireland/case studies/video, Sisk Builders, SharePoint, Case Study Figure 2.9 Microsoft SharePoint Collaboration AECOM Engineering Operating on six continents, in more than 130 countries, AECOM is listed as a Fortune-500 firm. Employing 45,000 staff, AECOM s core business is technical and management focused with key operations in infrastructure, facilities, transportation, energy and water. They claim that their principal strength is their highly skilled workforce, which combines local knowledge throughout the organisation. Our 35

38 employees and clients can tap into a vast network of knowledge and resources, says John Kizior, global director of delivery solutions. Considering the scale of AECOM s operations and the size and complexity of projects that they are involved in, for example : Roseisle Distillery, NASA Ames Research Centre, Beckton Water Facility and Calgary International Airport, AECOM recognise the requirement for a system to improve information flow, knowledge transfer and improved efficiencies. Figure 2.10 AutoDesk BIM Building Information Modelling Recently AECOM strengthened their working relationship with Autodesk to avail of their full suite of products through the organisation. By adapting the Autodesk family of products into their organisation, AECOM has benefited from improved collaboration and data interoperability and greater messaging consistency across the company. The real key, however, is our people and what they are able to do with the full range of Autodesk BIM products. It has encouraged them to try things they never would have done before and really led to some great innovations. says Kizior. Through the implementation of BIM, AECOM has benefited in the following areas: Business Benefits Business Drivers Enhanced collaboration Sustainability More increased interoperability Project funding/financing More opportunity for innovation Project delivery Greater consistency across the enterprise Global infrastructure 36

39 AECOM Case Study : ICA Construction The ICA Construction Firm has used a Knowledge Management System - KMS to improve project delivery. ICA is a large Civil Engineering Construction company with operations in North, South and Central America and Europe. Their main operations are involved with infrastructure projects, such as transport systems, dams, building construction and urban facilities. Based in Mexico City they posted 2010 revenues of U.S. $2.8 billion and employs around 3000 people. The operation generates huge amounts of documentation. They estimate that 500,000 documents are used by 3000 employees daily. In 2008, they deployed Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 to streamline the document flow throughout the organisation and to create better process efficiencies and reduce costs. Carolina Villarreal, ICA s Web Infrastructure Manager estimates: In addition to wanting to control their documentation, ICA recognised the need for an efficient knowledge management system, to capture and code their existing tacit and explicit knowledge. Microsoft SharePoint has created huge benefits to in project delivery, knowledge sharing and profitability Microsoft (2011). Through the implementation of Microsoft SharePoint ICA employees can now access information faster, which has resulted in improved profitability, increased document security and increased online communities. The decision to move to SharePoint was purely based on the increasing numbers of documents generated by the operations of the organisation. Also the existing search mechanism was non-existent. In addition to wanting to control their documentation, ICA recognised the need for an efficient knowledge management system, to capture and code their existing tacit and explicit knowledge. Microsoft SharePoint has created huge benefits to ICA in the following areas: Knowledge Communities Better Knowledge Capture and Exchange Faster Project Completion Improved Profitability Enhanced Data Security Cost-Effective Scalability 37

40 ICA Case Study : Microsoft.com/casestudies/Microsoft-SharePoint-Server- 2010/ICA/Construction-Firm-Speeds-Project-Completion-with-Centralized-Content- Management/ RLF Founded in 1935, Florida based firm RLF employ 130 design professionals offering integrated services to public and private sector clients. RLF recently harnessed the power of Building Information Modelling (BIM) during a large complex construction project - The replacement Irwin Army Community Hospital at Fort Riley. All large construction projects can be complex and especially governmental healthcare facility projects. There are stringent building codes and requirements to meet, involving multidisciplinary teams, all working together. With so many trades working in parallel, it is important that services do not clash, as this will cause huge expenses to rectify during the build stage of the project. Through the implementation of BIM on this project, RLF delivered the project on-time and within budget. RLF Case Study : Reasons for using a Wiki Why would a corporation consider using a Wiki in the Workplace? Based on collaboration and knowledge sharing, decisions for example, can be made easier. It has been said that two heads are better than one. Heywood (1546). Two minds with two different sets of experiences, backgrounds, education, personalities and maybe different values, basing decisions and generating ideas from collective wisdom rather than a particular personal construct theory of one person. Are Wiki s sustainable in the corporate arena? According to the literature this will depend on certain factors, such as management support for the Wiki, user acceptance and the knowledge sharing culture within the organisation. According to (Majchrzak, et al., 2006) Wiki s live beyond the initial pilot stage, and become part of the organisations processes. They found a positive response from to Wiki sustainability from their survey 38

41 Sustainability is based on the length of Wiki existence, the number of participants, the number of lurkers and the frequency of assesses. (Majchrzak, et al., 2006) A review of the literature shows that organisations need to continually innovate in order to remain competitive. Innovative enterprises harness the knowledge of their people and evolve. The evolution of command-and-control organisational models to information-based is of huge importance to the structures we see in companies today. Information-based models have led us to knowledge-based structures and knowledge workers are common in all types of business. Drucker (1998). In order for a company to innovate and compete, the organisation must first be financially healthy. Helander et al.(2010) state: There are three conditions that a company must meet in order to survive: it should be financially sound and solvent, it should have liquidity, and it should be profitable. Figure 2.11 Organisational Success Drucker (1988) suggested that organisations must evolve into knowledge-based enterprises: The typical business will be knowledge-based, an organisation composed largely of specialists who direct and discipline their own performance through organised feedback from colleagues, customers, and headquarters. For this reason, it 39

42 will be what I call an information-based organisation. To remain competitive maybe even to survive businesses will have to convert themselves into organisations of knowledgeable specialists. For a business to convert themselves into a knowledge organisation, they must first develop their knowledge management objectives and align them with the overall organisational strategic objectives. Helander et al.(2010) notes: The acquisition and transfer of knowledge is a key element in the setting of goals and objectives and forming a strategic framework to manage the objectives and related strategies. Knowledge transfer can be utilised through social interaction, creating a natural vehicle for exchanging tacit knowledge and removing barriers of uncertainty. Figure 2.12 Knowledge Management The importance of information and knowledge in organisations is widely discussed and Drucker (1988) notes: Information is data endowed with relevance and purpose. Converting data into information thus requires knowledge. Small (2005) states: Enterprise knowledge management comes from two primary schools of thought: one that focuses on existing, explicit knowledge and second that focuses on the building or creation of knowledge. 40

43 Small (2005) outlines that knowledge is distinguished between data, information and knowledge, and states: Most discussions and definitions of knowledge distinguish between two types of knowledge: tacit and explicit. Explicit knowledge is knowledge that can be codified. It is more formal and systematic and is often found in books, enterprise repositories, databases and computer programs. ;Tacit knowledge, which is highly personal, is difficult to articulate and is rooted primarily in our contextual experiences. Small (2005). The goal of this project was provide a mechanism to capture tacit knowledge from project team members that allows for the knowledge to be easily shared and reused. Figure 2.13 The Knowledge Pyramid Data Unprocessed raw facts. Information Data that makes a difference. Knowledge Evaluation of knowledge. Wisdom Deep understanding of people, things, events or situations. Knowledge sharing is key to creating a knowledge-based organization, and the goals of knowledge management systems are to transform individual, project and enterprise knowledge into business intelligence, thus creating a competitive advantage and maximizing performance. Individual and enterprise knowledge needs to be harnessed in order to improve efficiencies and productivity. Helander et al.(2010) notes: The ultimate goal of all this fuss in an organisation is a permanent change in the ways of 41

44 working so that abundant and overlapping work is cut to a minimum. This way the company may be able to significantly cut the costs and make profits. Helander et al.(2010) discusses a Software Development Company, and highlights the problem of work duplication, due to geographical distances and cultural differences between the Global Employees. The company operates in business-to-business markets producing software solutions and the management team has recognised the amount of overlapping activities, and wishes to develop a repository of component algorithms that can be reused in future projects. Through the implementation of the Codification Strategy, improved efficiency and increased productivity will result in cutting costs and making profits. Helander, Kukko and Virtanen (2010). By developing processes and procedures for handling repetitive project tasks project performance may improve through increased efficiencies. There is a common agreement among researchers that the relationship between KMS and competitiveness and productivity of organisations, relates to improved efficiencies and performance. Geisler s research shows that: When adequately introduced, applied, and utilised, a KMS may generate outcomes and capabilities that may contribute to the performance and competitiveness of the organization (2010, p.98). It can be seen from Case Studies within the Construction/Engineering Industry that organisations who harness the full potential of Knowledge Management Systems reap the rewards of improved project performance and results. The results of the case studies have been measured with four analysis questions relating to the impact of Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) on projects. Analysis Question Sisk & SharePoint AECOM & BIM ICA & CMS RLF & BIM KMS impact on document sharing Positive Positive Positive Positive KMS impact on project efficiency Positive Positive Positive Positive KMS impact on profitability Positive Positive Positive Positive KMS impact on overall project performance Positive Positive Positive Positive Table 2.1 Case Study 42

45 2.9 Implementation Strategies In order for a KM project to be successful it must have a management plan in place. There are many tools & techniques for management, for example PLOC Planning, Leading, Organising and Controlling, all of which focus on planning and development at the onset and carrying it through to completion. A road map is a good analogy. For example, when we set out on a journey, we determine our start point. We look for our destination and we decide on a route. There may be multiple routes that can be taken, however we will decide on the one that best suits our journey. Our decision process becomes our strategy. Figure 2.14 Knowledge Management Project Implementation Process A well-developed strategy will detail the necessary steps required to take a KM idea from infancy through to maturity. A strategy may also act as a communication tools for informing senior management of the purpose and value that the KM project has to the organisation. Senior management typically ask questions, such as Why should we invest in this?, What s it all about?, and What is our ROI Return on Investment?. Your adaption plan needs to capture the hearts and minds of the user community to ensure that the solution will be successful Microsoft (2010). 43

46 By developing an implementation strategy, obstacles and barriers may be foreseen. There is also the opportunity to carry forward lessons learned from earlier projects. Learning from others is the opportunity to make new mistakes, not repeat those of others APQC (2000). A successful implementation strategy should also have a Champion a senior member of the management team that will support and drive the project forward and focus on enthusiasm for the project. In every large scale KM initiative we have examined, including those in this study, an important senior champion or group saw the strategic value of knowledge management and endorsed what became a significant investment in it APQC (2000). Michael Sampson s 2010 book, User Adaption Strategies, highlight three benefits to compiling and adaption plan:- (1) It makes you think. (2) It gives you something to share. (3) It involves other people. A review of the literature shows that there are a number of critical success factors for KM initiatives in project-based organisations. With that in mind the focus group s objectives were as follows: 1. Increased awareness of Knowledge Management. 2. Encouraged members to share knowledge. 3. Improved project communication Knowledge Management Maturity Model - KMMM Organisation seeking to embark on knowledge management development have benefited, according to the literature, in adapting a maturity model. Knowledge Management Maturity Models take development from grass roots through to advanced adaption in incremental stages. Kuriakose et al. (2011) say that a maturity model 44

47 provides a guiding road map. They further describe maturity models as development of an entity over time the entity can be anything of interest. Similar to incremental innovation, where a new feature is added to a product continuously over a period of time, a maturity model adds improvement to an entity over time. KMMM is a systematic and structured approach to implementing a knowledge management system. Figure 2.15 IT Management Process Maturity Model A review of the literature shows that there are many different Knowledge Management Maturity Models, however there is a common theme amongst the varieties. Each concentrate on the moving of an organisation from a basic non-knowledge management process culture through to a fully functioning knowledge management environment with an advanced knowledge creating and sharing culture. Hubert and Lemons (2010) say that regardless of whether an organisation is just getting started, conducting the first implementation of KM pilot projects or preparing to revitalise or leverage successful KM approaches and tools to other areas of the enterprise, it should have a road map with milestones and checkpoints to guide its efforts Hubert & Lemons (2010). 45

48 Kuriakose et al. (2011) reviewed fifteen Knowledge Management Maturity Models and recorded their strengths and inadequacies. As part of their research they developed a KMMM that would be generic for all situations and organisations. Their model, they believe is flexible to enable adaption to any entity. Kuriakose et al. (2011) state that the model uses a balanced approach with adequate concentration on various key areas viz People, Process, Technology, Knowledge and ROI The origins of KMMM seem to lie in the disciplines of Project Management and Change Management. As discussed KMMM is a structured approach for moving an organisation from Point A to Point B, similar to project management whereby a project is taken from initiation through to completion or a change management process whereby an entity is moved from a current state to a desired state. Organisations embark on KMMM initiatives in order to improve efficiency and productivity which in-turn can lead to improved performance and profitability. Investment is crucial if an organisation wants to reap the benefits of KM. Hubert and Lemons (2010) found that firms can and are measuring the impact of KM, and say in fact, those who invest the most and measure the most rigorously are achieving a financial return in investment (ROI) to two dollars for every dollar spent per participating employee System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Approaches A review was carried out on the different SDLC System Development Life Cycle Approaches. In total ten approaches were reviewed under the following headings:- What is it? When is it used? Strengths? Weaknesses? The outcome of the review clearly pointed towards the Staged Delivery Approach as the most suited method for the implementation of this project. (See Appendix C). 46

49 Jamison & Hanley (2010) say: Have a plan ahead of time for your SharePoint launch, rollout, communications and training. Make sure your plan is written down and socialised 2.12 Measuring a Knowledge Management System When a system has been implemented into an organisation, it is important to take some measurements in order to determine the impact it has within the company. The impact can be neutral, negative or positive. The method of measurement is varied and the literature shows that it is not an easy task to measure a knowledge management system s impact. Companies strive to establish and determine the benefits that a system can bring, and these benefits can be either qualitative or quantitative. Allen (2003) discusses how to measure Value of a project. He says that value can be measured through EMV Expected Monetary Value, Project Profit, ROI Return On Investment, IRR Internal Rate of Return or Opportunity Costs. The RFI process can be considered as an opportunity cost generator, as an RFI is normally raised to gain information that wasn t present or clear during the tender stage of a construction contract. This has the potential for increased revenue for the company and also provides a security net for the client, who may have missed a vital component from a scope of works or specified a works description incorrectly. From a quantitative approach a number of key business drivers should be established and linked to the organisational strategy. Norrie (2006) says that the key is to link project results to business strategy in a tangible and visible way that everyone understands. In order to ensure that the project team understands the format and process of the measuring system, it was important to use a tried and tested approach. Keyes (2010) says that effective communication with employees, process owners, end users, and stakeholders is vital to the successful development and deployment of project management-oriented performance measurement and management systems. In order to measure the impact of a system, performance measures should be linked to the organisations strategic objectives. Keyes (2010) say that performance measures should relate to strategic goals and objectives, and provide timely, relevant, and 47

50 concise information for use by decision makers at all levels to access progress toward achieving predetermined goals The Balanced Scorecard The Balanced Scorecard forms a structured approach to measuring the effectiveness of a system and helps to establish a record of measurements taken over a period of time. Developed by Kaplan and Norton, the Balanced Scorecard can be customised to suit organisations measurement requirements. The Balanced Scorecard discusses the hypothesis about the chain of cause and effect that leads to strategic success Kaplan & Norton (1996). The structure of the Scorecard allows managers to monitor key tasks and processes and acts as a tool for assisting with decision making and gives direction on how to maximise the effectiveness of organisational knowledge. Fairchild (2002) says that mangers can track measures as they work toward their objectives, and measurement metrics aid in showing how to build internal capacity, such as human capital, tacit knowledge and a knowledge culture. When designing the Balanced Scorecard it was important to take key business drivers into account. Keyes (2010) says that the key then is to develop a Scorecard that naturally builds in cause-and-effect relationships, includes sufficient performance drivers, and finally, provides a linkage to appropriate measures. The methodology of creating a Project Balanced Scorecard assures all key issues and stakeholders are addressed to build support for the program, reduce the risks and assure organisation alignment and strategic outcomes. Norrie (2006). Kaplan and Norton builds the Balanced Scorecard on four distinct business perspectives: (1) Financial (2) Internal Processes (3) Customer (4) Learning and Growth 48

51 Figure 2.16 The Balanced Scorecard The internal processes perspectives maps neatly to the traditional constraint of project management, using many of the same measures traditional used Time. Cost, Quality. (Keyes 2010). Building a Scorecard develops consensus and teamwork throughout the organisation and across strategic projects. (Norrie 2006). Balanced measurement across all perspectives, including projects is fundamental to the mythology s ability to influence results. (Norrie 2006). The Balanced Scorecard provides a simple view of why the project exists. (Allen 2003) says that the real question to ask though is why does this project exist? The answer is, this project support the following strategic initiatives. (Allen 2003). The true value of a project can be quantitative or qualitative. Using the Balanced Scorecard provides a mechanism to determine the value of a project. (Allen 2003) says that the term value keeps coming up. The definition of value is usually vague and many times conflicting from various organisations. Establishing a common and agreed upon definition of value of a project is critical. 49

52 For project managers the Balanced Scorecard is an invaluable tool that permits the project manager to link a project to the business side of the organisation using a cause and effect approach. (Keyes 2010). The Balanced Scorecard is examined in relationship to the organisation and the people, process, technologies, and products that are components of the organisation s discrete projects, programs and collaborative efforts. (Keyes 2010). Norrie (2006) says that the Balanced Scorecard provides a framework to translate the vision and strategy into operational terms. The Balance Scorecard was used as a measuring tool in order to assist in identifying the areas where the system benefitted to the organisation. Fairchild (2002) says that, extending this Balanced Scorecard approach to the KM environment would assist companies in understanding the use of KM in relation to their knowledge capital resources, including IT implementation Conclusions This chapter reviewed the literature of Knowledge Management principles. It discussed Knowledge Management Tools & Techniques and examined their fit to this project. Knowledge Management System (KMS) and Wiki s were discussed and their operation in practice reviewed. The distinction between tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge was discussed and the SECI Spiral of Knowledge was reviewed. The importance of capturing tacit knowledge within the project management team was discussed and reasons for using a knowledge management system were examined. It can be seen from the review that knowledge management systems play an integral role within organisations that endeavour to harness the potential of knowledge creation and knowledge sharing. Several case studies, where Engineering/Construction companies have used KM to improve project delivery were reviewed and their business drivers for success noted for implementing into this project. It can be seen from the case studies that the use of a 50

53 KMS in an organisation can generate improved efficiencies which can lead to increased productivity and overall project performance. There are common business drivers amongst the organisation reviewed. The requirement for improved knowledge creation and knowledge sharing are key factors for all project environments. As the scale of projects rises and complexity increases - the amount of documents and knowledge increases thus leading to the requirement of efficient knowledge management systems. 51

54 3 PROJECT MANAGEMENT TOOLS & TECHNIQUES 3.1 Introduction This chapter will discuss the domain of project management (PM), and will review the different project management approaches used in modern project management environments. Factors contributing to project failures will be reviewed and several case studies were projects have drastically failed will be reviewed. A case study were project success was achieved will be reviewed and lessons learned from both failure cases and success cases will be taken into account during the design of this project. Project Management (PM) is an essential element of any project, and it is through PM practices that we endeavour to reduce the likeliness of Project Failure. The Project Management Institute (PMI) defines a Project as a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result. The Irish Management Institute (IMI) has defined Management as planning, leading, organizing and controlling. IMI In 2012 the CEO of the PMI Mark Langley outlined the requirement for improved practices for the coming year - As we look at the state of project, program and portfolio management in 2012, we see a number of global dynamics are forcing organisations to take a more critical look at their practices. Slow economic growth, shifting global market priorities and a push for innovation all make for a very complex and risky business environment and put additional emphasis on the need for excellence in project, program and portfolio management. Project management is the application of knowledge, skills and techniques to execute projects effectively and efficiently. It s a strategic competency for organizations, enabling them to tie project results to business goals and thus, better compete in their markets. The objective of project management is to deliver project within specification, cost and time. 52

55 3.2 Project Management Seymour and Hussein (2014) review the roots of project management and states that throughout the history people have been working on improving and refining the practices of project management. They add that documented techniques were however non-existent up to around the 1950 s. In his book, An Introduction to the history of project management from the earliest times to AD1900, YC Chin proclaims that both Henri Fayol and Henry Gantt are the forefathers of project management (Chiu 2010). Henri Fayol was a French Engineer who contributed to the Science of Management Theory and Practice. In 1916 he wrote a book entitled General and Industrial Management. In it he classified the study of management into several functional areas which are still commonly used in executive training and corporate development programmes. (Hissom 2009). In 1910 Henry Laurence Gantt an American mechanical engineer and management consultant developed the Gantt chart. Weaver (2012). Although Gantt charts have been used extensively in project management, Weaver (2012) notes that these charts are nothing like the charts that are erroneously referred to as Gantt Charts by modern project managers. The development of management science assisted with the development of project management principles. Seymour and Hussein (2014) state that the US Navy significantly contributed to the formulation and documentation of principles of modern project management methodologies and techniques. As construction and engineering projects have become increasingly more complicated involving many disciplines such as architectural, civil engineering, building services, electrical engineering and an array of other sub-contract disciplines, project management has become the crucial element of delivering projects successfully. Yeong (2010) says that the main objective of project management is to ensure a 53

56 project is completed at the required scope defined by the stakeholders, within the project budget, on time and delivers a quality product or service as the end results. The role of a project management Professional can be complex. Project managers tend to be experts in their fields of specialisation before they train in project management principles and techniques. Edum-Fotwe & McCaffer (2000) says that professional competency in project management is attended by the combination of knowledge acquired during training, and skills developed through experience and the application of acquired knowledge. Figure 3.1 Project Management The scope of project manager s responsibility can be vast and normally project managers are actively involved in a project from conception to completion. In such a changing climate project managers are not only accountable for the technical content, but also for the engineering and construction accuracy, reliability of the facility, and within-cost performance Edum-Fotwe & McCaffer (2000). 54

57 Figure 3.2 Project Management Triangle Before an organisation considers implementing a knowledge management system, they should ensure that their staff members are fully trained in the traditional core methods of project management. There are several advantages to using a structured approach: (1) Better control of costs. (2) Better control of time. (3) Better control of risk. (4) Better control of change. (5) Better quality and customer satisfaction. (6) Better management of resources. As project management has become more complex over the years, there has been an increasing awareness within the profession for the need to harness the power of knowledge management throughout a project life cycle. The construction industry has recognised the importance of improved project management principles in order to reduce project failures. Gunnigan & Resimann (2009) says that in 2007, the International Construction Project Management Association (ICPMA) established a Knowledge Management Centre (KMC) the objective of which is to share experiences of construction project management amongst academics and practitioners across the globe. 55

58 There are many reasons why projects may fail and the goal of project management is to manage the risks associated with failure. Similar to knowledge management challenges, project management tends to encounter the same issues. The common factors are culture, process and technology that, in turn, might affect both knowledge management and project management Yeong (2010). Project management and knowledge management can function hand-in-hand in order to successfully deliver projects. Knowledge management techniques can be seen as a facilitator to assist project managers to capture project knowledge throughout a project lifecycle. Lin & Tserng (2003) says that from the view of construction project life cycle, tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge can be created based on knowledge and experience generated from the project. Using knowledge captured from an earlier project will reduce the amount of time required to generate that level of knowledge from scratch. It will also assist in reducing project risks leading to project failure and may provide solutions to current problems. the reuse of information and knowledge minimises the learning processes from past projects, reduces the time and cost of problem-solving, improves the solution quality during the construction phase of a construction project Lin & Tserng (2003) As institutions such as Engineers Ireland recognise the need for better knowledge management throughout a project life-cycle, it is clear that the message from industry is to stay ahead of the competition by improving processes and efficiencies in project execution. Mark Langley (2012) PMI CEO outlined the requirement for improved practices for the coming year - As we look at the state of project, program and portfolio management in 2012, we see a number of global dynamics are forcing organisations to take a more critical look at their practices. Slow economic growth, shifting global market priorities and a push for innovation all make for a very complex and risky business environment and put additional emphasis on the need for excellence in project, program and portfolio management. To manage a riskier business environment, the implementation of knowledge management within the PM department may assist in mitigating risk by gaining improved project performance. 56

59 Project management tools and techniques have developed considerably since the 1950 s and it can be seen that the adaption of other management principles such as knowledge management, can assist project management professionals in the execution of projects. Project management forms an integral role within the construction and engineering industry and in society. project managers play a crucial role not only in the operational activities of architectural and engineering construction companies but also the development of infrastructure in every country Edum-Fotwe & McCaffer (2000). 3.3 PMBOK Project Management Book of Knowledge The Project Management Institute (PMI) has developed the PMBOK (Project Management Book of Knowledge) guide to provide a formal structured approach to Project Management. The guide details 42 processes divided into five basic groups and nine knowledge areas, and when performed in conjunction with content management systems, can lead to better project efficiencies. This project has combined different project management and change management processes in the delivery of a KMS pilot. Five Process Groups: Initiating. Nine knowledge areas: Project Integration Management. Human Resource Management. Planning. Scope Management. Communications Management Executing. Time Management. Risk Management. Monitoring. Cost Management. Procurement Management. Closing. Quality Management. Table 3.1 PMBOK Project Management Book of Knowledge 57

60 3.4 PRINCE2 Project in Controlled Environments PRINCE2 is the required approach for all UK Governmental Projects and its fundamental basics are like those of PMBOK. It is based on seven principles, seven themes and seven processes. PRINCE2 7 Principles: PRINCE2 7 PRINCE2 7 Processes: Themes: Continued business justification. Business case. Starting the project (SU). Learn from experience. Organisation. Initiating the project (IP). Defined roles and responsibilities. Quality. Directing the Project (DP). Manage by stages. Plans. Controlling a stage (CS). Manage by exception. Risk. Managing product delivery (MP). Focus on products. Change. Managing stage boundaries (SB). Tailored to suit the project environment. Progress. Closing a project (CP). Table 3.2 PRINCE2 7 Principles, Themes and Processes Figure 3.3 PRINCE2 Model 58

61 3.5 Gulla s Assessment Tool for Project Managers Following on from his article for the IBM Systems Magazine in February 2012, Joseph Gulla provided an assessment tool for Project Managers in his article for the same publication in March The tool is designed to ask Managers relevant focused questions on project activities throughout the project s life cycle. If the answer is No to any of the questions, the Project Manager needs to take action. The questions fall into five areas: (1) Project Management (2) Business (3) People (4) Method (5) Technical. It can be seen that Gulla s assessment tool when adequately performed can assist in continuous review during a project life cycle. There is a need for constant review during a project to insure that the project is heading in the right direction with regard to time, cost, and specification. Gulla s assessment tool has assisted in the design of a balanced scorecard for this project that was used for continuous review. 3.6 Project Management Project Failures Software Development Project Management has been compared to the design of bridges with the premise that bridges are normally built on time and in general, they do not fall down. In their report, Spector and Gifford (1986) place the success of bridge projects in the design, which cannot be changed during the construction process. They continue by stating that if the bridge happens to fall down, there would be a full comprehensive and documented investigation into the reasons for failure, and a report on how to prevent such a disaster occurring again in the future. However IT projects tend to be under-estimated in both time and cost and have a high probability of failure. The Chaos Report (1994) was published by The Standish Group International with a focus to identify: (1) The Scope of Software Project Failures. (2) The Major Factors that cause failure, (3) The key ingredients to reduce failure. The chaos report (1994). 59

62 Up to 1996, the USA spent $250billion dollars per year on 175,000 IT projects of which most will fail. The chaos report (1994) The Chaos Report The Chaos Report (1994) surveyed Managers from the IT industry for their opinions on project failure and their responses outlined three major reasons for a project to succeed: (1) User Involvement. (15.9% of Respondents). (2) Management Support. (13.9% of Respondents). (3) Clear Statement of Requirements (13% of Respondents). The chaos report (1994). Figure Project Success Factors The Chaos Report (1994) The survey also provided insight into the opinions from the Managers as to why projects are challenged: (1) Lack of User Input. (12.8%) (2) Incomplete Requirements & Specification. (12.3%) (3) Changing Requirement & Specification. (11.8%) The chaos report (1994). 60

63 Figure Project Challenged Factors The Chaos Report (1994) The Chaos Report shows that a significant amount of IT projects failed in that year and the years leading up to it. Likewise, according to the PMI s report, March % of projects successfully met their original goals and business intent in 2011 Langley, M (2012). So, we are still seeing significant failure rates in Software Projects Seven Reasons IT Projects Fail Joseph Gulla (2012) in his article for IBM s System Magazine, outlined and documented a number of reasons why failure occurs in software projects: Avoiding these pitfalls will help ensure success 1. Poor Project Planning and Direction. 2. Insufficient Communication. 3. Ineffective Management. 4. Failure to Align With Constituents and Stakeholders. 5. Ineffective Involvement of Executive Management. 6. Lack of Soft Skills or the Ability to Adapt. 7. Poor or Missing Methodology and tools. 61

64 Gulla s research found that success mainly lies in the fundamental management aspects of a project: Improving the success rate of IT projects is possible by putting significantly more focus on general-management activities. It can be daunting at the onset of a project to know the odds indicate major retoolings or even outright failure. But with accurate planning, defined goals, clear assignments and effective communication, proactive managers can overcome those odds to master even the most challenging project. Simply knowing where potential pitfalls lie can help prevent backlogs and costly delays in the future Gulla, J. (2012) NHS 12bn Computer System Failure The massive 12billion NHS Computer Project set up in 2002 was axed by British Ministers following advice from the Major Projects Authority. The Authority which was set up to review the former Government s financial commitments, to see if they provided value for money. The Authority found that the project: (1) Was not fit to provide services to the NHS. (2) The Functionality did not match the original requirements. (3) The original program dates had not being achieved. (4) A Top-Down approach had not fulfilled the needs of local systems. (5) Usage level was under achieved. A review of this case study shows that the scope definition at the start of a project is of huge importance when it comes to developing a system. In this particular study there was a huge gap between the original scope and the completed system. Users felt that the systems did not meet their needs. It also shows that the project management function did not manage to keep to the original project program dates. There may however be valid reasons for this program delay that were not discussed in the study. 62

65 3.6.4 California DMV In 1987 the DMV commenced a Software project to improve their driver s license and registration system. The project was scrapped by 1993 having spent $45million dollars. The project was found to have: (1) No monetary payback. (2) No management support. (3) No user involvement. (4) Poor planning. (5) Poor design. (6) Unclear objectives. The chaos report (2011) A review of this case study shows that a solid business case is crucial at the outset of all projects. Senior management need to know how the system is going to benefit the organisation from a financial aspect as well as a performance aspect with regard to efficiency. This case study demonstrated how the lack of senior management support and lack of user involvement can have a detrimental effect on project performance. It also shows that poor project management activities can lead to project failure American Airlines In 1994 American Airlines joint-venture software project with Budget Rent-a-Car, Marriott Corporation and Hilton Hotels, collapsed after spending $165million dollars. The project failed because: (1) Too many cooks spoilt the soup. (2) Incomplete statement of requirements. (3) Lack of user involvement. (4) Constant changes to specifications. The chaos report (1994). A review of this case study shows that the scope definition at the start of a project is of huge importance when it comes to developing a system. In this particular study there seemed to be too many people involved which would suggest that there was no central project management function coordinating everyone in one direction. The incomplete 63

66 statement of requirements and the constant changes to specifications would also suggest that the team did not have a formal Request for Information (RFI) process in place. 3.7 Case Studies Project Successes KONE s Strategic Alignment of Projects & Objectives KONE, a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry has been successful in delivering Information Technology (IT) projects. The key to which has been attributed to the strategic alignment of their system and process developments with their organisational objectives. KONE s Strategic Objectives KONE states in their Strategy that they can achieve four strategic targets through focusing on people leadership and internal processes and IT developments. The four target areas are: (1) Serving increasingly loyal customers. (2) Making KONE a great place to work. (3) Leading the industry in profitable growth. (4) Providing the best user experience. In 2000 KONE signed a contract with Equant to create a 44-site, 22-country secure intranet for data, voice and video. Access to the Intranet was provided through Equant s secure Connect Service, which enabled KONE to share information internally as well as externally with business partners, clients and suppliers. Equant s solution enabled KONE s user s easy and reliable access through a web browser to , corporate information on an intranet and KONE s company-wide SAP business system. The system is a highly-scalable IP network. 64

67 Figure SharePoint Server Infrastructure Recently KONE has moved some of its communication to SharePoint. The SharePoint platform from Microsoft makes it easier for people to work together. It enables the sharing of information with others, management of documents, and report publishing. SharePoint is utilised by KONE s Sales Team to prepare pitches and presentations to clients. KONE s use of their Intranet and SharePoint allow their global staff to interact with each other and share information with their strategic partners, suppliers and customers. A review of this case study shows that senior management involvement from the outset is of utmost importance. The developers of this system also insured that the objectives of the system were fully aligned with the overall objectives of the organisation. 65

68 3.8 Conclusions This chapter reviews project management tools and techniques and reviews the benefits of using a structured approach to managing projects and discusses how the benefits of planning, executing and performing projects in a formal manner increase the chances of delivering a successful project. Several case studies relating to project failures and successes are discussed and the lessons learned are tied into the implementation strategy for this project. Issues such as insufficient communications, ineffective management and lack of user involvement that contributed to the case studies failures have formed a central focus while implementing this project, while issues such as strategic alignment of knowledge management objectives with overall organisational objectives have formed a central focus also in the implementation strategy of this project. A review of different project management approaches was performed which formed the basis for the development of the implementation strategy for this project. There is a common theme from experts in the Information Technology (IT) industry with regard to the reasons for project failure, and these opinions do not seem to have changed over the years. So the questions we need to ask now are, why are we still seeing the same reasons for failure? Why are we not learning from our mistakes in the past? Increased awareness of the contributing factors to project failure is of paramount importance to all individuals and organisations operating within a project environment. It can be seen from the review of the literature that a key attribute to project success is the practice of structured project management principles and the ability to share information throughout a project life cycle. Some large projects could involve hundreds of individuals all working towards the same goal. Without adequate tools and techniques the most experienced project management professionals will find it difficult to monitor and control the vast amount of information that construction projects generate today. 66

69 The construction industry has recognised the importance of knowledge management within the project management profession and this project contributes to the development of knowledge management within the industry through the design and implementation of a knowledge management system that initially focuses on a critical project management process The Request for Information (RFI) process. 67

70 4 CHANGE MANAGEMENT 4.1 Introduction Why do we need to change? Change is everywhere. It is in our personal lives and our working environment. We may not like change, but we need to embrace it from time to time. In an organisational setting, change is a key success factor to maintaining competitiveness in the market place. The need to consciously manage knowledge in an organisational setting is now recognised as important to improving innovation, business performance and client satisfaction Graham and Thomas (2007). The Irish construction industry is currently in a state of change as the advancements in Information Technology are opening opportunities for businesses to streamline their processes and develop competitive advantages over rivals. Advancements and innovations in the area of Building Information Modelling (BIM) are creating vast opportunities for the Construction Industry and offering collaborative platforms that allow cross-disciplines to integrate more efficiently than before. Software such as Microsoft SharePoint allow for integration on a mass level. It doesn t matter where your desk is in the world or where you login from remotely through your mobile device, SharePoint is a collaboration platform on an enterprise level. Organisations need to adapt new technology and change traditional work practices and processes in order to maintain competitiveness and efficiencies. When any new process or software is introduced into an organisation it is important to consider three areas in order to increase the chances of a successful adaption by the individuals. People, processes and technology will form the backbone of a change management process. 68

71 4.2 People, Processes and Technology Many project-based businesses lack the expertise to handle their knowledge assets (especially those gained from experience of previous projects); indeed, most knowledge management initiatives in project-based firms have failed for a variety of reasons including technological, cultural, knowledge content and project management reasons Chua and Lam (2005) People - Organisational Culture Culture has been described as the way we do things around here by Drennan (1992). It is the typical behaviour of the individuals, departments and organisations as a whole. Culture is typically the incumbent habits and attitudes in the working environment. Schein (1967) defines culture as a pattern of basic assumptions, discovered, developed or invented by a given group as it learns to cop with its problems of external adaption and internal integration on what has worked well enough to be considered valuable and therefore is to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think and feel in relation to those problems. An organisation can be seen as having two parts the formal and the informal organisation. Its culture tends to be part of the informal aspect of the organisation. Diagnosing organisational culture is the first step in the process of culture change. An organisation may not need a paradigm shift in culture, however to move a group from one cultural attitude to another will require a change management strategy. Jamison and Hanley (2010) states that adaption won t happen magically. Only by guiding users, demonstrating the usefulness of SharePoint, and using SharePoint Champions will full adaption take place During this project, it was observed that the type of culture within the project management department was a Task/Achievement Culture based on the four types of generic culture discussed in the literature by Charles Handy. 69

72 Type of Culture Power Culture Role Culture Task/Achievement Culture Person/Support Culture Description Typically a powerful leader is in control Often applies to bureaucracies Categorised by loosely organised groups/project teams The individual is central, e.g. a Doctor s practice Table 4.1 Types of Culture People - Why Employees Resist Change Change is inevitable in every aspects of life and this stems into our working environment also. While organisations strive to remain competitive and up-to-date with technological advancements, working environments move through organisational structural and environmental change. Many authors have discussed this subject and Paul Strebal (1996) attempts to answer the questions why do employees resist change? Strebal discusses the concept of personal compacts and says that while executives see change as an opportunity, many employees see change as a disruption. He outlines that the role of management is to close this gap. Figure 4.1 Change, Strategy & Leadership Even with a great governance plan, a complete collection of credible, usable and relevant content, and a fully tested solution, you can t just turn on the new portal, collaboration, or social computing environment and expect users to come running to embrace a new solution with open arms Microsoft (2010). 70

73 Employees and organisations have reciprocal obligations and mutual commitments, both stated and implied, that define their relationship. Strebal refers to these agreements of personal compacts. These are mutual obligations and commitments that exist between the employer and employee. This is what is expected from both sides what the employer expects of the employee and vice versa. While employers expect to experience change in working agreements, employees on the other hand do not necessarily expect any deviation in their working environment and tend to grow into comfortable and reliable non-changing routines. Any change from this status quo can be seen as a disruption on the employee s side and may be acted upon with resistance Processes - Strategies for Managing Change With the introduction of a new process into the Project Management department, it is important to consider a strategy for its execution. A company s strategy consists of the combinations of competitive moves and business approaches that managers employ to please customers, compete successfully, and achieve organisational objectives Thompson & Strickland (2004). Figure 4.2 Change Management and Knowledge Management As part of the process and strategy, the OD Organisational Development Model for Change was employed: Stage 1a: Stage 1b: Stage 2: Stage 3: Stage 4: Stage 5: Diagnose current situation Develop a vision for change Gain commitment to the vision and the need for change Develop an action plan Implement the change Assess and reinforce the change 71

74 Figure 4.3 The OD Organisational Development Model For Change The Organisational Development (OD) model forms a well-structured approach to managing a change process. During the planning stage of this project, the OD Model for Change was used in order to structure the approach to moving the organisation to a situation where the Project Team members worked in a Knowledge Sharing Culture. The OD Model led onto to the development of the Knowledge Management Maturity Model. The OD Organisational Development Model for Change in practice: Stage 1a: Diagnose current situation The situation at the onset of the project within Stanley s Project Management department was evaluated and it was found to have a good team working culture with a positive attitude to delivering successful projects. This was determined during the initial review, through a series of discussions with Project Team members and through the use of a semi-structured questionnaire/interview. It was established however that the method of knowledge creation and transfer was ad hoc and consisted of several storage locations and the extensive use of s. There was no central knowledge management repository. 72

75 Stage 1b: Develop a vision for change At this stage a vision of the desired situation was established and communicated to the team. This involved the development of a pilot system that demonstrated the benefit and user interface of the working Wiki. The pilot was built using two systems. This fist, Microsoft WorkSpace 2010, was used to develop a file sharing platform that allowed Project Team members to view, add and edit Project related documents. The second system, Google Sites, was used to develop a front-end portal with a similar interface to the company s main web-page. The pilot was demonstrated to the Senior Management Team and members of the Project Team, and a vision of a collaborative knowledge sharing team was established. Stage 2: Gain commitment to the vision and the need for change Following on from the introduction of the Pilot system to the management team, a presentation of the benefit and the strategic objectives of the systems were presented to the management team. This presentation demonstrated how the objectives of the system aligned with the strategic objectives of the organisation. This ensured senior management buy in to the system. Charter / Objective Description How System Aligns with Objectives 100% Reliability We promise to be there when it Provides a collaborative really counts. We aim for the accurate environment for highest reliability scores PM members. 100% Transparency We promise to set clear and Information is up-to-date concrete service standards and to and available all the time. keep improving them 100% Proactivity We help you to choose solutions The system frees up that are future proof and help you resources for other PM to stay ahead of the game activities. 100% Relevance We promise to understand your Microsoft SharePoint is specific business needs and offer becoming an industry solutions that are a best fit standard in the Construction Industry. Table Organisational Goals 73

76 Stage 3: Develop an action plan An action plan was developed during the early stages of this project to address the issues that may be experienced while implementing the plan. The change management process formed the basis of the action plan which led onto the Knowledge Management Maturity Model (KMMM). Project Management tools and techniques were also used during the overall project execution. The action plan involved the introduction of the pilot system to the management team and the project team members. User training and system development was addressed on a continuous basis. The main deliverable of the action plan was for the project team to use the pilot system by viewing, adding and editing content and the development of a knowledge sharing culture within the project management department. Stage 4: Implement the change The procedure developed in the action plan was implemented and the project team began to use the pilot system. Although it is intended for full scale project integration, this project focused on one particular area of the project management process RFI Management. Stage 5: Assess and reinforce the change During the implementation period progress was monitored to ensure that the overall use of the system was aligned to the original plan and that the determination of the adaption of the users was positive or negative. 4.3 Conclusions The objective of a change management process in an organisational setting is to move an organisation from one state to another in a structured and well planned process. The process involves establishing the current situation and devising a plan to move as smoothly as possible to the desired situation. People, processes and technology form critical aspects to the change management process and are ultimate factors for consideration when embarking on change. It can be seen from the literature that a well thought change management strategy can be successful providing it is approached in a structured manner. The change management factors considered for this project fall into 74

77 the Knowledge Management Maturity Model (KMMM). It can be seen that KMMM s roots lie in the discipline of Change Management and Project Management. Overall the change management process assisted in the delivery of the pilot system and served well in developing a vision for change and the understanding of the requirement for senior management support. 75

78 5 KNOWLEDGE ACQUISITION AND MODELLING 5.1 Introduction This chapter details the design of the knowledge acquisition and modelling process used through this project. The knowledge acquisition process was carried out through a knowledge audit. The design of the audit is discussed and detailed. The modelling of the KMS Pilot was built using Microsoft Workspace and the function of the system was focused on the Request for Information (RFI) process of the project management department. The design of the system is discussed and detailed. The branding of the pilot system was an important element in the design of the user interface. Careful consideration was given to user acceptance and functionality. The considerations taken are discussed and detailed. The implementation strategy chosen for the project was a combination of the Knowledge Management Maturity Model (KMMM) and the Staged Delivery approach. The reasons for the choice of strategy are discussed and the consideration factors taken into account are detailed. Measuring the system played an important part of the overall project as this gave insight into the effectiveness of the system. The design of the measuring approaches taken focused on qualitative and quantitative areas of the business, the application of which were carried out using questionnaires and a balanced scorecard. The design of the questionnaire and the scorecard are discussed and detailed. 5.2 Relevance of Knowledge Modelling to Project The Project Management department within Stanley Security is a prime example of an organisation that requires investment in a knowledge infrastructure. The Project Management department runs multiple projects concurrently ranging from small fast turnaround projects requiring several hours of work to large scale infrastructure projects involving thousands of hours. 76

79 The PM department within Stanley has developed a strong Data Centre Design Team that specialise in Data Centre Enterprise Security. Data Centre Construction Projects are Critical Infrastructure Projects that typical run for months, involving fulltime project management and installation/commissioning engineers. The PM team within Stanley Security consists of Project Managers, Account Managers, Project Administrators, Implementation Management, Engineers and other organisational support functions, such as Accounts, Logistics, Procurement and Health & Safety & Quality. The information flow between the team is vast and intricate. At the time of this project the team were at the final stages of handing over a completed Enterprise Security System for a large scale Data Centre Project X5, and work had commenced on the next phase of infrastructure development at this site Project X6. Project X5 was performed without the use of a dedicated knowledge management system. This dissertation project formed the basis of the implementation of a knowledge based system into the current Project X6. This project focused on one specific process with the project management department, the Request For Information (RFI) process, and modelled a knowledge management system on this RFI process. The outcome of the modelling may provide improved efficiencies and contribute to overall project performance. 5.3 Knowledge Audit Following discussions with members of the project management team, it was established that on the earlier project - Project (X5) the information and knowledge was typically fragmented throughout the project management team. Project information was found to be stored on individual PC s, on servers, external drives and the usual hard copies in folders and drawing racks. Knowledge transfer was ad hoc and the risk of using superseded information was high. An audit was carried on the existing Request For Information (RFI) process during the early stages of Project X6. The objective of the audit was to determine the 77

80 effectiveness of the current paper based system and to identify any areas requiring improvement. The design of the audit sheet was broken in five areas: 1. RFI number 2. Description 3. Date RFI raised 4. Date RFI closed 5. RFI status At the time of the audit there were 36 live RFI s in the system. 15 RFI s were found to be at Closed status. 19 were found to be at Overdue status and 2 were found to have no information attached to them. (See Appendix B) The audit also found that there were two RFI registers on the companies shared drive. Both registers had different information, and although the files were dated differently, it was unclear which file was the current register. There was also an instance were two RFI s had the same number. 5.4 Building a KMS It was decided at the outset of this dissertation project that a prototype system would be developed to demonstrate the benefits of using a knowledge-based system during project implementation and beyond. A prototype system was developed for the delivery of Project X6. It was also determined following the early questionnaires and interviews with the project team that a prototype would be most suited to the PM team and would fall into a well planned change management and knowledge management maturity model strategy. It was also decided that the KMS would initially focus on the RFI Process and upon acceptance of the prototype system the KMS would be further expanded to cover all stages of a project life cycle. The RFI process is critical to all construction projects and forms the backbone of information transfer between different contractors; for example when a request is raised through the PM team for clarification of a particular design or implementation issue, the result can lead to a Design Change to the original project scope and original 78

81 Bill of material (BOM). The RFI process can be considered as an opportunity cost generator, as an RFI is normally raised to gain information that wasn t present or clear during the tender stage of a construction contract. It was determined that should the outcome of the prototyping system be positive, further development would be based on a full Enterprise Version of Microsoft s SharePoint. With this in mind the prototype system was built using Microsoft s SharePoint Workspace A further reason for the choice of platform was based on the Project Management Teams experience with Microsoft SharePoint. The project team previously had access to MS SharePoint through third party systems. This was mainly for accessing drawings through BIM (Building Information Modelling) Systems. The team was familiar with the interface of SharePoint and the capabilities of the system. The Information Architecture was considered to be a critical element of this project. The prototype site was developed through Microsoft Workspace - Groove and google docs. The prototype served the purpose of demonstrating the interface and functionality of a fully working SharePoint site. Groove allowed for a simple cost effective solutions to be developed as a pilot. By utilising both Microsoft Workspace and Google sites, this allowed a basic functioning system to be developed on a very low budget in fact zero investment in software. The prototype system allowed for the demonstrated of the Information Architecture of the future fully functioning site. It allowed users to get the feel of how the system will look and the ease at how information can be found. The pilot KMS also demonstrated the ease of access to the site, and the benefits of remote access for users on the move. 5.5 System Branding One of the goals of any system development project is user acceptance. Without user acceptance a project has failed. In order to facilitate user acceptance of the WorkSpace System, it was intended from the outset of this project to brand the system with a name that the users would relate to. It was decided to name the system Project Box. Project 79

82 Box would store all project related information and facilitate knowledge creation and sharing. Figure 5.1 Project Box Branding Branding is a key factor for consideration when developing a plan for user acceptance. A study carried out by Neochange and Sandhill group found that when asked What is the most important factor for realising value from an enterprise software application? 70% of the respondents answered Effective User Adaption. Figure 5.2 Project Box Pilot User Interface It was also decided that the User Interface for the WorkSpace system would mirror the design and feel of the company s existing web page interface. The layout of the text 80

83 and the colours of the company s branding were used throughout. This provided a familiar user interface to the project team members. Where information is displayed on the screen, the layout and the colours can all contribute towards user acceptance. Figure 5.3 Stanley Security Web Interface 5.6 Microsoft Workspace It was decided to populate the workspace site with the project documentation for the X6 project. This involved designing the Information Architecture by creating a folder hierarchy and sub-folders throughout. Although initially the RFI process was to be tested during the implementation stages of this project, the decisions to populate other folders was based on the fact that the information in these folders would require review during the RFI process. The purpose of the KMS is to generate information to use as knowledge throughout the organisation; in particular the Project Management department of an Electronic Security Organisation. The PM department requires up-to-date and relevant information at hand in order to manage projects in an efficient and timely manner. The information needs to easily accessible and made available throughout the various departments. The PM s also act as Technical Support and access to accurate information is vital to project success. This requirement for the Project Management environment seems to be common place within technical corporations. The Project 81

84 Management function further requires a central repository for storing coded knowledge. Figure 5.4 WorkSpace Folder Ontology The structure formed the basis of a single place where project related data would be stored for reviewing and revising. As this workspace was developed at a stage in project X6 when installation had commenced on site - the first three directories were locked and could only be viewed by project team members. These directories held the project information from the tender stage of project X6, which included tender documentation, tender drawings and pricing structures. The fourth directory Project Management provided editing rights to the project team as the information in this folder was dynamic and would continuously be updated. It was in this location that the RFI information, Design Change details and revised drawings were stored. As the project moved closer to completion, this folder would eventually become locked so as to prevent deletion or editing of crucial project data. It is the intention to further develop the workspace to include access for the service department once project X6 is complete. This will provide details on as built components for maintenance and replacement purposes. This will be discussed later in this document under future developments. 82

85 5.7 Implementation Strategy A series of meetings and discussions was carried out with the Project Management Team and the acting Knowledge Manager. The discussions focused on the importance of Knowledge Management within the department and also the best methods and tools to use. The discussions lead to the formation of a focus group that would steer the development of the system. The whole purpose of the focus group was to develop systems and processes for acquiring, organising and sharing organisational knowledge. The Project Management Department at the time of this dissertation project was embarking on a period of growth as the level of Data Centre Construction increased in Ireland and EMEA. The focus group s objectives were to have efficient systems in place in order to be in a position to manage several large scale infrastructure projects throughout many locations within EMEA. A Project Wiki was developed at the start of this project to monitor and track progress during the execution of the project. The Wiki was built on Google Sites and access was given to the Project Supervisor. The Wiki was also used as a portal for sharing developed content. Figure 5.5 Project Wiki for The Implementation & Execution of This Project 83

86 5.8 Measuring the KMS From a quantitative approach a number of key business drivers were established and linked to the organisational strategy. In order to ensure that the project team understood the format and process of the measuring system, it was important to use a tried and tested approach. This facilitated an efficient communication flow within the team. In order to measure the impact of the system, performance measures were linked to the organisations strategic objectives. The measurement approach taken for this project has been a combination of both a Balanced Scorecard and a series of interviews and questionnaires. This approach attempts to establish both a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the impacts that the knowledge management system has had on the organisation during the 4 week trial period The Balanced Scorecard Keeping to Kaplan and Norton s four distinct business perspectives, the Balanced Score Card has been designed to suit the requirements of the organisation during this project. Three business drivers were formulated for each perspective during the design process. (1) Financial a. All RFI s to be financially reviewed. b. Delegation of Authority (DOA) required for RFI values > 10k. c. Delegation of Authority (DOA) required for any time implications (2) Internal Processes a. All RFI s to follow a consistent numbering system. b. All RFI s to display their current status. c. All RFI s to be tracked continuously. (3) Customer a. All RFI s to be closed out as soon as possible. b. All risk to customer to be reduced. c. All RFI s to fully comply with customer requirements. 84

87 Number of incidences of non-conformance to RFI numbering System Number of RFI's still open after 30 days Number of RFI's not tracked on weekly tracker Number of RFI's that were not financially reviewed Number of RFI's with a value over 10k without DOA approval Number of RFI's with a potential time risk without DOA approval Number of incidences were RFI information not shared to team Number of incidences were RFI milestones not shared Number of incidences were rfi's requireing techncial review non-complaint Number of RFI's in Open Status Number of RFI's not categorised in 'Urgent' or 'Non-Urgent' Number of RFI's - value over 10k without Contract Manager DOA approval (4) Learning and Growth a. All RFI s to be shared throughout the project management team. b. All RFI milestones to be shared throughout the project team. c. All product change related RFI s to have DOA Financial Objectives Measures Targets Initiatives All RFI's to be Financailly reviewed Review all RFI's 100% Compliance Track through Project Box DOA for RFI 100% Value of 10k Review all RFI's Compliance DOA for RFI's Review all RFI's with Time Risk 100% Compliance Track through Project Box Track through Project Box Customer Internal Business Process Objectives Measures Targets Initiatives Objectives Measures Targets Initiatives 0% deviation Compile RFI Close out RFI's No RFI's open Track through Consistant RFI Review all RFI's Review all RFI's from through Project ASAP after 30 days Project Box numbering compliance Box Reduce risk to Customer Categorise RFI's into Urgent/Non- Urgent Urgent RFI's to be closed within 14 days RFI's with a Ensure contract Review all RFI's value over 10k compliance to be DOA'd Track through Project Box Track through Project Box Improved Project Performance Through Project Box's Knowledge Management System RFI open status All RFI's to be tracked RFI's to be closed within 30 days Review all RFI's 0% RFI's over 30 days 100% RFI's tracked Learning & Growth Objectives Measures Targets Initiatives *DOA = Delegation of Authority Knowledge sharing throughout RFI milestones shared throughout Review all RFI's Review all RFI's DOA for RFI's with proeduct Review all RFI's change 100% Compliance 100% Compliance 100% Compliance Track through Project Box Track through Project Box Track through Project Box Figure 5.6 The Balanced Scorecard Track through Project Box Track through Project Box Following the design of the balanced scorecard, an audit card was also designed to facilitate progress tracking during the four week period of the pilot system. Process Financial Learning & Growth Customer Week -1 Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Figure 5.7 Balanced Scorecard Audit Card 85

88 5.8.2 Questionnaires and Interviews The objective of the questionnaire design was to enable elicitation of knowledge from the project team members during an interview. Semi-structured interviews were carried out among the project team members through the use of a questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of 10 questions. (See Appendix A) The design of the questions have taken into account a quantitative and qualitative approach. Firstly a quantitative approach for the closed-ended questions - Q1, Q3, Q5, Q7 and Q9, and secondly from a qualitative approach for the open-ended questions Q2, Q4, Q6, Q8 and Q10. The rating system used for the closed ended questions is an accumulative scoring of the answers with regard to the impact of content management systems on projects: (1) Very Weak (2) Weak (3) Average (4) good (5) Very Good. (1) Strongly Disagree (2) Disagree (3) Nether (4) Agree (5) Strongly Agree The structure of the questions are based on a combination of multiple choice questions and the Likert scale. 5.9 Knowledge Management Maturity Model - KMMM The Knowledge Management Maturity Model (KMMM) was used as a building block throughout this project. Rather than introducing a fully functioning SharePoint site the focus was to introduce the users to the Workspace site and gradually develop stages progressively getting to stage where a fully functioning SharePoint site is in operation. It was established during the interview process that the general culture within the project management department with regard to knowledge sharing was strong; however there was no formal structured process/system in place. This lead to the development of the implementation of the system in line with the KMMM. Initially a pilot system was introduced into the project management department and following a successful trial period, it was decided by senior management to develop a 86

89 fully functional system through Microsoft SharePoint Enterprise. Having this staged delivery has allowed for the pilot system to be designed at a basic level which has now formed the foundation for the design of the full system Staged Delivery Approach (SDLC) The Staged Delivery Approach was chosen for this project as it fits well with the Change Management Process and the Knowledge Management Maturity Model which were also chosen for this project. This approach allows for incremental development of the system over time, which complements the KMMM Knowledge Management Maturity Model. Figure 5.8 Staged Delivery Software Development Life Cycle Approach The purpose of the Pilot System was to demonstrate the functionality of a full working Enterprise SharePoint Platform, and the intention at the outset was to gain senior management support through a well-planned Pilot Implementation Strategy using a combination of the Staged Delivery Approach, Change Management Process and the KMMM Knowledge Management Maturity Model. 87

90 5.11 Conclusions The overall design and implementation process has taken into account the lessons learned from the literature review, the outcome of the knowledge audit and the responses to the questionnaires. The relevance of Knowledge Modelling to the project was discussed and it was determined that a dedicated knowledge management system would benefit the project management department in order to improve efficiency and project performance. The knowledge capturing strategy for the project was implemented through a Knowledge Audit. The project focused on the Request for Information (RFI) process within the Project Management Department. This chapter detailed the Design and construction of the Knowledge Management System (KMS). The Implementation Strategy was detailed and discussed and methods for project measurement reviewed. The lessons learned from the earlier chapters on Knowledge Management business drivers, Project Management drivers for project failures and drivers for project success, Change Management issues affecting Change Management Programmes were compiled into the implementation strategy. 88

91 6 EXPERIMENTATION AND EVALUATION 6.1 Introduction This chapter outlines the experiment that was under taken for this project and the evaluation of the project. The experiment involved the development of a pilot Knowledge Management System Project Box. Project Box was introduced into a Project Management Department and key team members used it over several weeks, in a live setting to explore the strengths and weaknesses of the system. A combination of observations, questionnaires, and interviews were sued to determine the effectiveness of the system. The results may suggest that the use of knowledge management tools such as a KMS, may improve process efficiency, reduce workloads and increase overall organisational performance and profitability. The outcome and findings of the report may also produce a framework for introducing a Knowledge Management System into an organisation in order to improve organisational performance. The aim of this project was to evaluate the impact that knowledge management systems have on project performance. The literature was reviewed and an experiment was carried out within an organisation. The results were analysed to determine the impact to the performance of a selected project. 6.2 Experiment A pilot Knowledge Management System was built for the purposes of demonstrating the benefits of using a KMS within a project environment. The KMS was introduced to a small project team and the area of focus was the RFI process (Request for Information). 89

92 Figure Project Box User Interface (1) Figure Project Box Pilot Interface (2) 6.3 Evaluation Given the organisational culture, and fast-paced nature, of the organisation that this experiment was deployed into, a questionnaire followed by interviews was agreed by participants to be the most suitable means of eliciting feedback from the Project Management Team. 90

93 6.3.1 Key Observations As principal investigator, I was also participant in this experiment, so key observations I made in others use of Project Box are as follows: The user interface was straight forward which users found workable. The syncing capability of Project Box gave users accurate up-to-date information. The system has been seen as the first steps towards automating the RFI process Questionnaires A survey carried out among the small Project Management Team found that overall the team members agreed that a dedicated knowledge management system would be beneficial to the working performance of the team. The questionnaire gave excellent insight into the overall culture in the organisation in relation to knowledge creation and knowledge sharing. The culture was considerable good, and this made the Change Management Process of implementing a Knowledge Management System less complicated as a major cultural shift was not required. It is recommended in Future Work to carry out the carry out the questionnaire interviews again when the Knowledge Management System has been in operation for six months. This will determine if there are any changes the culture of the department and their perception to the benefits of using Project Box. Question 1 This question was targeted at exploring the knowledge transfer and the culture within the organisation. It can be seen from that the general perception is positive with 30% of the respondents strongly agreeing that the organisation is committed to knowledge transfer. Q1. My Organisation is committed to knowledge transfer throughout the project life-cycle Strongly Agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree 30% 40% 30% Disagree Table 6.1 Review of Questionnaire Question No. 1 Stongly disagree 91

94 Question 2 This question was targeted at the benefits of knowledge sharing throughout a project life-cycle, and the project team displayed a solid understanding of the contribution that the KMS would make to the execution of a project. The common theme of the responses was improved access to project related information, improved communication and improved productivity. Q2. What benefits do you see to knowledge sharing throughout the project life-cycle? Less effort to find information if it is already shared Better understanding of scope and what was sold Better undertnding of requirment and what actions need to be performed Improved communcation amonst the team Huge benefits to accurate information as we generate vasts amount of detail Reduced work load Smoother project execution Table 6.2 Review of Questionnaire Question No. 2 Question 3 This question was established the project team s perception of knowledge capture during project execution. The questionnaire was delivered at the start of this project when the KMS pilot was just introduced. It would be recommended to re-visit this question in the future. The overall impression was positive with only 30% of the respondents considering knowledge capture as week. Q3. In your impression, how do you feel that knowledge is captured during the executing of a project? (1 - Very weak, 5 - Very strong) % 50% 20% Table 6.3 Review of Questionnaire Question No. 3 92

95 Question 4 This question was directed at a key theme of this research project performance. The team were asked to make suggestions on how to improve project efficiencies and performance. The respondents focused on improved communication and access to information. Q4. What suggestions would you present to your manager to improve the efficiency and performance of a project? The project team to have a clear understanding of the scope Everyone to have access to up to date information All information needs to be accurate The project team needs to communicate The whole project team should have visibility of project related s Everyone should work from one system The project team should use the latest IT systems Table 6.4 Review of Questionnaire Question No. 4 Question 5 This question concentrated on interdepartmental and intercompany communication. The overall perception from the team was that this was overall good within the organisation. Q5. The inter-disciplinary communication on my projects is: Very poor Poor Average Good Very good 60% 40% Table 6.5 Review of Questionnaire Question No. 5 Question 6 This question focused on knowledge sharing and how this could be improved. The overall perception was that overall knowledge sharing was good throughout the team however the method and tools used were not the most efficient. The team felt that information was in silos on the central server in account and individual PC s. The common theme of the responses was that a single system that everyone would have access to would be most beneficial. 93

96 Q6. What would you suggest to your manager to improve knowledge sharing throughout the project life-cycle? Everyone should work from one system Stop using s and put all information on a server Use one standard application such as SharePoint Have one system that everyone has access to Better IT tools Full BIM package and training Use of SharePoint and BIM Table 6.6 Review of Questionnaire Question No. 6 Question 7 This question focused on knowledge creation and the respondents gave a positive response with all agreeing that knowledge creation is an integral part of the projects within the project management department and the organisation as a whole. Q7. Knowledge creation is an integral part of my projects, and our organisation as a whole Strongly Agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree 50% 50% Table 6.7 Review of Questionnaire Question No. 7 Stongly disagree Question 8 This question asked the project team to make recommendations for the utilisation of ICT within the project management department. The responses centred around one dedicated system and user training. Q8. What recommendations would you make to your department head to improve utilisation of ICT within your work domain? Use one system Better project management software Investment in IT and training BIM development Keep up to date with what s available on the market Table 6.8 Review of Questionnaire Question No. 8 94

97 Question 9 This question addressed senior management s view on knowledge management and their support and encouragement. The overall responses from the project team were positive and this suggests that the company are ready for the implementation of a full scale enterprise knowledge management system. Q9. Senior Management of our organisation champion knowledge management and encourage all staff members to participate as knowledge workers Strongly Agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree 10% 70% 20% Table 6.9 Review of Questionnaire Question No. 9 Strongly disagree Question 10 This question focused on the impacts of the knowledge management system to projects, and the responses were positive with improved efficiencies and access to information been the top answers. Q10. In your own words, describe the impact that knowledge management has on projects Up to date information on current status of tasks Knowing where to find information faster Improved team communication Better availability of accurate information Easier to share information in one system Faster turn around of queries Faster turn around on drawings Table 6.10 Review of Questionnaire Question No Key Findings of Questionnaires In this section that main themes identified in the questionnaires are presented: The team agreed that a central dedicated system improves knowledge sharing. The existing knowledge sharing culture within the department was already very strong. The implementation of Project Box strengthen this culture further. The team seemed to fully understand the benefits and performance related advantages that a knowledge sharing system would bring to the department. The team also seen how a single process can be improved. 95

98 The design of the questions have taken into account a quantitative and qualitative approach. Firstly a quantitative approach for the closed-ended questions - Q1, Q3, Q5, Q7 and Q9, and secondly from a qualitative approach for the open-ended questions Q2, Q4, Q6, Q8 and Q10. The rating system used for the closed ended questions is an accumulative scoring of the answers with regard to the impact of content management systems on projects: (1) Very Weak (2) Weak (3) Average (4) good (5) Very Good. (1) Strongly Disagree (2) Disagree (3) Nether (4) Agree (5) Strongly Agree Very Weak Weak Average Good Very Good Strongly Disagree Disagree Neither Agree Strongly Agree Q Q Q Q Q Table 6.11 Review of Questionnaire Scores Post Implementation Interviews Following the implementation of the knowledge management system, several interviews were held with members of the project management team in February The key themes of the interviews were to explore in a little more detail the issues discussed in the questionnaires. Four people were interviewed, who will be called Interviewee 1 to 4. In the subject of knowledge creation, Interviewee 3 said The business we work in is one where we are learning every day as to know to do new things, and be able to put those lessons into action the next day. This response ties in well with the findings of the questions and observations of the use of the system. Interviewee 1 said A big part of what we do is learn from the unusual events, what I mean by that is there are a hundred things going on every day, so learning some key issues to look out for is really important, and if we have a system like this to help us, that would be great. which agrees well with the findings of the questionnaire also. Interviewee 4 said It s a 96

99 great benefit to know where to find information fast. Before we would need to go through a trail of s to find the status of an RFI for example, now we know that the we can find all correspondence relating to an RFI in one place. This response ties in well with the observations of the use of the system. Interviewee 2 said I know we only covered one project process in the pilot system, however knowing that eventually we will have all project related information in the system will surely speed up internal process which will free up time to spend on more productive processes. This response ties in well with the overall research question about improved project performance. It was agreed that the KMS would benefit the department in providing a single point for all project related information. This should include tender documents, design drawings, product specifications and relevant information on project tasks. The branding of project box seemed to have been successful as the project team found the user interface straightforward Key Findings of Interviews In this section the main themes identified in the interviews are presented: The RFI process became more efficient through the use of the system. Knowledge creation and sharing became easier through the use of the system. The users immediately seen the value added to process efficiency.. A central up-to-date repository fits in well in a project environment Balanced Score Card Audit Card Following the implementation of the knowledge management system, the Balanced Score Card Audit Card was used to track progress on a weekly basis during the four week period of the pilot system. 97

100 Number of incidences of non-conformance to RFI numbering System Number of RFI's still open after 30 days Number of RFI's not tracked on weekly tracker Number of RFI's that were not financially reviewed Number of RFI's with a value over 10k without DOA approval Number of RFI's with a potential time risk without DOA approval Number of incidences were RFI information not shared to team Number of incidences were RFI milestones not shared Number of incidences were rfi's requireing techncial review non-complaint Number of RFI's in Open Status Number of RFI's not categorised in 'Urgent' or 'Non-Urgent' Number of RFI's - value over 10k without Contract Manager DOA approval Process Financial Learning & Growth Customer Week Week Week Week Week Table 6.12 Balanced Scorecard Audit Card The results shown in Week -1 were compiled from the outcome of the initial RFI Audit which provided a benchmark for the system to be measured against. (1) Internal Processes a. All RFI s to follow a consistent numbering system. i. Following the RFI initial audit it was determined that 2 No. RFI s did not conform to the numbering standard. This was rectified on commencement of the system, and full compliance was recorded during weeks 2, 3 and 4. b. All RFI s to display current status.(to determine any over 30 days) i. Following the RFI initial audit it was determined that 12 No. RFI s were open after 30 days. This number remained the same in week 2, however as emphasis was made the number reduced in weeks 2, but remained at 9 No. for weeks 3 and 4. If the system was run for a longer period of time, this number should constantly reduce. 98

101 c. All RFI s to be tracked continuously. i. Following the RFI initial audit it was determined that all 36 No. RFI s were not tracked. This number reduced immediately to zero with the introduction of the system. (2) Financial d. All RFI s to be financially reviewed. i. Following the RFI initial audit it was determined that 5 No. RFI s had not been financially reviewed. This number reduced to 3 in week 2 and zero in weeks 3 and 4. e. Delegation of Authority (DOA) required for RFI values > 10k. i. Following the RFI initial audit it was determined that 1 No. RFI with a potential value over 10k had not been financially reviewed. This number immediately reduced to zero with the introduction of the system. f. Delegation of Authority (DOA) required for any time implications. i. Following the RFI initial audit it was determined that 10 No. RFI had a potential time delay element and these did not have DOA approval. This number reduced to 6 in week 1 and zero in weeks 2, 3 and 4. (3) Learning and Growth g. All RFI s to be shared throughout the project management team. i. Following the RFI initial audit it was determined that all 36 No. RFI were not distributed to the whole project team. This number immediately reduced to zero with the introduction of the system. h. All RFI milestones to be shared throughout the project team. i. Following the RFI initial audit it was determined that all 36 No. RFI milestones were not distributed to the whole project team. This number immediately reduced to zero with the introduction of the system. i. All product change related RFI s to have DOA i. Following the RFI initial audit it was determined that 5 No. RFI s requiring product changes were not technically reviewed. This number gradually reduced to zero by week 4. 99

102 (4) Customer j. All RFI s to be closed out as soon as possible. i. Following the RFI initial audit it was determined that 19 No. RFI s still had an Open status. This number changed over the course of the four weeks. It should be noted that this number will only reach Zero when there are no live RFI s. RFI s are added and closed constantly. k. All risk to customer to be reduced. i. Following the RFI initial audit it was determined that all 36 No. RFI s had not been categorised into Urgent or Non-Urgent. This number immediately reduced to zero with the introduction of the system. l. All RFI s to fully comply with customer requirements. i. Following the RFI initial audit it was determined that 1 No. RFI with a value over 10k did not have a DOA from the contracts manager. This number immediately reduced to zero with the introduction of the system Key Findings of the Balance Scorecard Audit In this section the main themes identified in the balanced scorecard audit are presented: There was a significant improvement in compliance the business drivers on commencement of the system. A weekly audit carried out through the balanced scorecard became a focus point for continuous review of the live RFI s The users immediately seen the value added to process efficiency. It was noted that automating the scorecard audit would provide additional efficiencies to the overall process. 100

103 6.4 Conclusion It can be seen both from the questionnaires and the interviews that the general perception of the knowledge management system and the impact to project delivery within the project management department is very positive. The key themes identifies both in the questionnaires and the interviews were the ease of knowledge creation and sharing, the improvement in the RFI process, the value added to process efficiency and the benefits of a central repository within a project environment. The results from the balanced scorecard audit demonstrated that assessing the system though measured business drivers, provided the project management team members full transparency of the status of RFI s. This facilitated the management of the process and establish areas requiring immediate attention, such as RFI s coming close to 30 days open, RFI s with potential time and cost delays, and the distinction between urgent and non-urgent issues. The project team has seen the benefit of using a dedicated single point for project related information. The knowledge management system has provided a portal for creating storing and sharing project information throughout the team. 101

104 7 CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE WORKS 7.1 Introduction It can be seen from the review of the cases of the four high profile organisations in Chapter 3 that the implementation of Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) had an overall positive impact to project communication and delivery. Structured KMS in the form of Microsoft SharePoint or Autodesk BIM can generate savings in equipment requirements, resources and indirect overheads. The key attribute mentioned is the ability to share information throughout the organisations and beyond. Some large projects could involve hundreds of individual sub-contractors with thousands of employees all working towards the same goal. Without adequate tools, the most experience Project Management Professionals would find it difficult to monitor and control the vast amount of information that construction projects generate today. Organisations as a whole have recognised the importance of knowledge management for years, as companies have progressively shaped themselves into knowledge organisations, employing knowledge workers. It has only been in the past few years that this realisation has been taken down to the project level. As projects are temporary endeavours to achieve a set of goals and objectives, in essence they are temporarily formed organisations with a start and expiry date. This project determined that a successful delivery of a new software application or process requires detailed planning and execution from the outset. A combination of Change Management, Project Management, and a Knowledge Maturity Model was used for this project in order to introduce the new system and ensure successful delivery. We have also seen that in order to increase the chances of success implementation, it is important to have senior management support and endorsement. Finally, we have determined that system branding and training are key factors for successful user adaption. 102

105 In this study, a KMS was introduced into the organization within the Project Management Department, with a primary purpose of capturing existing knowledge on project related issues, in order to improve the efficiency of the Engineering Projects. The Request for Information (RFI) process was focused on during this project, as this process assisted in capturing tacit knowledge from project team members. Construction projects tend to be knowledge intensive and companies normally run the risk of losing valued knowledge throughout a project lifecycle and following completion. It is important for companies involved in construction projects to develop a knowledge infrastructure that will assist and encourage project team members to capture, code and share knowledge throughout the project lifecycle and thereafter. Developing and operating a knowledge system within a project management department may contribute to increased project performance, improved team efficiencies and great value added knowledge transfer. This project has demonstrated through the use of a pilot Knowledge Management System that Project Management Teams can experience improved process efficiencies and productivity, which ultimately lead onto improved project performance and financial benefits. 7.2 Research Definition & Research Overview This project set out to investigate the contribution of knowledge management systems on Engineering Project Performance. The investigation involved the development of a pilot Knowledge Management System. It was decided at the onset of the project that a fully functional Microsoft Enterprise SharePoint System would be the best fit for the organisation. In order to demonstrate to senior management the benefits of such a system, a pilot Knowledge Management System was developed within the Project Management Department. The main purpose of the KMS was to have central system that could capture, store and share project related information. 103

106 The Pilot was built using a combination of Microsoft WorkSpace and Google Sites. The WorkSpace allowed for the demonstration of the Information Architecture (AI) proposed for all projects. It also displayed the functionality of file sharing and user access control for user permissions. The google site s interface mirrored the Information Architecture of the company s main web-page and demonstrated how the user interface would look and feel on a fully functional Microsoft Enterprise SharePoint Portal. The outcome of the Pilot KMS System was positive and the management decided to invest in an Enterprise SharePoint System. 7.3 Contributions to the Body of Knowledge This project contributed to the Body of Knowledge. The literature surrounding knowledge management and organisational performance and project performance was reviewed. An experiment was performed within an organisation to determine the performance impact of implementing a knowledge management system. The project delivered a quality dissertation for the award of MSc. Computing and added to the existing literature on knowledge management. The findings of the research were documented and recommendations for further research were made. 7.4 Experimentation, Evaluation and Limitation Due to the time scales involved in this project, the pilot Knowledge Management System Project Box concentrated on one particular area, the Request for Information (RFI) process of a project life cycle. There are many more areas to Project Management, this however was sufficient to demonstrate the benefits of using a KMS in a project environment. A review of the system should be carried out again, once the area is expanded to include other processes within the project management department. 7.5 Future Work & Research Following the successful implementation of the pilot KMS System, the senior management team approved the investment in a full Enterprise Versions of Microsoft SharePoint. They also decided that further training should be completed by key members of the Project Management Team. This training should cover MS SharePoint User Administration and System Development. The Information Architecture used for 104

107 the pilot KMS was also part adapted by the Project Team as the standard ontology for all projects going forward. There are also others areas that should be considered for development as the system advances. For example the addition of automated control functions such as triggers and rules to alert the users when an RFI is unresolved for a certain period of time. The system could also provide analytics to allow the users and system administrators to identify trends or common errors that occur regularly. Extending the system to an automated intelligent system will give added value to the team in relation to knowledge regarding the use and content. 105

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111 Tapscott, D. & Williams, A. D., Wikinomics - How mass collaboration changes everything. 1st ed. s.l.:penguin Group (USA). Taylor-Powell, E., Quetionnaire Design: Asking questions with a purpose. University of Wisconsin-Extension, May(G3658-2). Tom Seymour, S. H., The History of Project Management. Votava, P. M. A. N. R., Knowledge acquistion and managment for NASA earth exchange (NEX). American Geophysical Union. Weaver, P., Henry L Gantt, A retrospective view of his work. Weinberger, D., The real difference between the two 2.0s. KM World, 16(2). Wiig, K., Knowledge Management: An Energing Discipline Rooted in a Long History. Knowledge Research Institute. Yeong, A., Integrating knowledge management with project management for project success. Journal of Project, Program & Portfolio Management, 1(2). 109

112 APPENDIX A Questionnaire Q1. My Organisation is committed to knowledge transfer throughout the project life-cycle. Strongly Agree Neither agree Disagree Strongly agree nor disagree disagree Q2. What benefits do you see to knowledge sharing throughout the project lifecycle? Q3. In your impression, how do you feel that knowledge is captured during the executing a project? (Circle the number, 1 very weak, 5 very strong) Q4. What suggestions would you present to your manager to improve the efficiency and performance of a project? 110

113 Q5. The inter-disciplinary communication on my projects is: Very Poor Average Good Very Poor Good Q6. What would you suggest to your manager to improve content sharing throughout project life-cycles? Q7. Knowledge creation is an integral part of my projects, and our organisation as a whole. Strongly Agree Neither agree Disagree Strongly agree nor disagree disagree Q8. What recommendations would you make to your departmental head, to improve the utilisation of ICT within your work domain? Q9. Senior management of our organisation champion knowledge management and encourage all staff members to participate as knowledge workers. Strongly Agree Neither agree Disagree Strongly agree nor disagree disagree 111

114 Q10. In your own words, describe the impact content management has on projects. The results of the questionnaire have been measured in two ways. Firstly a quantative approach for the closed-ended questions - Q1, Q3, Q5, Q7 and Q9, and secondly from a qualative approach for the open-ended questions Q2, Q4, Q6, Q8 and Q10. The rating system used for the closed ended questions is an accumulative scoring of the answers with regard to the impact of content management systems on projects: (1) Very Weak (2) Weak (3) Average (4) good (5) Very Good. (1) Strongly Disagree (2) Disagree (3) Nether (4) Agree (5) Strongly Agree 112

115 Appendix B 113

116 Appendix C 114

117 Appendix D Presentation to Senior Management 115

118 116

119 117

120 118

121 Appendix E Project Box - User Orientation Manual 119

122 120

123 121

124 122

125 123

126 124

127 125

128 126

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