The Interdependency of Project, Risk, and Knowledge Management

One of the many things I’ve learned during my 39-year career as an Engineer and Project Manager is the intimacy of the interdependency between Project Management, Risk Management and Knowledge Management. This is the first in a series of blogs that I’m dedicating to the exploration of this relationship. It’s my view that whatever position one holds within a high-tech business organization; it’s vital to recognize our additional role as knowledge managers. Understanding this additional role will provide a more complete context for, and better results from, the planning, resource management, decision-making and problem-solving activities that are required to run the business.

Technology intense businesses are all about the creation, management and transformation of knowledge into products and services that meet customers needs. My experience base is in Aerospace, but I’m confident that this notion applies to other high-tech businesses as well. Although the physical products and services are what our customers pay for, they are really just the visible artifacts of a complex network of knowledge transactions.

I’d go so far as to say that Project Management, for the most part is a Knowledge Management (KM) activity and that you can’t be at the peak of your game as a Project Manager (PM) without recognizing, developing and capitalizing on your KM skills.

Future blogs on this subject will include Project Management From a Knowledge Management Perspective; and Project and Risk Management Across the Knowledge Domain.

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About donmcalister

I retired at the end of 2011, after a 39 year career in the Aerospace industry as an Propulsion Engineer, Engineering Manager and Program Manager. My professional interests and expertise is in the areas of Program, Risk and Knowledge Management. I'm passionate about life-long learning involving a wide variety of topics and I'm committed to sharing my knowledge and ideas with those who are interested. My primary hobby is performing jazz music. I'm a jazz keyboard player, and vocalist, and I'm on the Board of Directors of the non-profit Simi Valley Jazz Club, which is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of jazz music from the '20's through the 60's.
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6 Responses to The Interdependency of Project, Risk, and Knowledge Management

  1. PM Hut says:

    Hi Don,

    As a project manager, I will be looking forward to your series on the interdependency between projects, risks, and KM. The concept of KM is very rarely spoken of in a project management context (we did publish an excellent article on the subject a couple of years ago though: Project Based Knowledge Management). I hope your next blogs will give us a very detailed perspective on the subject of KM in PM.

  2. Rod says:

    I look forward to these posts Don.I dont think it will only apply to high tech business.Business is about getting people to buy something,ie a product,and the product can be anything.The knowledge component is key and becomes harder to define when you get away from physics.What is the knowledge base behind selling people ideas and concepts?I think we can learn a lot from guys like you who have worked with something real and defined like rockets.

  3. Rick Ladd says:

    Glad to see you writing about this stuff. As I told you this morning, since leaving PWR over a year and a half ago, I’ve felt as though my PM & KM knowledge is degrading and, even if it’s by only a little bit, it aggravates the hell out of me. I always valued your perspective when I worked for you and have some really great memories of times I dropped in to talk with you for a moment and walked out two or three hours later. I’m really looking forward to your posts and happy to be a part of this next leg of your journey.

  4. Said Belhadj says:

    Great post, Don. I am very happy and excited to discoveri this blog. I can’t wait to read more on KM with or within PM.After I discovered KM from my readings, I remember that you (Don) and your team with Rick Ladd that kept my interest and enthusiasm in KM going. This is a much needed topic. The dictat of cost and schedules has displaced the importance of KM and even IT or IT efficiency from projects. We need to look at new efficiency measures of projects beyond just the time schedules. Some future projects can be more more efficient if KM has been applied successfully. Looking forward for more KM on / in PM…..

  5. Pingback: The Critical “Knowing Steps” for Successful Project Management | Don McAlister's Blogsite

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