A knowledge management model for managing manufacturing information system projects

Steyn, Helene (2003-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The aim of this study is to develop a model for knowledge management within project management, as applied to the implementation of information technology systems in the manufacturing industry. The reason for creating models is to create an abstraction of the knowledge processes within a certain context. This model enhances the model builder's understanding of the context being studied and eases the articulation process of describing the context to other practitioners. In an economic climate where knowledge is becoming the differentiating factor for sustainable growth in shareholder value, it is critical to understand and manage knowledge. In doing so. the practically, proven benefits of knowledge management are avoidance of costly mistakes, faster problem-solving, faster development times, improved customer solutions, gaining new business. enhanced customer service and reduction of risk (Skyrme, 1999: 66-67). The model developed in this research was based on, and is an extension to Nonaka and Takeuchi's (1995) knowledge conversion model. The initiating phases of the project see the creation of a new organizational entity, the project team, formed from two originating organizations namely the supplier and the client organizations. At its inception huge amounts of knowledge is transferred to this project team. Tacit knowledge is externalized from various stakeholders and transferred as explicit knowledge into the project team. The project team at start-up also has access to tacit knowledge from the team members. During the initiating phases of the project the process is started to internalize all the knowledge acquired by the project team. The most prominent knowledge processes in action during this phase is; knowledge acquisition and knowledge transfer. The control and execution phases of the project between the initiating and close-out phases, includes phases from design, to development, to commissioning. During these phases the process of internalizing all the knowledge flowing into the project team is continued, and through the team interaction in reaching its goal, the process is taken further to socialize this knowledge. The most dominant knowledge processes taking place during this part of the project life cycle, are those of knowledge creation and knowledge retention. Knowledge creation occurs as the team strives to create a new and unique solution for the client. The project team grows and shrinks during this phase and knowledge retention within the project team becomes of paramount importance. During the close-out phases of the project, the knowledge within the project team must be externalized, and transferred out of the project tearn back into the originating organizations. The knowledge transferred out of the project team must be retained within the supplier organizations, and captured in knowledge repositories for future use. The externalized knowledge must again be internalized into the operation of the supplier organization and client organization. The knowledge transferred into the supplier organization differs from the knowledge transferred into the client organization. The most prominent knowledge processes during this phase are those of knowledge transfer and knowledge retention. This model provides a framework to understand the interaction between knowledge management, and project management concepts in this specific environment. However, this model must still be tested against other environments to determine if the application of the model is generic across industries.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van hierdie studie is om 'n model te ontwikkel om kennisbestuur binne die projekbestuurdissipline, soos toegepas in die implementering van inligtingstelsels in die vervaardigingsbedryf, te beskryf. Die rede waarom 'n model gebou word, is om 'n abstraksie van die kennisprosesse binne 'n sekere konteks voor te stel. Dit versterk die modelbouer se begrip van die konteks wat bestudeer word en vergemaklik die artikulasieproses om hierdie begrip aan ander oor te dra. In 'n ekonomiese klimaat waar kennis dikwels die onderskeidende faktor vir aanhoudende groei in aandeelhouerwaarde is, is dit krities dat die konsep van kennis se waarde verstaan en bestuur kan word. Die praktiese voordele van kennisbestuur is die vermyding van duur foute, beter probleemoplossing, verkorting van ontwikkelingstyd, beter klientoplossings, verkryging van nuwe besigheid, verbetering van klientediens en vermindering van risiko (Skynne, 1999: 66-67). Die model wat in hierdie navorsingstuk ontwikkel word, is gebaseer op en is 'n uitbreiding van Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) se kennis-omskakelingsmodel. Gedurende die inisieringsfase van die projek word 'n nuwe entiteit gevorm. Hierdie entitieit is die projekspan wat uit personeel vanaf die klient- en verskaffer-organisasies saamgestel word. Met die ontstaan van die projekspan word groot hoeveelhede kennis na die span oorgedra. Die onderskeie rolspelers moet onuitgesproke kennis ekstemaliseer en na die projekspan oordra as eksplisiete kennis. Die projekspan het ook toe gang tot onuitgesproke kennis deur die individue wat deel van die span vorm. Die proses om al die kennis wat die span bymekaar maak, te internaliseer, begin gedurende die inisieringsfase van die projek. Die mees prominente kennisprosesse in aksie gedurende hierdie projekfase, is die van kennisverkryging en kennisoordrag. Die beheer-en-uitvoeringsfase, tussen die inisierings- en finaliseringsfase van die projek, omvat die sub-fases vanaf ontwerp tot ontwikkeling tot implementering. Gedurende hierdie fase word die proses om kennis wat in die span invloei te internaliseer, voortgesit. Soos die span met mekaar en die klient interaksie het in die nastrewe van die projek se doelwit, word die proses voortgesit om kennis in die span te sosialiseer. Die mees prominente kennisprosesse in hierdie fase is die van kennisskepping en kennisbehouding. Kennis word geskep soos die span probeer om 'n nuwe en unieke oplossing vir die klient te ontwikkel. Die projekspan groei en krimp deur sy leeftyd en as gevolg hiervan word kennisbehouding 'n hoogs belangrike taak vir die projekspan. Gedurende die finaliseringsfase van die projek, moet die projekspan se kennis geeksternaliseer word en uit die span terug na die oorspronklike organisasies oorgedra word. Die kennis wat vanaf die span na die verskaffer-organisasie oorgedra word, moet vasgevang en in 'n kennisstoor vir toekomstige gebruik gestoor word. Die kennis wat vanaf die projekspan ge-eksternaliseer word, moet dan in die klient- en verskaffer-organisasies se daaglikse werking ge-internaliseer word. Die kennis wat na die verskaffer-organisasie oorgedra word, verskil van die kennis wat na die klient-organisasie oorgedra word. Die mees prominente kennisprosesse gedurende hierdie fase is die van kennisoordrag en kennisbehouding. Hierdie model stel 'n struktuur voor waarbinne die interaksie tussen kennisbestuur en projekbestuur in 'n spesifieke konteks vestaan kan word. Hierdie model moet egter nog binne ander omgewings getoets word om te bepaal of die model generies oor industriee toegepas kan word.

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