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Learning and Knowledge Exchange

Project-Level KM Action Plans

Overcoming knowledge gaps to succeed with challenging projects

Are you leading or working on a project that is new or innovative in some way? Are you tackling particularly challenging programming issues, or are you trying to solve problems for which the answers are far from clear? Is your project the first (or among the first) of many expected future projects in a new area? In projects like these, the right knowledge can make the difference between success and failure. To obtain and apply this knowledge, and thereby achieve success, a project-level knowledge management action plan is essential.

A knowledge management (KM) action plan identifies and describes all the knowledge management-related activities that will be undertaken as part of a broader project or programme. A KM action plan is not about knowledge for its own sake – rather, it a systematic approach that helps your team identify, acquire or create, and share the critical knowledge needed for a project. It also helps ensure that such knowledge is effectively applied for improving project results, including through ongoing adjustments during project implementation. And it supports the capture of new knowledge from the project as inputs to similar projects in the future.

Project managers, technical specialists, key stakeholders and KM experts need to work together to create and apply a KM action plan. KM experts can facilitate the process of creating and using a KM plan, by following the steps outlined in this guide, gathering inputs, drafting the plan, helping choose the tools for acquiring knowledge, and facilitating or supporting knowledge-related activities before, during and after the project.

Other project staff including managers, specialists and key stakeholders are responsible for identifying the critical knowledge gaps; seeking out knowledge actively by participating in knowledge activities; adapting knowledge for the project context; and in general, applying and following up on the use of the knowledge, as appropriate for their roles in the project.

Download the full module on Project-Level KM Action Plans (PDF), including when and why to use, how to apply, tips for success, variations, and references.



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