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"Learn Before Doing" is one of the core

mantras of Knowledge Management.

However, there is often a lack of
definition as to what this learning
entails as well as a lack of focus and
clarity on who is accountable for what
KM plans deliver that clarity
The concept of a project-level
Knowledge Management plan is one of
the most exciting new ideas to come
out of Knowledge Management in the
past 5 years. It is a device that allows
Knowledge Management to be fully
embedded into project controls, at the
same level of rigour as risk
management or document
management. Additionally, it allows
the assignment of accountabilities to
individual project team members and
enables these accountabilities to be
monitored and reviewed.
Knowledge Management plans
facilitate the evolution of Knowledge
Management to become a true
management discipline - a component
part of an integrated project
management approach rather than a
mere add-on or an aspirational after-

A Knowledge Management (KM) Plan is
an organized, systematic and focused
approach to identifying and
implementing the knowledge goals and
objectives of a project. It is a document
for a specific project, department or
function, which details:
"What knowledge is needed by the
What knowledge will be created by the
"What system of processes, technologies
and roles will be used to manage
knowledge within the project?
"What actions need to be taken to
implement the system?
"Which people are accountable for
individual actions?
A KM plan has three main components:
1. A Knowledge Register this defines
the key areas of knowledge needed by
the project (i.e. key knowledge
inputs), and the assigned actions to
make sure this knowledge is accessed.
It also defines the key areas of
knowledge which the project will be
learning about and which they need to
share with the rest of the organisation
(i.e. key knowledge outputs) as well
as the actions to make sure this sharing


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Knowledge Management Plans
An organized, systematic and focused approach to identifying and implementing the
knowledge goals and objectives of a project.

2. A KM Protocol this defines:
The system by which knowledge will be managed in
the project;
Roles and accountabilities for KM within the
Technologies (i.e. such as lessons databases) to be
Processes to be applied and when, as part of the
project timeline.
The KM protocol for the project will need to
conform to corporate KM standards and it is quite
likely that all projects within a single business area
will conform to a similar protocol.
3. An implementation plan for the project, to
make sure the protocol is ready to use - this will
Training of staff in the tools and technologies;
Induction of new staff;
Registration of staff onto the relevant
communities of practice;
Installation of technology onto peoples
Creating a plan
The plan is created at a KM planning workshop,
held as part of the set-up activities early in the
project. This is about the same time the team are
developing their risk management plan, their
document management plan, and other front-end
planning activities.
The KM planning workshops follow a standard
process, where:
Key knowledge inputs and outputs are identified
and ranked;
Actions are assigned for seeking and for sharing
The project KM protocol is introduced and agreed,
and the tools introduced;
KM accountabilities are discussed and assigned.

Using the plan
The plan is used by senior management to review
whether a project is applying KM and has
identified all the critical knowledge inputs and
outputs. Along with other reporting mechanisms,
it is reviewed at project stage gates.
The plan is also used by the project KM champion
to track learning actions, and the close-out of
lessons learned,
Benefits of the KM plan
A Knowledge Management plan therefore takes
the broad topic of Knowledge Management and
turns it into a specific definition, tailored for the
project, of who should be doing what, by when,
using which tools, in order to manage knowledge
for the benefit of the project, and for the benefit
of the company.
As an analogy, a Knowledge Management plan
contains the same degree of detail, process and
rigour as a Risk Management plan. Knowledge and
Risk are two of the main intangibles that need to
be managed through the project.
Knowledge Management Plans as part
of Project Learning.
The Knowledge Management plan is a governance
document, setting expectations and
accountabilities for KM within the project, and
focusing KM efforts on the knowledge which is
critical for project success.
It should be applied as part of an integrated
project learning system, incorporating roles,
processes and supporting technologies.
You can learn more about project learning systems
from our website.