“Knowledge Loops” in The Global Project Environment
To think about knowledge creation in global organizations is to recognize that no one location or country has all the innovative potential. Increasingly, project leaders are looking for ways to establish environments that support knowledge creation and aligned actions across the globe. A first step in this effort is to define the boundaries of the "knowledge loop."
“Knowledge Loops” Defined
"Knowledge loops" are dynamic, interactive, and based on the assumption that knowledge flows in relationships not in isolation. The project environment is well suited to the establishment of "knowledge loops." Projects are ultimately human systems, based on high levels of collaboration to produce results. To take advantage of the innovative potential that is inherent in any human system requires focused attention, setting expectations, and establishing a framework for interaction
Decisions about where to foster “knowledge loops” cut across traditional organizational functions and geographic and cultural boundaries – extending beyond the internal architecture of a discreet project to include stakeholders, sponsors, customers, and other content experts. The boundaries set in this process determine which people will be engaged in the flow of relationships that hold and synthesize knowledge. The interaction among people is what sparks innovation and knowledge creation. This has implications for work flow and project structure, as well as information systems. Project leaders need to think strategically to map out and integrate the architecture for knowledge creation in the upfront project planning process. "Knowledge Loops" both expand and contain the work, opening opportunities for project leaders and contributors to take advantage of innovative potential during the lifetime of particular projects. This potential to apply innovation in- the-moment is a critical advantage in the competitive and fast-paced project environment. It shifts the focus back to human application and away from the "capture, organize, and store" attitude about knowledge so common today.