I have recently been thinking of a concept whereby Project Team members are allocated 2 hours a week devoted to knowledge sharing. There are two primary activities to be undertaken during these two hours.
The first is asking peers and known experts to share their knowledge and experiences in the area they are currently working on.
The second is to make themselves available to other staff to provide assistance relatd to their capabilities and areas of interest/expertise.
This knowledge sharing can take many forms including:
- participation in communities of practice (online/face-to-face)
- searching information/knowledge respositories (Intranet/Internet)
- contacting experts/providing referrals (networks/yellowpages)
- creating/renewing knowledge assets
One of the main issues usually raised with this model is why the sponsor should pay for the time spent by project staff on these activities instead of productive work. The answer I would give is that the time spent on these activities allows the combined knowledge of the staff's network and resources to be utilised on the project directly or indirectly. This means the wealth of knowledge of the entire Unit/Department is at the disposal of the project to access learnings and reducing the risk of re-inventing the wheel.
I will put some more thought into it when the opportunity arises.