I recently had a great conversation with Mark Ritchie who is the Deputy Director and Head of Project Services at the University of Edinburgh. Mark told me that the University developed a Projects Web site for which the key design requirement was the ability to share project information with stakeholders across the University. Access to the site is open to anyone (including you if you wish) and most information, including internal IT projects, programmes and portfolios, is publicly accessible. Mark felt strongly that transparency and sharing would benefit projects and built trust in his team with project stakeholders.
Mark is also Chair of the Project and Change Management Group at UCISA, the Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association. UCISA also encourages openness and sharing and has developed some interesting resources including the Major Projects Governance Assessment Toolkit
Avoid duplication of effort in projects.
I have long held the belief that we should all be sharing information (except of course when there are issues of security or commercial confidentiality).Just think of the time saved if project managers really shared data about their projects especially about learning. This information could be used to inform project management training. I have come across duplication of effort and even the same projects being undertaken but in different parts of the business.
How much information is really shared in your company? My answer would be that companies are trying but there is a long way to go. There are some companies that still work in silos – where departments do not want to share information; a few companies have started communities of practice and some encourage their staff to use on line communities. In broad terms though information sharing is not high on a company’s agenda..
How much project management information do you share?
For many years my company Project Agency has given away a range of free information ranging from templates and articles. We want people to use the materials and share them to expand people’s knowledge and experience.
So, well done to Mark, the University of Edinburgh, UCISA for creating open access to information.
But the question still remains for me: How much project management information do you share? And an even bigger question; how can knowledge management be brought about in your company?
Picture courtesy of Google Images – labelled for reuse.