Knowledge Management Fails

Why doesn’t more information lead to better decisions, reduced redundancy of content creation and more collaboration?

The Silo

• Data for one business division or project is in one PDM system, while data for other projects is in different PDM systems. And good, universal information on company policies or lessons learned from tests are unavailable to those on other PDM systems.
• Strict segregation of data by job category can limit the ability of others to use it. “That’s all in the reliability group’s database.” And only reliability engineers have access to the data, though design engineering or quality may need access to it to do a better job.
• Each business division does its own thing, limiting access to information that is universal to only their group, resulting in duplication of content across divisions.

Do Another Study

• When someone is faced with an old problem, the common answer is, “We’ll put together a commission to study it.” The fact that there were other studies that outline solutions is considered irrelevant, leading to additional, wasted studies instead of implemented solutions.
• Assumptions that newer is better leads to rejection of prior studies on the topic as being valid today, so you get redundant studies that give similar answers.
• The tendency to go in with a goal in mind and perform studies until you get data supporting the conclusion leads to excessive data analysis versus actual results.
• When people don’t know what to do, they often state that it needs more study, and then hyper-analyze the data, hoping that they will get the wisdom to know what to do from the data – instead of a decision maker making the decision.
• Data that has been analyzed is often so tightly associated to the original project or product that information about how a specific engine performed or material did in quality testing is missed when others want to know its specs.

All of these situations result in an increase in the amount of data to be managed without improving the quality of information available to make decisions by.

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