Live capture and reuse of project knowledge in construction organizations

Live capture and reuse of project knowledge in construction organizations

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Live capture and reuse of project knowledge in construction organisations Hai Chen Tan 1 Pat Carrillo 1 Chimay Anumba 1 John M Kamara 2 Dino Bouchlaghem 1 and Chika Udeaja 3 1 Department of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, U.K.; 2 School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.; 3 School of the Built Environment, Northumbria University, Ellison Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. Correspondence: Hai Chen Tan, Department of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 3TU, U.K. Tel.: þ 44 0 1522 882600; Fax: þ 44 0 1522 882601 E-mail: h.c.tan@lboro.ac.uk Received: 24 March 2005 Accepted: 6 June 2006 Abstract It is important that the knowledge generated on construction projects is captured and shared between project team members for continuous improvement, to prevent the ‘re-invention of the wheel’ and to avoid repetition of previous mistakes. However, this is undermined mainly by the loss of important insights and knowledge due to time lapse in capturing the knowledge, staff turnover and people’s reluctance to share knowledge. To address this, it is crucial for knowledge to be captured ‘live’ in a collaborative environment while the project is being executed and presented in a format that will facilitate its reuse during and after the project. This paper uses a case study approach to investigate the end-users’ requirements for the ‘live’ capture and reuse of knowledge methodology, and shortcomings of current practice in meeting these requirements. A framework for the ‘live’ methodology that satisfies the requirements is then presented and discussed. Knowledge Management Research & Practice (2006) 4, 149–161. doi:10.1057/palgrave.kmrp.8500097 Keywords: knowledge management; reusable project knowledge; live capture and reuse; CAPRIKON; knowledge base; post-project reviews Introduction The growing importance of KM is often related to the emergence of the knowledge-based economy and the importance of knowledge in providing competitive advantage (Demarest, 1997; Davenport et al ., 1998; Drucker, 1998; Bollinger & Smith, 2001), and there is evidence that this has been recognised by the construction industry. A survey of U.K. project-based organisations shows that about 50% of the respondents (majority were from the construction industry) noted that KM would result in new technologies and new processes that will benefit the organisations (Egbu, 2002). This finding is supported by another survey of construction organisations, which reveals that about 40% already had a KM strategy and another 41% planned to have a strategy within a year (Carrillo et al ., 2003). Furthermore, about 80% also perceived KM as having the potential to provide benefits to their organisations, and some had already appointed a senior person or group of people to implement their KM strategy (Carrillo et al ., 2003). Despite this growing awareness of the importance of KM to the industry, there are limitations in the current practice for the capture and reuse of project knowledge. In particular, there are problems with the
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Live capture and reuse of project knowledge in construction organizations

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