Knowledge Management in Project Based Environments for Selected Organisations in Zambia

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Mwiimbu, Wendy
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The University of Zambia
In any project based environment, knowledge is becoming one of the main assets required to remain competitive in a world that keeps evolving. To remain competitive in a dynamic market, different organisations are carrying out various projects. For every new project that’s undertaken knowledge is created. Knowledge management is used by organizations to identify, create, apply and share the knowledge that is obtained from projects. Through the management of knowledge, the successes and failures of a project can be recorded. Knowledge management could aid the success of a project as knowledge acquired from previous project can prove resourceful. The lack of knowledge management could be the cause of repetitive failures in projects. The main aim of the study was to identify if Knowledge Management was being practiced in project-based environments in the Telecommunications industry, Government ministries and Construction industry in Zambia. This was achieved by finding out the processes, tools and challenges faced in managing knowledge. Using stratified sampling, 13 interviews, 51 questionnaires and detailed literature review, results of the study were obtained. The results confirmed that knowledge management was being practiced. However, the challenges faced proved to be a lot ranging from lack of adequate tools to lack of time. The study showed that the respondents acknowledged that knowledge management was vital in the running of the projects but did not just consider it priority. Lack of tools was the main challenge faced in managing knowledge. Personal drives were identified as the main tool used in managing knowledge. From the study, a conclusion was drawn that it is important to use appropriate tools to manage knowledge efficiently and reduce the challenges that come due to lack of tools. It was established that project managers should be sensitized on importance of knowledge management and encourage team members to record lessons learnt in the projects. If project managers would come up with incentives to encourage team members to manage knowledge then it would prove more helpful. This would in turn aid in ensuring knowledge is managed efficiently and add to the success of project implementation.
Knowledge Management , Project Based Environments