Submission of PhD thesis and thankyou’s…

Hi all, If you have been wondering why the blog has been so quite, the following update will help…

I am about to submit my final PhD thesis for examination next week (16 November 2016). It has been an interesting and challenging last six years. I started part-time, converted to full-time, had 6 months of (due to illness) and finally will submit.

Last September (2015) I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Lucky for me 95% of the work had been done, just had to get the last 5% completed. It has been a challenge to do this over the last 12 months, but we are finally there. Going back to being a one arm typist (right hand) has had its moments…also my brain and body starts going into mush mode after ~20 mins etc so it has really been hard to complete the final thesis (what should have taken a week, has taken ~12 months).

I must thank the following folk:

My deepest and most genuine gratitude are owed to Associate Professor Jon Whitty my Principal Supervisor for his limitless guidance, support, encouragement and insight throughout the duration of my studies. Words just cannot truly express the extent of my appreciation with the level of commitment shown by Jon supporting both my masters and doctoral research activities over the last seven years. It has been a privilege to have been mentored by such a dedicated academic and to know such a trustworthy and light humoured person. Thanks to Jon, I have gained a good deal of knowledge from this academia experience.

I would also like to express my gratitude to Associate Professor Barrie Todhunter for accepting the role as my Associate Supervisor and providing support during the critical early days of the doctoral journey.

A special heartfelt thank you to my friend Dr Robyn Young who sadly passed away in February 2015. I first met Robyn when she was my emotional intelligence life coach in 2008. Robyn changed my life; we became good friends and someone I could talk to about anything. We spent many hours on Skype, on the phone and coffee chats at her favourite shops. I will miss those special moments we had laughing about research, study, work, life stress and the people in our lives, so many special moments. I recall the early trials of uBalancer (a life balance tool). I still have Youngs Priority Management System action chart on my office wall as it helps me to remain focused on my daily activities of family, work and doctoral research. Robyn was one of the major influences on my doctoral journey. I miss not being able to update her with my many challenges and taking on her advice. Rob was one very special amazing kind person, and it was good to see her in December 2014, another memory I will hold close to my heart.

I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to the staff in the government departments and agencies who participated in the study. The honest and open feedback and participation in the action research reflection workshops added a great deal of value to the research and project activities.

Moreover, finally to my girlfriend and wife, Robyn, whose endless support enabled me to maximise the time I could devote to research activities. Your understanding, patience, and love provided the ideal platform to chase my aspirations.

I have been sharing my work with many interested parties. If you are interested, please get back to me, as I would likeĀ to see how the Syllk model can help you and your organisation. I will be slow and may struggle with my speech and movement, however I still want to find away to help the knowledge lessons learned community…

Until next time, Stephen (PwP)

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The Syllk model can assist an organization meet the revised ISO 9001:2015(E) QMS requirements

Up until now knowledge management and lessons learned have typically been highlighted in project management bodies of knowledge (PMBoK, APM Knowledge, PRINCE2, ISO21500 etc).

With the 15 September 2015 release of ISO 9001 the world’s leading quality management standard’. There is a new requirement clause on organizational knowledge:

7.1.6 Organizational knowledge

The organization shall determine the knowledge necessary for the operation of its processes and to achieve conformity of products and services.
This knowledge shall be maintained and be made available to the extent necessary.
When addressing changing needs and trends, the organization shall consider its current knowledge and determine how to acquire or access the necessary additional knowledge and required updates.
NOTE 1: Organizational knowledge is knowledge specific to the organization; it is generally gained by experience. It is information that is used and shared to achieve the organization’s objectives.
NOTE 2: Organizational knowledge can be based on:
a) internal sources (e.g. intellectual property; knowledge gained from experience; lessons learned from failures and successful projects; capturing and sharing undocumented knowledge and experience; the results of improvements, products and services);
b) external sources (e.g., standards, academia, conferences, gathering knowledge from customers or external providers).

[A.7] 7.1.6 of the ISO standard addresses the need to determine and manage the knowledge maintained by the organization, to ensure the operation of its processes and that it can achieve conformity of products and services.
Requirements regarding organizational knowledge were introduced for the purpose of:
a) safeguarding the organization from loss of knowledge, e.g.
– through staff turnover;
– failure to capture and share information;
b) encouraging the organization to acquire knowledge, e.g.
– learning from experience;
– mentoring;
– bench marking.

With the release of the revised ISO 9001:2015 standard, there is an opportunity for organizations to be wired for knowledge using the #Syllk model. The Syllk model elements are aligned with ISO 9001:2015 Quality management systems (QMS) requirements.

sylk and iso9001 v2The Syllk model highlights the importance in understanding organizational knowledge facilitators and barriers and the associated knowledge management practices to understand how well they support or hinder learning lessons. By reconceptualising knowledge and lessons learned the Syllk model can influence organization learning. The Syllk model enables management to conceptualize how organizational know-how is wired (distributed) across various people and system elements of an organization. Research associated with the Syllk model has established that the alignment of the people and system elements (learning, culture, social, technology, process and infrastructure) can positively influence organization learning.

Duffield_GraphicalAbstract_V0.01syllk stUntil next time…


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LinkedIn post ‘People, Process, Technology, and Associated Barriers to KM’

Another interesting post on LinkedIn, worth a read…

People, Process, Technology, and Associated Barriers to KM

(posted by Timothy Maciag Knowledge Analyst at eHealth Saskatchewan)

Barriers To Knowledge Sharing

Knowledge sharing is the corner-stone of many organisationsā€™ knowledge-management (KM) strategy. Despite the growing significance of knowledge sharingā€™s practices for organisationsā€™ competitiveness and market performance, several barriers make it difficult for KM to achieve the goals and deliver a positive return on investment….


Hi Stephen,

thanks for your comments. Iā€™ve just had a quick read-through of your PMOZ paper ā€“ looks very useful ā€“ Iā€™ve down-loaded so that I can properly digest. It never ceases to amaze me why organizations still pay lip service to learning lessons, but in reality donā€™t appear to learn anything. Some examples that come to mind are the UKā€™s National Health System (NHS), and Social Care. Many instances of systematic child abuse, where ā€œlessons will be learnedā€ by police and social servicesā€¦until the next time the same things happen in the same area involving the same authorities. ā€œLessons will be learntā€ seems to be a mantra trotted out by those n authority, but nothing really seems to change.

I look forward to seeing further work in this area, and particularly the papers you mention that are currently being peer-reviewed.

Steve Dale

– See more at:

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A systemic lessons learned and captured knowledge (SLLCK) model for project organizations

A systemic lessons learned and captured knowledge (SLLCK) model for project organizations will be presented at PMOz 2012.

Duffield SM, Whitty S J (2012). A systemic lessons learned and captured knowledge (SLLCK) model for project organizations. In: Proceedings of the Annual Project Management Australia Conference Incorporating the PMI Australia National Conference (PMOz), Melbourne, Australia, 15-16 August 2012.

Duffield_Whitty_2012_A systemic lessons learned and captured knowledge SLLCK model for project organizations

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