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;
– 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.
The 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.