Practical Lessons for Applying Technology to Knowledge Dissemination
November 8, 2012
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Susanna Cantor, William Savage and Gary Franceschini
One of the hardest activities in any large project is keeping all team members on the same page when it comes to expectations, processes and consistency of information. When a project team includes both internal members and external partners, providing consistent information to all team members securely becomes difficult. Attachments to emails clog inboxes. Multiple document versions flying through cyberspace in crisscrossing email threads undermine effective document management and change control, injecting confusion into project operations. Knowledge management begins with a central, easily accessible but secure means to share information in a timely manner and maintain it over the life of the project. In this paper, we will look at how the Knowledgebase Management Team (KB Team) for a large project at RTI International chose to develop a knowledgebase (KB) using the Drupal framework to distribute clear, concise and valid project information across geographic and organizational boundaries.  Using the Drupal site the KB Team developed as our example, we will explore the concept of a central KB, our implementation approach, our three main challenges to success, and the lessons we learned. The biggest lesson? Communicating knowledge can be the hardest part of managing knowledge.
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