New PMI Report: Effective Knowledge Transfer Drives Project and Program Success



Research reveals 5 key steps for identifying, assessing and disseminating information in organizations

16 March 2015 – Philadelphia, PA, USA – The 2015 Pulse of the Profession® in-depth report: Capturing the Value of Project Management Through Knowledge Transfer, was released today by Project Management Institute (PMI). The report reveals that when organizations value knowledge transfer and implement good practices to support it, they improve project outcomes substantially. According to the report, organizations that are most effective at knowledge transfer improve project outcomes by nearly 35 percent. These organizations are also nearly three times as likely to have a formal knowledge transfer program.

150316-pmwj33-knowledge-IMAGERecognizing the importance of knowledge—how it is acquired, used and shared—is key to project and program success. Knowledge transfer as a theory has meaning, value and relevance for organizations, but its actual implementation and uptake in an organization can pose challenges, especially if no true results-oriented process is in place. When organizations fall short of a comprehensive knowledge transfer effort, the reasons are many but often relate to cultural issues: Many respondents point to the fact that their organizations have higher priorities (52 percent) and also believe there is insufficient recognition of the value (42 percent).

“The skill with which an organization collects, maintains and shares its information assets is an accurate barometer for assessing long-term performance,” said PMI President and CEO Mark A. Langley. “As a company’s workforce evolves through new hiring, promotion, and retirement, a seamless knowledge transfer process is essential to the continued project success that drives business value.”

The study identifies five key steps for the execution of an effective knowledge transfer program:

  1. Identifying: Determining what knowledge needs to be transferred
  2. Capturing: Accumulating the essential knowledge that needs to be transferred
  3. Sharing: Establishing methods for transferring the knowledge
  4. Applying: Using the knowledge that is transferred
  5. Assessing: Evaluating the benefits of the knowledge that is transferred

Pulse research shows that organizations that embrace knowledge transfer as an important capability focus on culture, leadership and people:

Culture Encourages Buy-in – When organizations have a culture that values knowledge transfer, they are far more successful at it. A full 96 percent of respondents agree that a supportive organizational culture—alone or coupled with state-of-the-art knowledge storage and retrieval policies and technology—contributes to effective knowledge transfer.

Leadership Sets the Tone – More than half of organizations name managers and directors as responsible for knowledge transfer. Furthermore, 95 percent of organizations that are most effective at knowledge transfer have identified someone in the organization who is ultimately responsible for it, compared with only 54 percent of organizations that don’t do knowledge transfer well.

People Make the Difference – Equally, if perhaps not more important to having a culture that supports knowledge transfer, is the buy-in and commitment of an organization’s people. They are the vital link. The majority of organizations in our research said that project managers specify the critical knowledge that should be captured as part of knowledge transfer. This gives project managers an opportunity to promote, and even demonstrate, the value of transferring knowledge and how it contributes to an improved project delivery process.

Research for PMI’s Pulse of the Profession® in-depth report on Capturing the Value of Project Management Through Knowledge Transfer research was conducted in January 2015 among 2,466 project management practitioners around the world who provide project, program, or portfolio management services on a full-time basis within organizations, as contractors or as consultants. Additional in-depth telephone interviews were conducted for the purpose of obtaining deeper insights into opinions and examples of situations. To download the full report, visit www.PMI.org/Pulse.

Conducted since 2006, PMI’s Pulse of the Profession® is the annual global survey of project management professionals. The Pulse of the Profession charts the major trends for project management now and in the future. It features original market research that reports feedback and insights from project, program and portfolio managers, along with an analysis of third-party data. To access PMI’s Pulse of the Profession® visit www.PMI.org/Pulse.

PMI is the world’s largest not-for-profit professional association. Founded in 1969, PMI delivers value for more than 2.9 million professionals working in nearly every country in the world through global advocacy, collaboration, education and research. PMI advances careers, improves organizational success and further matures the profession of project management through its globally recognized standards, certifications, resources, tools, academic research, publications, professional development courses, and networking opportunities. For more information, visit http://www.pmi.org/, www.facebook.com/PMInstitute, and on Twitter @PMInstitute.

PMI media contacts: Megan Maguire Kelly at [email protected] or Karen Flanagan at [email protected]

Source: Project Management Institute