Project Management Office needs to allign with PM to faciliate learning
Project Management offices come in a lot of forms and sizes. One of the functions a lot of these Project Management Offices pride themselves of providing is facilitating the so called lessons learned process. There is also definitely a desire and wish among project managers to learn. This section on lessons learned is testament to that.
Recent research1 published in the International Journal of Project Management however sheds an interesting light on this. Not all is well in the lessons learned world of PMO's. There seems to be a tendency for PMO's to focus primarily on the creation and management of explicit knowledge, especially related to technical and procedural knowledge. There was however limited attention for the management of tacit knowledge. In addition the extraction of knowledge/lessons learned is mainly done with the use of boundary objects such as forms, questionnaires and repositories. Boundary encounters, such as workshops, are rarely used!
Add to that a strong desire within project managers to actively share information and it becomes clear the PMO is less effective in supporting the lessons learned process than maybe expected/perceived. The takeaway for this is that the PMO needs to improve its knowledge sharing capabilities, improve its facilitation process and improve its relationship promotion.
Sofia Pemsel, Anna Wiewiora, Project management office a knowledge broker in project-based organisations, International Journal of Project Management, Volume 31, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 31-42, ISSN 0263-7863