Measuring Knowledge Enablers and Project Success in IT Organizations

Measuring Knowledge Enablers and Project Success in IT Organizations

Donald S. McKay II (Ashford University, USA) and Timothy J. Ellis (Nova Southeastern University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0196-1.ch100
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Knowledge enablers exist at the organizational and project levels. There is however, no meaningful means to measure organizational or project knowledge sharing. The need to understand the elements that enable this flow of knowledge is dramatically evidenced in information technology organizations in which insufficient knowledge sharing leads to intellectual capital loss, rework, skills deterioration, and repeated mistakes that increase project costs or failures. The goal of this study was to examine the relationship among knowledge sharing processes at the organizational level – organizational learning enablers (OLEs) – the project level – project learning enablers (PLEs) – and project success variables (PSVs). After identifying and validating the OLE, PLE, and PSV constructs they were codified in a survey. Results showed a positive and significant relationship among OLEs, PLEs, and PSVs. A multiple regression indicated that the combination of OLEs and PLEs accounted for 30% of a project's success, however, PLEs alone were not statistically significant.
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IT leaders often do not make it a priority to share lessons learned among project teams. Managers may not understand the value derived from sharing lessons among project teams. For example, a knowledge manager faced a challenge convincing senior management on the value of KM. “My bosses want to see how KM implementation improves the ROI [return on investment] of the company, and how am I going to convince them since it is hard to measure KM using dollars and cents?” (Choy, Yew, & Lin, 2006, p. 930). In addition, IT staff resist efforts to capture and share lessons learned (Jugdev, 2012). In short IT leaders fail to reuse “knowledge to improve organizational effectiveness by providing appropriate knowledge to those that need it when it is needed.” (Jennex, Smolnik, & Croasdell, 2009, p. 185). Knowledge management success is not being achieved and IT leaders may not realize the cost of this over sight.

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