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The Knowledge Manager role has evolved drastically from that of one involving the creation and maintenance of knowledge repositories to one that involves influencing the culture of an organization toward improved knowledge sharing, reuse, learning, collaboration and innovation.

I am thinking about this role who has also gained knowledge about the different projects running within an organization and is heavily involved in future plans.

Could I consider this resource as a potential Project Manager? If so, what key elements or strategy would you recommend to develop this role accordingly?

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I'm educated in KM, but I'm in a position right now that involves a lot of project management.

In short, yes, people in KM positions in your company are likely trained in the same Project Management techniques you use.

I got a little Six Sigma, workplace psychology, GANTT and PERT charts, planning, forecasting, goals and the like in my education.

However a KM pro is usually focused less on the project deliverables, and is more focused on the procedures, technology and culture of the teams delivering the project. You'd be wasting a significant portion of this professional's abilities to assign them to a single, deliverable project.

If the project you're looking at involves changing the firm's culture, breaking down information silos, aligning policies and procedures with the firm's goals, and implementing appropriate technology then a KM pro is what you need.

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I concur with Brett that the potential is there. I think the key is the soft skills. More precisely how well does this person engage with others, communicate and handle stress.

I'm a proponent of the DISC Behavioral Model, so I'll speak in these terms (DISC is not Myers Briggs, it is more "what's your default behavior, if you don't manage it").

If your KM is a classic High C (Mr. Spock), they might dive too far into the details to be effective at the big picture planning a PM needs.

If your KM is a classic High S (Mother Teresa), they may lack the forefullness to speak up and be a team leader.

I don't think I've ever met someone who does KM that is a straight High D (General Patton, MacArthur) or High I (Uber Salesman, President Clinton).

A balanced High D, High C KM would make a great Project Manager. They have the data analytical tendencies and know how to step up and use the right amount of force to make a point.

Conclusion- Hard skills are very transferable and will really help on large or complex projects. It comes down to the people skills.

Best-

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  • +1 for soft skills, even if I know neither DISC nor whether I would like it or not. :) But I'll read about it on the link. – n611x007 Apr 12 '13 at 16:48

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