The Impact of the Lack of Project Knowledge Transfer between Project Teams in a Telecommunications Company - Cranefield College

The Impact of the Lack of Project Knowledge Transfer between Project Teams in a Telecommunications Company

Author: Evdemon, Basil
Supervisor: Professor Erik Schmikl
Date: September 2007

This research was conducted within a specific telecommunications company in South Africa that is involved with mobile telephony. Within this organisation there are various Key Accounts that operate as sales units, which cater and serve various customers in the telecommunications industry. Their function is to sell the company’s services and products to the customer who in turn releases the deliverable to an end user, typically the general public. At present there are four Key Accounts within the organisation and each of these business units use sets of project resources to roll out the customer specific requirements that in turn fulfil service delivery.

As a result of the independent customer-servicing base existing within the organisation and between each Key Account, it was observed and determined that the level of knowledge transfer or sharing occurring between project resources and project management was limited if not irregular.  This stemmed from the differentiation of Key Accounts into customer related units, which in turn use separate project resources that are in general prohibited from sharing knowledge gained during their project experience.

The key research objectives within the scope of this dissertation therefore included the evaluation and reasons for the lack of knowledge transfer and impact thereof between project individuals, teams or resources existing in the various Key Accounts within the organisation.

Typically the amount of “know-how” or information that project resources would require to perform their project successfully as well as how the absence thereof would impact their performance were considered during the evaluation. Additionally the PM role as a knowledge integrator was considered within the social and human aspect of ensuring knowledge continuity.

The proposed design and methodology that was used to research the lack of knowledge transfer between the various project teams, was conducted through a set of questionnaires. Although a small sample group was used during the research, it was considered sufficiently representative of the project teams within the organisation. From the analysis and evaluation of responses it was determined that a large number of the sample group indicated that knowledge transfer is considered to be an important factor for an organisation to be both competitive as well as enhancing its project roll outs.

This concurs with the literary review and the researcher’s evaluations and findings that knowledge building and knowledge transfer is a significant value adding component to an organisation’s long term sustainability.

The results further guided towards finding a solution on how to resolve the lack of knowledge transfer these of which were presented through a set of proposed strategic actions, which included mechanisms that add value to the organisation and project processes required to bring about a learning organisation that is transparent and allows sharing of knowledge.