Tuesday 02/03/2021 Knowledge Management
Yesterday, I submitted a proposal to my friend to present a short talk on Knowledge Management to his company, a Government Link Company. From my observations, many government organisations and private companies are not doing the right thing when it comes to Knowledge Management. As an engineer, it is my duty to ensure that engineering knowledge is captured, archived and made available to younger engineers especially on lessons learned from engineering projects and practice. It also applies to other disciplines of knowledge.
My peers who are in their ’60s now have done at least thirty years of engineering work- in projects, operation and maintenance. All our experience and tacit knowledge will be buried with us when we die. Time is not on our side.
When I was posted to PWD( Public Work Department) Pasir Mas in December 1976, no one guided me on how to manage and supervise construction projects and I had no clue on contractual matters. What I learned at the university was one hour lecture on project planning and the law of contract. My boss was also too busy to guide me and I had to learn on the job.
Thank God for my academic training at Sheffield University(1973–1976) that enabled me to learn as I was doing my work as a building engineer. On the practical side, I learned a lot from my junior officers. They are experienced technical assistants and technicians. Humility is the key ingredient to seeking and learning new knowledge.
The Internet and the Web were not available yet to the public in the ’70s and ’80s. I have to attend courses by PWD and the private sector. One course that changed my life was an Introduction Course to Project Management by Ir. Kee Yong Wee at Shah Village Hotel in 1978. That was the first-ever project management course I had ever attended. University education at Sheffield taught me nothing about project management. From then on project management clicked very well with me. Later, after a few years, I discovered that I love managing projects more than the technical and engineering aspects of the project. To cut the long story short, I became a Project Consultant Engineer in the late ’80s. Later in 1998, I formed a construction company and in 2003 I also did business in project management consultancy and training. From my experience, I share my knowledge with others.
With the exponential growth of knowledge and the attendant complexity, we need new ways to manage knowledge- identity, capture, apply and archive for future reference. The old traditional ways of writing books, journals, having talks, seminars and workshops are just inadequate and inefficient and ineffective for knowledge management today. We must explore the ICT and 5G applications in order to remain relevant and up to date. Change is taking place every moment and every where.
Most individual professionals are interested in knowledge but more in making money. I have yet to see any professionals(except those in academia) spend money and time to compile knowledge and experience to be shared with fellow professionals. God willing, I will call on PWD, DID and CIDB and offer my service to study and organise Knowledge Management for their organisations.
On a personal note, I have been sharing my tacit knowledge of Business Project Management with the Master students at INCEIF(Global University for Islamic Finance) since 2019.