An advanced systemic lesson learned knowledge model for project organisations

Duffield, Stephen Mark (2017) An advanced systemic lesson learned knowledge model for project organisations. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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The research study described in this thesis was inspired by many years as a project manager, watching the failure of organisation projects, and the lessons learned. This led to the research idea of how can the lessons learned enable organisations to learn from past project experiences to drive continuous improvement.
The thesis is based on five published publications that collectively make a significant contribution to knowledge of the development of the Systemic Lessons Learned Knowledge (Syllk) model (Paper One) and application of the Syllk model (Papers Two, Three and Four) and the research methodology (Paper Five). I have applied an action research study which addressed the dual imperatives of both the research and problem solving by using a series of action research cycles on three separate projects.
The research method consisted of multiple spiral action research cycles. I have demonstrated how to apply the Syllk model to enable the organisations to disseminate and apply knowledge/lessons learned. The initial planning stage consisted of interviews, followed by focus groups, to identify the facilitators and barriers that impact upon the initial design of the Syllk model within the organisation. Established knowledge management practices were aligned with each of the Syllk elements to address the identified barriers and facilitate learning as the action cycles progressed. Initiatives were implemented, and actions were observed, monitored, and then evaluated after a period of reflection using an after-action review process. The results from this research showed how knowledge capability can be wired (distributed) across organisational systems (capability networked) and how the Syllk model can be used to conceptually facilitate this.
The research study described in this thesis provides insights into how an organisation learns and how it can be effectively wired to acquire and accumulate knowledge, including from lessons learned. The thesis highlights that the variables of the Syllk model (learning, culture, social, technology, process and infrastructure) were found to be the most dynamic and influential for the organisation participating in the action research. The action research outcomes showed that an organisation is not a simple structure, but rather, a complex interweaving and coupling (capability network) of the Syllk elements of people and systems. Processes in the organisation need to align with the elements of the Syllk model. Using action research is one possible way forward. One needs to understand how the organisation is wired for knowledge and lessons learned.
The findings from this research form a sound structure for future research studies based on the application of the Syllk model. This research supports the premise that to successfully manage projects and day-to-day business activities, the learning process is challenged by many barriers. The thesis demonstrates that action research can benefit project management and knowledge management researchers and practitioners.

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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis. doi:10.26192/5bf78045f93e2
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Management and Enterprise (1 Jul 2013 - 17 Jan 2021)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Management and Enterprise (1 Jul 2013 - 17 Jan 2021)
Supervisors: Whitty, Jon; Todhunter, Barrie
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2017 02:42
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2018 06:03
Uncontrolled Keywords: Project management; Knowledge management; Lessons learned; Organisational learning; Swiss cheese model; Action research
Fields of Research (2008): 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150312 Organisational Planning and Management
Fields of Research (2020): 35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3507 Strategy, management and organisational behaviour > 350711 Organisational planning and management
Identification Number or DOI: doi:10.26192/5bf78045f93e2

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