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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2017

Fatemeh Navidi, Mohammad Hassanzadeh and Ali Zolghadr Shojai

Employees, as the most important assets of an organization, acquire a great deal of experience, skills and knowledge throughout the time period they work for the…

Abstract

Purpose

Employees, as the most important assets of an organization, acquire a great deal of experience, skills and knowledge throughout the time period they work for the organization. If their skills and technical knowledge are not documented properly, these will be lost once the employees leave the organization. Therefore, documentation is necessary for preserving this invaluable knowledge, avoiding duplication and preventing repeated mistakes that occurred in the past and, providing the junior staff with experiences gained by their predecessors. Thus, this research aims to elaborate on the role of organizational knowledge management (KM) as an essential tool for turning tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge and sharing the gained experiences with others.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is developmental applied research with qualitative approach and it was conducted using thematic analysis method. This method includes a semi-structured interview with 18 researchers conducting research projects at the Satellite Research Institute under the supervision of the Iran Space Agency.

Findings

The projects contain knowledge that is a combination of “know why”, “know what”, “know who” and “know how”. A large amount of this knowledge is, indeed, the tacit knowledge. Most of this tacit knowledge is not reflected in the project documents. Generally, the documents contain results only and they do not include experience, technical details, methodology, analysis and mistakes that were made during research activities. Documentation challenges fall into three major types: technical, human resources and administrative.

Originality value

Considering the necessity of documentation within the knowledge transfer process and its important role in KM; and, with respect to the lack of technical knowledge and experience transfer observed in the documents of Satellite Research Institute, this research proposes some steps that need to be taken to turn the knowledge sharing into an organizational culture.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 35 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2009

Claire Warwick, Isabel Galina, Jon Rimmer, Melissa Terras, Ann Blandford, Jeremy Gow and George Buchanan

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the importance of documentation for digital humanities resources. This includes technical documentation of textual markup or…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the importance of documentation for digital humanities resources. This includes technical documentation of textual markup or database construction, and procedural documentation about resource construction.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study is presented of an attempt to reuse electronic text to create a digital library for humanities users, as part of the UCIS project. The results of qualitative research by the LAIRAH study on provision of procedural documentation are discussed, as also is, user perception of the purpose, construction and usability of resources collected using semi‐structured interviews and user workshops.

Findings

In the absence of technical documentation, it was impossible to reuse text files with inconsistent markup (COCOA and XML) in a Digital Library. Also, although users require procedural documentation, about the status and completeness of sources, and selection methods, this is often difficult to locate.

Practical implications

Creators of digital humanities resources should provide both technical and procedural documentation and make it easy to find, ideally from the project web site. To ensure that documentation is provided, research councils could make documentation a project deliverable. This will be even more vital once the AHDS is no longer funded to help ensure good practice in digital resource creation.

Originality/value

Previous work has argued that documentation is important. However, the paper presents actual evidence of the problems caused by a lack of documentation and shows that this makes reuse of digital resources almost impossible. This is intended to persuade project creators who wish resources to be reused to provide documentation about its contents and technical specifications.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 65 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2019

Emmanuel Akampurira and Abimbola Windapo

The poor quality of design documentation has been identified as a significant contributor to delays, rework and cost overruns on construction projects in South Africa…

Abstract

Purpose

The poor quality of design documentation has been identified as a significant contributor to delays, rework and cost overruns on construction projects in South Africa. Despite this, limited research has been undertaken to specifically investigate the quality of design documentation. This in turn hampers efforts aimed at improving the quality of the design documents. The aim of this study is to identify the key quality attributes of design documentation and determine the extent to which the design documents issued on South African construction projects are perceived to incorporate the quality attributes.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey questionnaire was distributed among civil engineering design consultants and contractors in the South African construction industry. Responses to a total of 120 completed questionnaires were statistically analysed. The relative importance and extent of incorporation of the quality attributes was determined based on the mean scores.

Findings

It emerged from the study that the two key quality attributes of design documentation were legibility and coordinated design documentation. Attributes with the least importance were relevancy and certainty. Regarding the incorporation of the quality attributes, the design documents were rated highly with respect to their legibility and clarity. The quality of the documentation was deemed inadequate in terms of accuracy and certainty.

Practical implications

The findings provide valuable insight to stakeholders involved in developing initiatives aimed at improving the quality of design documentation and as a result construction project performance.

Originality/value

The study provides empirical evidence and extends the literature on design documentation quality especially from the perspective of South Africa, a developing country.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article
Publication date: 6 January 2021

Yu-Tzu Lin

Design rationale is design information that explains why an entity is designed as it is. This paper investigates how the documentation process and the use of documents in…

Abstract

Purpose

Design rationale is design information that explains why an entity is designed as it is. This paper investigates how the documentation process and the use of documents in service design projects influence the reuse of design information across projects.

Design/methodology/approach

This study analyzes two sets of data collected through interviews and field observation. It first applied Lund's (2004) four elements of documentation process to categorize the collected data. Then it used bottom-up data analysis approach to identify patterns of the documentation process.

Findings

The author speculates designers' focus on certain documents' social aspect instead of material aspect influences how they reuse design information across projects. Some documents are important because they represent a consensus, and some are important because of the document producers rather than its content. The author also found a similarity between economists and service designers by comparing the study results with Harper and Sellen's (1995) findings. Based on the comparison, the author concludes that detailed research reports are easily reusable across design projects. Finally, although the author observed that designers are using templates to explicate design rationale, the created content is not used across projects.

Originality/value

This study identifies six types of documents that are commonly created in service design projects, three types of producer involvement and three types of provisional design outcomes. It also provides two suggestions for designers to reuse design information across service design projects better and two implications for future study.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2018

Sara Shafiee, Katrin Kristjansdottir, Lars Hvam and Cipriano Forza

This paper aims to explore the use of the knowledge management (KM) perspective for configuration projects. Configuration projects implement configurators as information…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the use of the knowledge management (KM) perspective for configuration projects. Configuration projects implement configurators as information technology systems that help companies manage the specification process of customised products. An effective method of retrieving and formalising knowledge for configurators is essential, because it can reduce the risk of unsuccessful implementation and the time and effort required for development. Unfortunately, no standard KM frameworks are available specifically for configuration projects. This study identifies the knowledge necessary for different phases of a configuration project (which knowledge, for what purpose and from what sources), examines how it is transformed during a configuration project (what KM activities and tools are used) and establishes how the knowledge can be documented for future maintenance and updates.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper proposes a four-step framework for making the KM process more efficient in configuration projects. The framework is based on the literature, developed in collaboration with industrial partners and tested on four configuration projects in two engineering companies. The framework is a structured KM approach designed to save time for both domain experts and the configuration team. The authors have used a qualitative exploratory design based on multiple data sources: documentation, workshops and participant observation.

Findings

The proposed framework comprises four steps: determination of the system’s scope, to establish the project’s goal based on stakeholders’ requirements and prioritise the required products and processes; knowledge acquisition, to classify the knowledge according to the desired output and identify different knowledge sources; modelling and knowledge validation; and documentation and maintenance, to ensure that the KM system can be maintained and updated in the future.

Research limitations/implications

Because the framework is tested on a limited number of cases, its generalisability may be limited. However, focusing on a few case applications allows us to assess the effectiveness of the framework in detail and in depth to identify the practical challenges of applying it. The results of the tests support the framework’s validity. Although the framework is designed mainly for engineering companies, other industries could benefit from using it as well.

Practical implications

The individual steps of the framework create a structured approach for the KM process. Thus, the approach can save both time and resources for companies, without the need for additional investment.

Originality/value

A standard framework is lacking in the literature on KM for configuration projects. This study fills that gap by developing a KM framework for configuration projects, based on KM frameworks developed for IT projects, and KM tools.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1997

David Ellis and Merete Haugan

The study explores the role of information and information seeking in the Research and Development Department of an international oil and gas company. The information…

Abstract

The study explores the role of information and information seeking in the Research and Development Department of an international oil and gas company. The information seeking patterns of engineers and research scientists at Statoil’s Research Centre, in Trondheim, Norway were studied in relation to their research activities in different phases and types of project. The project phases were evaluation of alternative solutions; development and testing; and summary of experiences. The project types were incremental; radical; and fundamental. Eight major characteristics were identified in the patterns: surveying; chaining; monitoring; browsing; distinguishing; filtering; extracting and ending. The study analyses the requirements for different types of information in an environment where the need for internal and external resources are intertwined; it also compares features of the information seeking patterns of engineers and research scientists from this and previous studies. It was found that, although there were differences in the features of the information seeking patterns of the research scientists and engineers, the behavioural characteristics were similar; and the study identified identical or very similar categories of information seeking behaviour to those of previous studies of academic researchers.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 53 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2004

Jim Smith, Nellie O'Keeffe, Jim Georgiou and Peter E.D. Love

Building cost planning was originally developed in the framework of traditional procurement methods with conventional documentation, tendering and administration…

Abstract

Building cost planning was originally developed in the framework of traditional procurement methods with conventional documentation, tendering and administration processes. With the advent of alternative forms of procurement with more fluid approaches to design stages and documentation, the need for sound cost planning does not appear to diminish. As a process established on solid theoretical foundations, cost planning should be robust enough to adapt and flourish in a variety of procurement environments. However, little documentation and analysis of transformed and adapted forms of cost planning appear to have been made. This case study of a design‐construct company in Melbourne, Australia, presents and explores a contemporary form of building cost planning integrated into a design cost management approach adopted by a construction company experienced in alternative forms of procurement. The article traces this process on a design‐construct project from inception to the end of the design development stage and tender. Whilst the fundamental framework of cost planning remains intact, the focus and detail in each of the stages are guided by the company's priority for greater financial control over the cost and value implications of design and other decisions. This recently established working model of design cost management in this company has been designed to deliver added value to the client through a better balance of time, cost and quality in each project.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1972

ALAN GILCHRIST

The construction industry has particular problems in its handling of general and project documentation, arising largely from the separation of the design and construction…

Abstract

The construction industry has particular problems in its handling of general and project documentation, arising largely from the separation of the design and construction functions, and the large number of firms involved. The Department of the Environment has issued a report proposing improvements in the total information system which suggests that classification is the key factor in any programme of work. In this paper a general account is given of the problems, the work of the DoE, the existing schemes; and proposals are put forward for the compilation of a ‘metasystem’ which would be used to control or steer the conventions used for information handling.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2002

Georg Disterer

Modern organizations have to react fast and be flexible to innovative and interdisciplinary questions. Therefore organizing by projects is on a strong increase, because…

Abstract

Modern organizations have to react fast and be flexible to innovative and interdisciplinary questions. Therefore organizing by projects is on a strong increase, because projects are accepted to be learning intensive organizational forms. But the boundaries between projects and the permanent organization are strong barriers for knowledge and experiences gained in projects. Knowledge management functions have to handle the knowledge and experiences from projects.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 6 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Gavin Lawrie, Nur Anisah Abdullah, Christopher Bragg and Guillaume Varlet

This paper aims to assess the utility of an approach to the design of multiple Balanced Scorecards within large/complex organisations, consider the relevance of “emergent…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to assess the utility of an approach to the design of multiple Balanced Scorecards within large/complex organisations, consider the relevance of “emergent strategising” in this kind of strategy implementation and explore project organisation and wider coordination issues that impact this type of work.

Design/methodology/approach

A “research-oriented – action research” approach has been adopted, comprising qualitative observations of an ongoing programme within a major organisation in the Middle East. The case is based on feedback obtained from key actors (participants, facilitators) and the analysis of documentation produced by the project.

Findings

Over four years, the project engaged directly with over 200 managers from the organisation’s 35 most senior management units. Its purpose was to align the strategic aims of each unit with those of the organisation and introduce a new form of strategic control. The paper shows that consensus-forming and creation of locally relevant strategic agendas can be usefully and successfully embedded in a large-scale strategic control and alignment programme. The paper notes the large resource implications and duration of such programmes, and the challenges of integrating the resulting processes with those already in place. The paper concludes that for the case organisation, the resource investment appears to have generated useful outcomes.

Research limitations/implications

The project relates to a continuing programme within the client organisation that was not explicitly established before it started as an action-research activity. This has limited and constrained the quality of the information reported.

Originality/value

The scale of the project, the use of design methods that emphasis consensus forming and local relevance provide novel information and insights.

Details

Journal of Modelling in Management, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5664

Keywords

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