Knowledge Management tools and technologies are in most cases just tools to store and share information. I say information because unless that information is delivered to the right recipient and correctly understood it is not knowledge, and as a consequence you will not create the wisdom that follows the understanding of knowledge.
In this note, I will describe one idea about how to effectively manage knowledge in an organization.
History tout us that knowledge management built and destroyed empires and that no one can be victorious without a correct knowledge management.
Although companies grow and have success in their line of business, most of them have a flawed knowledge management. Because of this fact, they tend to struggle in their growing process, trying to keep efficient while struggling to keep a consistent quality of service.
There is a false “common knowledge” that says that big companies cannot have the same efficiency as small companies, the truth is that most of the times this is true, not because it is impossible, but because they apply the wrong knowledge management strategies.
Most companies public and private have dispersed knowledge sources from where all their elements should read, learn and update themselves each time that the information is created or updated.
Let me give you a simple example of a common incorrect knowledge management. The Portuguese government like many other countries says that every citizen has the obligation to know the law and not knowing the law cannot be used as an excuse to break it, meaning that you will be sentenced guilty every time that you break the law even when you did not know that you were breaking it.
Although that is the law, the Portuguese government does not have a mandatory law discipline to its citizens in the basic school, nor has a direct simple channel to inform them about revisions or changes. The consequence is that almost nobody knows what are the laws that they might be breaking.
Note: If we look carefully, a big company is not that different than an entire government.
The same happens in most companies, and it gets worse with the dimension. Just as with the government, in companies, employees are the first to get the consequences of an incorrect knowledge management, not knowing how to perform their task correctly and failing their objectives.
But this is just a symptom that reveals that the company has internal knowledge management deficiencies, you can easily assess that it is just a symptom and not the problem, because even if you substitute the employee, you will keep having the same problem.
Note: Most companies are just treating symptoms and not solving the underlaying problem.
Although undervalued, knowledge management is a very serious problem that needs to be solved as soon as possible. And after you read this article, and as with all illnesses, after knowing how to detect them, you have the obligation to work on its cure.
Existing Knowledge Management Systems
It is very common to find in companies several systems of information storage, intranets, knowledge bases, a central documentation repository and thousands of word documents, excel, power points, emails, internal messaging, etc.. When we think about all the information that is fragmented we rapidly realize that it is essential to have an aggregating system for all the knowledge that is “lost” everywhere.
Some of the problems resulting from bad knowledge management are, the lack of business processes structure, work force inability, lack of motivation, procedures undefinition and a lot lot more.
Knowledge is the unifying piece of all pieces in a company. Without the correct tools to manage knowledge, any company can only wish to grow, but it is not with wishes that any company can achieve the wished objectives. Medium and Big companies loose millions due to the fact that its knowledge management system is unmanaged, inefficient or inexistent.
Very often, the risks of a bad knowledge management are not clearly seen by the companies. Companies tend to think in a too much immediate way, turned only to immediate returns, costs and production cycle. They know that knowledge is essential to the correct production of its products or services, but they also believe that they are completely dependent on the individual behavior towards knowledge. Those believes will consequently have an impact in the efficiency, quantity and quality of the end product. For these reason, companies try to automate most of the processes in an attempt to reduce the amount of human error from the production line. But as much as the automation is implemented, they will eventually have to rely on human ability and knowledge to perform certain or part of some processes.
The human being is not known for its abilities to perform tasks without errors, but by its flexibility to innovate and quickly adapt and update themselves to new situations. Every time that one element in the company does not know what he is doing, the consequences are directly over his work and indirectly over the processes where he is participant and all the processes that are dependent on its outcome. By consequence, a small problem can have big consequences in a company. All this problems tend to increase with the number of elements in a company, leading to bad results.
One of the consequences of bad knowledge management is the necessity to increase the resources in its execution, and by consequence a loss in profitability without any increase in product or process quality. This situation will reduce our ability to compete with other more organized/advanced/inteligent companies.
Also, not knowing the true knowledge of your elements reduces the predictability of the quality of the outcome of your projects. The lack of knowledge over the company’s procedures creates visible losses.
- Loss of competitiveness.
- Inability to define strategies to error correction or quality improvement.
- Inability to effectively to create new or apply changes in current processes.
- Inability to manage the knowledge of individual elements.
- Lower quality of the resulting product.
- Insatisfaction of the elements.
- Inability to… you got the point.
There are several vectors where we can see the costs in the lack of a correct knowledge management strategy.
Without the correct management of the knowledge, it is impossible to apply a strategy to the company as a whole. The main reason for this impossibility is the inability to know the state of the change. To a correct and effective application of a strategy, it is essential that you can apply the knowledge to all elements and measure the effectiveness of the application of that knowledge.
When you need to implement a knowledge update to your company, and you have no way to measure its effectiveness, you will have your company in an undertemined state. That situation, will create increased costs in the short and long terms that are very difficult to measure and correct.
Training is one of the most effective ways of absorbing knowledge, but it is very expensive and many times impossible to apply in some areas where the knowledge is extremely volatile and dynamic. To have an efficient management of the training needs, we need to know exactly what each element needs to know and what they effectively know. Humans have the ability of self-training, although extremely useful, if not well applied and managed it will only create more problems and waste of resources.
It is important to be able to make correct knowledge assignment to the elements, followed by a continuous monitoring testing the effectiveness of the self-training, with that data, only when the resource shows a poor knowledge after self-training it will be created a conventional training plan.
Knowledge is essential to avoid incoherences in information processing. To the correct functioning of a company is of extreme importance that all the elements know exactly their work procedures, not only to know how to execute their functions, but also to allow their tasks to be continued by other elements. If his knowledge is not correctly defined, understood and coherent, the result of the company is fatefully weak. All the time wasted solving incoherences is useful time that is being used in the wrong task.
Difficulty in obtaining the correct knowledge
In case the knowledge is not correctly cataloged and stored, the time that an element takes to access it is many time too long for the value of the task being executed. When a company has all its information spread by multiple systems and unstructured repositories, it is impossible for any element to know what and where is the information that he must get.
An element in a company only have two types of moments, when it has too much time and when it has too little time: - When the element has too much time, he tends to get lost in the gigantic amount of available information, reading and learning topics that probably are not useful for his function, and even if it will eventually be needed, there is a high probability of that knowledge to be outdated or half forgotten. - On the other end, when the user has too little time, he searches for a fast answer, and he is forced to choose the first one that gives him a good enough solution, or even worse, since knowledge is most of the times not an yes or no answer, he chooses not to read the document and decides to reinvent the wheel because he does not have time to learn it.
In a company (it includes systems and people), knowledge management must be proactive, the company that participates in the knowledge management has all the information and ability to know what each element needs to know in every situation. So, the knowledge must be assigned to the element in a proactive way, the element must have the knowledge assigned and learned even before the need to know. Every element must have all times, all the knowledge necessary for his function.
Any company, small or big, if it wants to grow, it will need to contract new elements. The time necessary for integration and the entropy caused by the new elements creates elevated costs, not only because of the time in which the element still does not know how to execute its functions, but also the time that senior elements need to allocate to train them.
Senior elements should only need to mentor new elements, not train them. Also, all the knowledge that is passed by element to element, always incurs in misexplanation/misunderstanding of the original knowledge, this occurs frequently in chain based training, what starts with an message A ends as message X.
This is a serious problem, but easy to solve making the base information of all the elements to be the same, this way it is possible to minimize the delta with the original knowledge.
This problem is even bigger when instead of a single element we are contracting a team or a complete company. If you buy a company with 1500 elements, and if you make knowledge propagate from element to element, the quality of the information will degrade with each node and that creates problems of integration in the new structure and resistance to change.
With an efficient knowledge management system, the time for assimilation of 1000 elements if marginally superior to the time necessary to 10 elements, because all the process is based on centralized information and happens in a global synchronized way.
Subcontracting is a common process to any company to absorb market oscillations, allowing the company to increase and reduce the number of elements rapidly. But having a bigger demand, does not justify a lower quality of the service or product. Many subcontracted elements have a short term contracts and many times are assigned to short term projects with only a few months to completion. For this elements, the company cannot support the elevated costs of traditional training. At the same time, to maintain the quality that its clients are used to, the company cannot afford not to train the new elements with the right rules and knowledge to be able to integrate their temporary team. An adequate knowledge management system, the external elements to the company will be automatically assigned with the necessary information to be able to integrate the team and will be self taught and mentored by an internal senior element.
For all these reasons, it is essential that all companies have a proper knowledge management system that is designed with the human nature in its core and that connects humans and systems.
A Knowledge management system greatly reduces risk in a company.
Although it seems as another cost that the company has to support, the reality is that it reduces the overall costs in the company.
Any company needs a strategy to have success. The knowledge of that strategy must be assigned to all the elements of the company so that it is possible to achieve. In a market that changes every minute, a knowledge management system is essential to allow any company to steer the ship.
With the correct knowledge management any big company can have the same agility as a small company! Is this even possible? It is not just possible, but it is more probable that a big company can be better than a small company is almost all aspects, but to achieve that you need before anything, a well defined and efficient knowledge management strategy.
Most persons think about knowledge as an abstract topic extremely difficult (if not impossible) to control and manage.
The common knowledge tells us that the human being is a system with flaws and that it is not possible to make a precise measurement about each element’s knowledge, and as a consequence the company must accept its unfortunate correlation to this human flaw. Although the idea that I just described seems correct, the truth is that this idea/notion is completely wrong.
The first thing that we need to have always in our minds is that humans have characteristics that are completely different than that of the machines, and if we know which are humans strengths and weaknesses we can implement a system that is built to address and work with those characteristics. It’s mandatory to stop to expect humans to behave as machines, and start using better our strong points while minimizing our “weaknesses”.
In the future, any company that won’t have a knowledge management system and strategy that allows it to manage, control, monitorize and act upon all the elements in the company (humans and systems) will be destined to fail or fall behind the updated competition.
The Concept of Knowledge
Knowledge in the context of a company is everything that defines and makes it work. Knowledge isn’t only information obtained by processes, but also the process itself. Knowledge isn’t only the register of events, but also the capacity of knowing where we are going and how we got here. Knowledge is volatile and transitory, but during its lifetime, it must be deterministic, objective, useful and visible. Knowledge in its broader definition is everything, even the hardware systems are only the physical representation of knowledge. In a more abstract way knowledge is our reality, what we perceive and believe.
Where it comes from?
In a company everything is knowledge and everything creates knowledge. Every system or human, has the ability to create, transform and exchange knowledge.
Amount of knowledge
Although essential, knowledge can easily became too heavy and difficult to manage. Too much knowledge can damage as much as too few. If we assign to a specific element more knowledge than he really needs to the execution of his functions, we will be expending more energy than necessary without added value, it will be more difficult to maintain him updated, and the probability of forgetting important details increases substantially.
The company is the entity responsible to centralize, regulate and manage the knowledge off all its elements, not only the information systems but also, all the roles necessary to its proper functioning. The company has to manage all the links between all the elements, and everything and every connection has to be able to be updated, measured, managed, changed and controlled. The company must be able to know at any instant its point of situation, to know with a minimal margin of error what each element knows and to measure his ability to perform. This is an assessment that is normally applied to the information systems, but it also must be done with the human elements. If a company does not know precisely what each element can do, its unable to make decisions or take actions.
The individual is the human element in the company. (read most, write most, misinterpret and invent) He has the capacity to learn, unlearn, misinterpret and invent.
Having this in mind, if I have the Book A and give it to everyone to read it, there will exist elements that will understand and learn almost everything, the ones that learn almost nothing, the ones that interpret everything wrong and the ones that invent rules and procedures that were not in the book but that looked implicit to them.
Based on this, we will easily have thousands of persons that will have different knowledge and will do their function in a different way. This scenario might look bad, but the reality is far worse.
Lets introduce time into the equation.
Although time is good to forget some bad or even traumatic events of our life’s, it also makes you forget what you need to know, a little by little, if we don’t reinforce our synapses, we will know a little less. And then we have colleagues… if I don’t remember, I will ask to my colleague. That seems logic, but the truth is that everyone is always in the continuous process of changing/adapting/evolving knowledge that was once clear and objective into something new, sometimes that change is better, other times is not.
Lets introduce change.
Until here, things look already complicated, but knowledge is not static and it evolves to allow adaptation to a changing reality. Everything changes, companies need to adapt to be competitive, and they need to do it fast. So, what happens when everything changes? It shouldn’t be that bad, you just have to learn new rules, update your knowledge and thats it, right? Well… I am sorry to inform you, but its not that simple.
When you give to a person new rules that are similar but not the same, probably you will have people that understand the differences and learn the new rules, the ones that will mix the new rules with the old ones, the ones that will just continue to follow the old ones and of course the creative ones that will always surprise us.
(Knowledge dependencies, if you don’t have the foundations, you will not be able to build upon them.)
We can conclude that, the individual is only a part of what defines a company, but it is an essential element of the global information system that needs to be perfectly updated so that everything works correctly.
The Information Systems have been the most forgotten intervener in knowledge, but they have a big part of the information necessary to share, and are the systems in their own context that have the information that allows us to know which knowledge each element should have in a specific moment. This is without a doubt the missed element by almost all the knowledge management systems, and it is precisely here where we will make our system fully functional.
Roles and Responsabilities
The individual, as an isolated element only has the responsibility of trying his best to absorb all the information that is assigned to him. This simplification of responsibilities makes him to focus on what is his real function. The individual only has the obligation to absorb the information that is assigned to him, nothing more. But what he is expected to know he needs to know 100% (or very close to it).
Now that we have introduced the Actors in story, lets introduce the roles that they will need to perform.
The User is the element to whom knowledge is assigned knowledge in the form of folders and documents. I will explain what a document is latter in this article, for now, see it as a unit of knowledge. He has the responsibility of absorbing the knowledge that is assigned to him in a predefined period of time. The user can navigate in the global structure of the knowledge and has the possibility to assign knowledge to himself, but he does not have the privilege to make that knowledge mandatory. The user only can remove the folders and documents that he assigned by himself.
The Attributer is the element responsible for the attribution of a folder or document to a user. He has the possibility to specify whether the folder or document is or not mandatory. He also defines the reading limit date.
The Knowledge Manager is the user that has the responsibility for the maintenance of a specific knowledge unit or category. He has the obligation of reviewing knowledge and ensure that it is not obsolete. The Knowledge Manager is the main element that keeps the knowledge updated and relevant.
The Knowledge Mentor is the user responsible for maintaining the good behavior of other users. He ensures that there are no elements that ignore the knowledge assigned to them. The Knowledge Mentor only has to act in case a user does not respect the limit dates defined by the knowledge management system. He has the privilege to change the limit date if necessary. He is also responsible to justify the prolonged limit date and to record the justification for the initial delay.
The Administrator is the element that has privileges to all the system operations. He is able to verify and edit all the data and data relationships, for example, he has the only role that can remove knowledge attributions that were not created by himself. In other words, he is the failsafe of the system.
Pro-activity of the Knowledge Management System
The availability of a knowledge library is something essential to any knowledge management system. But, waiting for the elements to go search and consult the documentation, is a waste of time, increase the risk of not getting the right and necessary information to do their job at their fullest, and loose time reading and learning what is not necessary. The Knowledge Management System integrates automatically with all the events that occur in the company’s systems, that meaning that when a new element is integrated in a project, this element must have all the documentation to be able to work on that project and this applies to all the perspectives in the project, from the role that the new element is going to perform, the methodology used, internal rules, technical documents, support documents, starting guides, etc.. It is impossible to make all this management of knowledge manually, all this actions need to be automatic. Any company to be efficient, needs that 80% its knowledge management is done automatically and managed by its internal systems.
Knowledge propagation is something that has to be synchronized, there should not exist delays or version gaps in the information that each element has in a particular moment, and for this reason it is extremely important to do it to all of them simultaneously. With this premise, the passage of knowledge cannot be done hierarchically since that would create a gap between the elements in the upper levels and the others.
The knowledge propagation system needs to be centralized to minimize message deturpation.
1 -> 0.9 -> 0.8 -> 0.6
You can see in the figure above, the quality of knowledge degrades with each link of knowledge propagation.
1 -> 0.9
In a centralized knowledge source and distribution, the knowledge degradation is at its minimum.
The Document is the main unit of the knowledge management system. The document is the repository that stores an unit of knowledge.
Time for Knowledge - is the timespan that one user has to absorb the knowledge that is assigned to him. The Time to Knowledge is defined at the level of the document. This time can be changed by the Attributer if this is assigned directly, or by the folder where he is included. The Attributer can define other time limit for reading.
Mandatory - defines if the document is mandatory or optional. When a document is mandatory, the user has to indicate that he took knowledge of the content, by default all documents are mandatory.
Time for Revision - indicates the period by which the content of the document must be reviewed. This procedure is very important so that the Knowledge Manager maintains the content updated.
Publication Date - documents have an initial publication date and a final publication date, this option is useful to allow the anticipated preparation of the content with a future publication date. The ability to allow a document to became available in the future in a automatic form allows to control the synchronization of process rules with the new business processes, rules updating with specific initial dates, or even news and events that still did not occur or where not yet made public.
Rating - all document can be rated by any user allowing to get feedback about the quality and relevancy of the content, reviewed and updated if necessary.
Survey - each document has a set of questions with multiple answers that are used to verify if the user understood its content.
We can verify in the figure above that any document can have a dependency on zero or more documents. This dependency system is essential to maintain the consistency between documents warning to review all dependent documents.
This dependency system forces all the base documents to be automatic included in the knowledge assignment and the required time for the user to absorb the knowledge correctly calculated.
This dependency system also allows the knowledge management system to give the user the most efficient sequence of reading, indicating the documents that you must read before you are ready to fully understand the content of the current document, this way, you will increase the efficiency of the knowledge absorption.
Folders group documents, we can say that is the grouping element of knowledge. The same document can be linked with more than one folder.
You can create security groups. This functionality allows the knowledge center to be used in its fullness regardless of the confidentiality of critical information. There exist documentation that can only be seen by users with specific levels of responsibility in the company, you can create zones of knowledge that can be controlled with fine detail, specifying which users are allowed to access.
The system will notify the user about specif events that are of interest or need action.
- Attribution of mandatory folders or documents.
- Changes in mandatory documents.
- Approximation of the limit date to read the document.
- Notification warning you that an email was sent to your Knowledge Manager by the overrun limit date.
All knowledge is mandatory has automatic notifications, the user cannot deactivate the base notifications for mandatory documents.
The user have all sorts of notifications and you can set the preferences as you see fit. He can set the notifications at the global level, folder or document level. You can also set notifications by the event that originated them.
You can search all the knowledge base or only the knowledge that is assigned to you. The user can search by full-text, subsets and metadata. Since some documents are just links to content areas, the system has the ability to crawl to those links for indexing.
My Knowledge is all the folders and documents that are assigned to a user. It is the subset of all the knowledge that a specific user has associated with him. Inside that subset, the user has the obligation to read all the documents marked as mandatory.
In the figure above - webpart of My Knowledge, the user has access to his knowledge and notifications about what he must read next. He also has a direct link to the Global Knowledge Map, and he can apply filters as mandatory documents, etc.. The user can easily access the content by pressing the link.
As we can verify in the figure above, all the system has as its objective to help the user to manage his knowledge with the minimum effort possible. Everything that the system can make to help the user, it will make available in a direct, adapted to the users context. All the interface is extremely simple with a intuitive and easy navigation.
The user can put all his knowledge map off-line.
List all the mandatory documents sorted by due date. This reports lists all the documents that are mandatory to be read in a ordered way. It also includes document dependencies.
Dynamic surveys results - allows the user to check where he needs to improve his knowledge.
- List off all the users that passed the due date - lists all the users that did not read the documentation in the defined time.
- List all users with training needs - lists all the users that failed the surveys more than once.
- List documents with lowest rating - allows to verify the documents that the users rated as with poor content.
- List all the documents for revision - lists all the documents that need revision ordered by dependency.
- List documents with expired reviewing date - the documents to be reviewed have a limit date to be reviewed also. In case the knowledge manager does not review the document in time, is manager will be notified and like any document it needs a justification and the reviewing date can be extended.
- Lists attributions made by specific users - this lists all the attributions made by knowledge managers.
The Knowledge Management System stores and controls knowledge, but who attributes knowledge to the users is the Attributer. An attributer can be a person or a system. Each user can only remove the document assigned by themselves. The system administrator is the only role that can remove attributions made by other users. Attributions can be made directly to elements or to groups. It is possible to assign knowledge to the Everyone group that represent everyone.
All the systems can be configured attribute knowledge to users or groups. In the figure below, you can see all the knowledge that was assigned by each service to the user A. - Service A attributed the Folder C to the User A as optional. - Service B attributed the Document B to User A as mandatory. - Service C attributed the Folder H to the User A as mandatory.
The result of the attribution can be observed in the Figure 16, where you can verify the zone where the knowledge intercepts with different mandatory levels.
The document assumes always the highest mandatory level. When the Service A assigns the Folder C, all the sub-folders are also assigned assigned to the user. When the assigned Folder is Optional, all the sub-folders and documents inside of it became also optional. When a Folder is assigned as mandatory, all the documents that are marked as optional will continue to be optional. All the limit dates to read are calculated base on the dependencies and if they are mandatory or not. Any document that is referenced by a mandatory document will also become mandatory.
Dynamic Learning System
The Dynamic Learning System is the part of the Knowledge Management System that allows the continuous verification of the correct assimilation of knowledge by the user.
The Knowledge Management System checks daily the knowledge assigned to all users and selects questions to create a survey that tests the knowledge for all the documents that the user marked as read. All the mandatory documents have precedence over optional documents. The system always selects questions that where not asked yet. The user has a limited amount of time to answer the questions. When the system asked all the questions, all the questions will be clear again to be assigned.
Everyday the user gets in its private area a set of questions, these questions are of multiple choice and fast to answer (if the user really learned and remembers the content). Each question has always the link to the document that contains the answer, the goal of the questions is to make sure that the user corrects and updates any knowledge that might be corrupted. When the user fails the question, the system indicates the correct answer and marks the related document to be reviewed.
The user has a predefined time to answer the questions that are assigned to him, this time limit exist to ensure that the user continues with the correct knowledge over time. Everyday new questions are added to his survey. It is a best practice to answer daily to the survey to keep your survey (inbox) always empty. If the user does not answer in the time stipulated, the Knowledge Manager is notified to take an action, justify the delay and make sure that the situation gets resolved.
When the user fails the same question n times, an event is fired that allows the HR to take an action and take a more personal training approach. When the percentage of documents in a folder with failed answers goes above the defined limit, all the folder is marked for revision.
When the percentage of users that fail the answer goes above a limit, the Knowledge Manager gets a notification to take action to review the content of the document or the question.
Lets see an Use Case
This use case will show how the Knowledge Management System allows the management of the knowledge of a company in a easy and agile way. In this use case we are contracting a new developer to our company and we will describe the sequence of events.
Note: The book vendors like O’reily, Wesley, Microsoft, etc. can create question associated with their content that allows its content to be directly imported our system.
Note: This system allows to be connected to Knowledge Service Providers that manage and update specific topics of knowledge.
The User is registered in the Resources Management Center (RMC) The service RMC fires an event that will inform the Knowledge Management System to assign to the User, the Security Manual, Internal Processes Manual, Reporting Manual, etc.. With this information, the User gets the basic generic knowledge about the company and will be able to orient himself in the company structure and procedures. In the case of any doubts he will talk with his Knowledge Manager that will help him.
The User is registered in the Career Management Center The event of a new user is fired and the Knowledge Management Center is instructed to add the User Manuals to the user. This manuals explain how the careers are managed in the company, how the evaluation is made, etc..
The User is evaluated and he is assigned to the Technical Career All the documentation associated to the obligations and goals of the Technical Career Level X are assigned to him in a mandatory knowledge Folder.
The User is added to the Project X with the Methodology Y, and with the programming language Z. When this happens the Project Management Center fires an event that will add documentation about the Project X, the Folder of the Methodology Y and the Programming Language Z.
The user after the evaluation with his Sponsor defined his future evolution to the Technical Career X+1. In this moment all the documentation for the Technical Career X+1 is added to the User’s knowledge tree but as optional. This allows the user to start learning about the next level in his career. The Staff Manager can verify if the user already read the documents and can activate the dynamic learning system for that knowledge so that he can get feedback about how he is absorbing the knowledge. If necessary, the Staff Manager can make the documentation mandatory in preparation for the new role.
The User was promoted to the Technical Career X+1 The documentation of the Career X+1 is now officially marked as mandatory by the Career Management Center and the documentation for the Career X is now unlinked from his knowledge tree.
Note: The system keeps all the knowledge that the user has is its internal structure, it is just not anymore visible by default.
The Security Manual of the company was updated by the Knowledge Manager of that document. The document is marked in all the users with the document assigned already read, with the status of To Review. As it is a mandatory document, the user as a limited time to read it.
The Project X ended and the user was disassociated All the documentation associated in the context of the project is disassociated, the Knowledge Management System keeps record of all the knowledge that the user has taken. In case the user is associated with another project with similar documentation and requirements, the user will only have to read the documentation that was not assigned previously.
This small use case already allows us to verify that the Knowledge Management System is essential for any company that whats to have control of its knowledge and the abilities of its elements.