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Articles in this section provide guidance for how to maximize Knowledge Capitalization: how to build extensible and reusable knowledge, how to capture it, how to share it and how to provide incentives to use it in product development.
Do your product developers learn everything the hard way?
Designers and engineers build a lot of knowledge about customers, technical solutions, basic science, supply chain and partnerships. Much of this knowledge can be reused and extended on other programs, but only if. . .
Rapid Learning Cycles has knowledge capture built right in to the framework, since teams produce Key Decision and Knowledge Gap Reports to prepare for their events.These reports improve the teams' decision-making but how do we ensure that this knowledge will pass on to other teams who have similar Knowledge Gaps to close . . .
For the past two weeks, the news in the United States has been dominated by the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. What does a political convention have in common with Learning Cycle and Integration Events? It's a pull event for real-time knowledge capture. . .
I used to write a lot about Reusable Knowledge - knowledge that could help future teams accelerate their product development. In the last year, I've started to replace "Reusable" with "Extensible" because that's a more precise description of how knowledge gets reused.
Sometimes, knowledge can be reused directly. More often, one team's solution sparks an idea about how another team can solve a similar - but not identical - problem. They need to...
When I bring up the idea of extensible or reusable knowledge, I often hear three objections:
Reusable knowledge leads to incremental products that are not innovative.I don't have time to build knowledge for future programs - I only have time for my own.I'll never be allowed to do this because it takes away time from my current projects.I understand where these objections are coming from - but that is why Rapid Learning Cycles are so powerful as engines of knowledge creation. First, teams build knowledge that is not just reusable - it is extensible. Future teams will probably not copy/paste from one program to the next. Instead, they will build upon this knowledge. They will expand it and they may bring it into new application areas. Extensible knowledge enables creativity...
When I decided to bring Gene into Whittier Consulting, one of the major challenges we faced was in transferring knowledge to him about Product Development so that he could make a significant contribution to our consulting work as quickly as possible.
Gene's previous roles gave him a strong background in education and individual problem solving, but he had worked in an educational setting rather than an corporate setting and aside from visiting me at the office, he had not spent much time in an R & D Lab. . .