440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111-2496
415 781 5700

Date: Wed, 01 Nov 2000 10:56:39 -0800

04 00067 61 00110101

Mr. Jack Park
Street address
Palo Alto, CA Zip

Subject:   Project Management

Dear Jack,

The exigencies of project management, referenced in your letter today, came up during the meeting at SRI on October 17, 2000, particularly the need for a complete solution to implement Knowledge Management.

As in marriage, there is no perfect solution to projects, but experience indicates some approaches offer a better chance to succeed.

KM combines AI, Cognitive Science, TQM and sound management practice. Project Management has developed a body of knowledge published by ISO and PMI that formalizes good management. There are two factors, however, that hamper implementation: time and biology. Information overload reduces the time available for good management. Human biology wires all of us to respond spontaneously, for example this email is spontaneous. Even when we have time for review and planning, we have to fight our inner selves (called diligence, discipline) to use that time for analysis, alignment, summary, organization, i.e., adding "intelligence" to information, in order to create useful knowledge, because the rewards of planning are deferred, which is at war with the short term perspective to "expedite." It's a dilemma.

Project audits, also discussed on October 17, 2000, provide a chance for budgeting time and dollars to perform good management, but this is an uphill effort because people do not have the tools and skills to augment innate capabilities for dealing with information overload. Further, people lack a process for incorporating notices, like your letter today, into the work stream. Put it all together and you get KM, i.e., tying experience and communication, to action. We can say it a thousand ways, for example, academics discuss semiotics in relation to inference, meaning and communication. Others speak of continual learning, and so on. Bottom line, it takes tools, skills and leadership, per NWO.

In any event, good article on PM. Thanks for keeping after this.



Rod Welch