We Gave Them a Tool, but Hardly Anyone’s Using It! Untangling the Knowledge Management Dilemma at TPA

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CASE STUDY. Many organizations underestimate the challenges associated with the use of a knowledge management system (KMS). To better understand the nature of these challenges, this case describes the knowledge management efforts of a state governmental agency in the United States: Technology Project Authority (TPA).

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We Gave Them a Tool, but Hardly Anyone’s Using It! Untangling the Knowledge Management Dilemma at TPA: Abstract

Many organizations underestimate the challenges associated with the use of a knowledge management system (KMS). To better understand the nature of these challenges, this case describes the knowledge management efforts of a state governmental agency in the United States: Technology Project Authority (TPA). The case focuses on the three main phases of the TPA’s knowledge management strategy, between 2004 and 2008. Under pressure to improve its business processes to sustain its expertise in IT project management, TPA implemented two KMS during the period covered in the case. In the end, the second KMS was still not used as intended.

Giving our teaching objectives, students are asked to determine the characteristics of an organizational environment conducive to knowledge management activities, to evaluate the strategic alignment of the KMS, and to suggest a tailored method of analysis and reengineering for an integrated system such as the KMS needed at TPA.

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Teaching notes are available for teachers only. Contact the HEC Montréal Case Centre for more information.

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