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Create Knowledge – Lean Principle #3

Welcome to the third article in the series on Lean Principles.

What does Knowledge mean? Does it mean documenting everything? I am afraid the answer is no.

Albert Einstein said “Knowledge is experience, everything else is just information.”

Learning from experience is vital for every business. Any time we fail, if we have learned something from it, it was probably worth it. But if an organization does not learn and manage its knowledge as a critical asset, they are wasting their time and money.

The Agile Manifesto maintains that value comes from “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools” and “Working software over comprehensive documentation” (i.e. “create knowledge” in Lean Thinking really means knowledge, not just documenting and creating records).

Knowledge is managed in Agile and Lean Thinking by using Cross-Functional Teams and doing Retrospectives in each iteration. This way the whole team learns from experience, and every cycle they evolve closer towards excellence.

In many cases, we frequently find efforts to eliminate dependence on individuals and perform better knowledge management processes. Of course, I believe in that (improving processes). However, there is a fact: knowledge finally and always resides in individuals. Good processes are very helpful, but they can never replace good individuals.

Individuals are not just passive objects and a destination to where information is transferred. Knowledge is acquired through critical thinking and thereby developed by active and engaged people.

The creation of knowledge is a responsibility of the whole team and also of each individual. The Team in Agile methodologies take responsibility for the project’s management and final result. They are self-managed and self-organized, and this active approach is critical for creating knowledge.

How do you create knowledge in your organization?

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Author: angelberniz (All Rights Reserved by the author)

Source: Original Text (based upon first hand knowledge)

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