The price of the missing knowledge and information
Pedro is a young yet experienced programmer that took a position as a project coordinator at an IT company. Pedro was replacing the previous project manager in charge of one important company project. He was excited to start working in this reputable company, and in a highly interesting and challenging project. He was going to coordinate a team of programmers but there were some challenges: the project had already started, there were some challenging errors to be solve, there were some new members in the team.
When starting his job, Pedro faced his main obstacle. There was no information on the work done so far and the team members were not aware of the work done by those already out of the team and the company. Although overwhelmed, it was time to do his job and avoid the past mistakes.
Pedro spent weeks trying to understand the work done, discussing the project with his team colleagues, trying to figure out how pieces of the programme were developed, redoing steps of the work already done, working on solutions for the programme errors and so on.
However, it was clear for Pedro, that there was no space to repeat the mistakes of the past jeopardizing the company’s product and reputation. The lack of shared information and knowledge could not be part of his teamwork.
To address the problem, Pedro created an online journal where every single step of the programme was documented and accessible to all the team. Procedures, errors, solutions implemented, etc. were all registered in this journal. With this, not only all of those working in the project would have access to the work, information, and knowledge produced by everyone in the team, but, also, this solution become a collaborative tool were everyone could support each other and, above all, anyone that would start working in the programme would find all the required information to complete the job. The tool, with all its best and worst practices, would support not only the development of the current project but would also be available to support future projects, providing ideas, information and knowledge that could be suitable for new projects.
If the creation of a mechanism to share ideas, information and knowledge across the project team was a good practice for the company, the previous inexistence of any type of sharing practice cost valuable time to the company and almost put at risk an important project.