Project Management, Information and Knowledge Exchange: Like Jekyll and Hyde

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We all know this: when people from different departments work together on a project, that's usually difficult. Reason: Banned routines and poor information management. How are you doing better?

Best of HR –®

Here writes for you:


Dr. Oliver Krone Best of HR –®Dr. Oliver Krone, an MBA in International Business Management, is an international expert in knowledge integration.


Problems of teamwork

Dr. Cornelia Topf yes, yes Best of HR –® already written about mixed leadership. Well, quite as optimistic as I do not see the cooperation of mixed teams unfortunately.

After all, an established teamwork often precludes existing well-established routines of cooperation. And when the project members can finally start working together, there are plenty of obstacles to communication.

Like Jekyll and Hyde

In the project work, the employee is asked to behave like Jekyll and Hyde - which, as we know, can not work.

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  1. Jekyll is the individual human being who strives to get along with his project colleagues rather than being labeled as socially cold and selfish.
  2. On the other side is Hyde. He is driven and vehemently by the affiliation to a certain department their requirements 1: 1 implement in the project.

In this conflict between Jekyll and Hyde, the project collaborator must perform a balancing act that allows him to fulfill both needs.

Balancing between the self-image and the determination of others

This balancing act between self-image and “external determination” becomes potential for willingness to change at Jekyll in the course of the project work. As is well known, Jekyll only sits on Hyde as a split-off part of himself.

In the course of the project, Jekyll learns that his needs can be considered socially workable by (smaller) behavioral adjustments by Hyde.

By entering the other participants, Jekyll can get his self-image, and is not depreciated as selfish and socially inactive in the project. Therefore, the prejudice is that an employee is not capable of project work.

The Chef pays the bonus, not the project leader

The problem is that Hyde's well-being is more important to Jekyll than his own. And Hyde feels good when the appreciation comes from the head of the department and not the project manager, because the bonus is indeed paid by the department.

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Successful project communication and knowledge sharing requires that Hyde adjust his behavior to the group without letting Jekyll “burn”.

Hyde is ostracized - standards arise

However, since all project employees tend to experience the same Jekyll and Hyde problem, the project group will in the long run mutually outlaw Hyde's behavior. A productive working climate can develop - in the project groups psychology the experts call this the standardization phase.

Project-specific standards that create trust are being developed. In the long term, this leads to a qualitatively improved information exchange.

trust is important

This does not affect the understanding of the expressed “knowledge” of the other project employees. Because if the "knowledge" stocks deviate too much - one could also say that the languages ​​the individual employees speak are too far apart - the "knowledge" communicated is lost.

In reality, the development of social norms to result-oriented behavior in projects is in a “feedback loop” with knowledge integration. Knowledge and information sharing depend on the individual project members trusting each other.

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The next step

This trust arises, among other things, from a behavior which promotes the project's objective. The next step is to clarify what knowledge integration is in the context of the project and how it actually goes.

Only one question needs to be answered before this explanation of knowledge integration, and there are many answers to this question that are partially mutually exclusive: what is knowledge?

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