Communicating, Measuring and Preserving Knowledge in Software Development

University dissertation from Ronneby : Blekinge Institute of Technology

Abstract: Software Engineering is a rapidly changing area, especially in terms of its technological foundation. The computer and information technology changes both the kind of systems to be built and the methods and tools available with which to build them. To be able to stay competitive there is no doubt that managing knowledge is very important to the corporate learning process. But even when companies are superior to their competitors technologically, they often find it hard to handle knowledge within the company. Knowledge is to know, to be aware of something. Knowledge that have been gained by action, by exercise of a profession, is the most valuable knowledge. Explicit knowledge can be expressed by words and numbers, while tacit knowledge is not easily expressed and thus hard to formalize and write down. This licentiate’s dissertation presents the results from efforts in communicating, measuring and preserving knowledge. Approaches for communicating knowledge to individuals with no or little knowledge within the software development domain are presented. Furthermore, experiences regarding knowledge management at team level (small group) are presented. Our study show that knowledge is hard to measure, and thus difficult to preserve in text or number format. Instead, we propose that you should build social networks and rely more on oral communication.