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The 2015 Project Management Symposium at the University of Maryland featured keynote speaker Dr. Ed Hoffman, NASA Chief Knowledge Officer. As the Chief Knowledge Officer, Hoffman’s role as a facilitator and champion for knowledge is to coordinate knowledge activities.

With his perspective as a top industry professional in project management, he shared with leaders about organizing project knowledge through strategy, community, governance, roles and responsibilities, and tools.

In Hoffman’s presentation “Creating Knowledge Services for Modern Technical Project Organizations: The REAL Knowledge Approach,” he discussed how organizations and practitioners can best leverage project knowledge and knowledge services to get things done in the modern complex project environment.

“Knowledge is the essential element for the creation of successful physical and virtual products and services,” Hoffman said. “It should be viewed as an organized set of content, skills, and capabilities gained through experience as well as through formal and informal learning that both organizations and practitioners apply to make sense of new and existing data and information.”

Hoffman’s role as the Chief Knowledge Officer for NASA gave the audience insight about different types of knowledge that are necessary for NASA’s mission success, ranging from highly codified scientific knowledge to technical craftsmanship to political knowledge.  Because of the changing environment for NASA, Hoffman stressed the importance of identifying challenges and opportunities and capturing and sharing knowledge.

Hoffman connected with the audience through his knowledge approach that can be used in project management. His works within NASA as well as with leaders of industry, academia, professional associations, and other government agencies is used to develop the agency’s capabilities in program and project management and engineering.

An adjunct faculty member at The George Washington University, Hoffman has written numerous journal articles, co-authored Shared Voyage: Learning and Unlearning from Remarkable Projects (NASA, 2005) and Project Management Success Stories: Lessons of Project Leaders (Wiley, 2000), and speaks frequently at conferences and associations.


Posted by Hannah Ku on October 27, 2015