Context – where are we ?

Part of the Knowledge Curation series.

I’m occasionally asked “What’s the most re-usable bit of a model – where should I start?“.

It’s a fair question, and answer #1 is always The Glossary.

But answer #2 is a variation: it’s the overview of a project.

Sounds like an obscure piece of information: after all, surely the goals for that project, or it’s stakeholders are more interesting. But everyone who looks at the goals or the stakeholders would also benefit from a ‘project summary in one paragraph’. Or in 3 paragraphs. Or in one pretty diagram (not a model diagram – a diagram from the PowerPoint introduction presentation).

In turns out that these simple introductions get read, and re-used, time after time. Sure, they aren’t part of the formal deliverables from the project, but think how you’d introduce a new person to the project- you’d give them the ‘5 minute introduction’.

And for sure EVERY document you create about the project will have this ‘5 minute introduction’ right at the front, which is why I think it’s so useful.

I tend to have a range of ‘context’ information:

  1. Project/Program in one paragraph (no diagrams)
  2. …in 3 paragraphs
  3. …in one diagram

..and I might use (1) and (3) together, or (2) and (3).

No rocket science, but then much of knowledge curation is applied common sense.