A better Management of Knowledge is an actual need in the Oil&Gasindustry. In the past years, as a matter of fact, the amount of informationavailable to engineers and scientists increased exponentially thanks todevelopments of the ICT tools making therefore harder to handle it. On theother hand, industry practice is to keep the plant running, implyingthat decisions have to be made quickly and time is short to collect and examineall the possible information.
A solution to these challenges is Knowledge Management, which is defined asthe ensemble of processes that allow to capture, validate, consolidate,archive, re-use and diffuse knowledge in order to improve both businessprocesses and innovation processes. To make it happen, new ICT tools andmindsets need to be developed and exploited.
In Eni E&P Division, a Knowledge Management System (KMS) isoperating since 2004 with the aim at facilitating and speeding-up the sharingof best practices, lessons learned and other Know How across the organisation;several ICT tools are employed, such as forums, mailing lists, SharePointwebsites, webinars etc. The KMS is based on several Communities of Practice,which have the aim of conveying technical debate transversally to differentdisciplines and to the entire eni group, which is heterogeneous due togeographical location, culture, industrial sectors and discipline involved. Theresulting interactions, moreover, bring the advantage of making explicit (anddurable) all the personal knowledge of the members that would otherwise gotlost due to turnover and distance among the employees.
Taking into account the results of the first few years of implementation ofthe KM system in the engineering area, this paper will summarize the successesand lessons learned during the operating life of the Communities, to trace aroad map for the future work.
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