Experience Capitalisation Process

DEFINITION OF EXPERIENCE CAPITALISATION

“To capitalize means to transform an experience into shareable knowledge”

(Pierre de Zutter, Des histoires, des savoirs, des hommes : l’expérience est un capital, FPH, Paris, 1994, p. 36)

KNOW-HOW3000 is HORIZONT3000’s Knowledge Management programme. It aims to provide the tools for its partner organisations, employees and Member Organisations that facilitate learning from
their own and other relevant experiences in order to increase the effectiveness and impact of their own work.

Experience is the tacit knowledge that our employees, project teams and organisations gather when doing their work. Experiences are hidden treasures in organisations and are not always explicitly shared within teams and with others.

By systematically reflecting on their experiences, learning from their positive and negative practice as well as by getting access to other experiences, HORIZONT3000 fosters organisational learning. That way partner organisations are encouraged to adapt their practice and methods and to improve their services for their target groups.

In order to share learnings from experiences, capitalisation and documentation of experiences is helpful. Capitalising experiences means to collectively reconstruct and document what has happened, reflect on it and draw lessons learnt.

HORIZONT3000 tries to promote participatory ways of experience capitalisation, as learning from experience is enriched if more points of views are integrated. Participatory Experience Capitalisation means that representatives of stakeholders involved in an action and/or experience are
involved in the capitalisation process. The method “Systematisation of experiences” is one participatory method that HORIZONT3000 promotes within its KNOW-HOW3000 experience capitalisation process. Further methods are described below.

CATEGORIES OF EXPERIENCES

The following categories are defined and supported within the KNOW-HOW3000 knowledge management system in order to achieve know-how sharing and mutual learning. All the experiences capitalised and shared within KNOW-HOW3000 imply the potential to learn from it – both for the organisation that has made the experience as well as for other organisations working in similar fields.

GOOD PRACTICES

“Good Practice” refers to a relevant positive experience. Documenting and sharing what has been successful is key to prevent others from reinventing the wheel or committing the same mistake.

LEARNING FROM FAILURE

“Learning from Failure” refers to a relevant negative experience. HORIZONT3000 believes that failures or negative experiences can teach organisations a lot. Focusing on what has been learnt out of a failure rather than evaluating who has done something wrong implies a huge potential to learn.

THE PROCESS: HOW TO START A SHARING AND LEARNING PROCESS WITHIN YOUR ORGANISATION, PROJECT OR TEAM

In order to capitalise an experience Partner Organisations have to follow 4 steps. Each step might involve different stakeholders and different methods of documentation and dissemination. The experience capitalisation process starts with identifying potential experiences and ends with reintegrating the learnings into the daily work.

1. IDENTIFICATION AND ASSESSMENT

  • A Partner Organisation, Technical Advisor and/or HORIZONT3000 employee (from a regional office or from the headquarter in Vienna) suggests a relevant topic/ an experience either to the Sector Coordinators or to the knowledge management desk at HORIZONT3000.
  • Knowledge Management team, Country and/or Regional Offices screen learning needs of Partner Organisations and call/search for experiences, e.g. via KNOWLYMPICS or by contacting organisations directly that have experience in a certain field.

2. DOCUMENTATION AND CAPITALISATION

  • If the experience is not yet capitalised and documented, the Partner Organisation and/or Technical Advisor and/or HORIZONT3000 proposes a method on how to capitalise the experience, if possible in a participatory way.
  • HORIZONT3000 and Partner Organisation decide on the method how to capitalise the experience and how to finance this process.
  • The “Questionnaire for experience capitalisation” is completed, which serves as a summary for a possible/future sharing of this experience; support for this step is offered by HORIZONT3000.
  • The experience description sheet (“Experience in Detail”) and a one-pager (“Experience at a Glance”) is prepared by HORIZONT3000.

3. SHARING KNOWLEDGE

The experience is shared via the KNOW-HOW3000 Internet Platform, our newsletter, partners’ homepages, regional or international sharing events (conferences, exchange visits, “EoE”, etc.), e-mail, or any other way.

4. ADOPTION, ADAPTION AND APPLICATION

  • Partner Organisations, Technical Advisors and HORIZONT3000 apply learnings from failure and good practices in their projects/ programmes
  • HORIZONT3000 monitors, whether experiences and good practices have been adopted by other (Partner) Organisations and, whether they have been adapted and applied. This is necessary in order to learn from the whole learning and sharing process.

VISUALISATION OF THE EXPERIENCE CAPITALISATION PROCESS

Experience Capitalisation Process

PARTICIPATORY METHODS FOR EXPERIENCE CAPITALISATION

Partner Organisations that want to share their experiences with other organisations within the KNOW-HOW3000 network, can use a participatory method before filling out the Questionnaire for Experience Capitalisation. The following methods can be helpful in order to capitalise experiences in a participatory way.

  • Storytelling refers to the use of stories or narratives as a communication tool to value, share, and capitalise knowledge and know-how of individuals.
    For further information on storytelling click here  and here.
  • After Action Review is a tool to facilitate assessments by bringing together a team to discuss an activity or project openly and honestly.
    For further information click here  and here.
  • Appreciative Inquiry is a method to facilitate positive change in organisations. Its basic assumption is uncomplicated: every organisation has something that works well.
    For further information click here and here.
  • Focus Group Discussion is a method to gather people from similar backgrounds or experiences to discuss a specific topic of interest/ a specific experience.
    For further information click here.

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