Managing Organization's Knowledge

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Knowledge management the ability of an organization to create, share and use the collective
knowledge of its products, processes and people to increase workplace productivity and reduce
activities that reinvent the wheel is being moved to the forefront of many corporate agendas.
As firms seek to build competitive advantage in increasingly competitive markets, they are
turning to a previously untapped resource: their employees’ knowledge.

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Managing Organization's Knowledge

  1. 1. + Managing Organization’s Knowledge: Basics of Knowledge Management www.greenleafinstitute.com
  2. 2. + The Global Knowledge Economy  3 forces are changing the rules of business and national competitiveness at this moment :  Globalization – Global reach of any companies with global products  Information/Knowledge Intensity – increase of knowledge intensive business, more innovative products and services  Networking and Connectivity – Social media, networked forums
  3. 3. + New Business Ideas  The rate of technological change has greatly increased over the past thirty years.  Advancement of technology, internal and mobile technologies are transforming the economy with the vision of perfect competition as a reality. And this pressure makes organizations think of new business ideas ( heavily focusing on human capital) as such:  Change management  Learning and unlearning  Innovation & Creativity  Knowledge Management
  4. 4. + New Business Ideas  At present, organizations find it difficult to gain competitiveness giving prime focus to all their tangible assets.  It is now clear that organizations need a much broader range of resources to be able to compete and succeed in the current competitive market. This is proven by the fact that a majority of the organizations are giving a lot of emphasis to their intangible assets- knowledge, know-how, human capital’s skills and experiences.  Therefore, the need for lifelong learning- where individuals and the organization as a whole need to learn on a continual basis and respond differently to the market needs.
  5. 5. + What is Knowledge Management (KM) Knowledge Management, in short form, called, KM is a management discipline that focuses on enhancing knowledge creation and dissemination in an organization. The idea is- leverage and use organizational knowledge assets to enhance effectiveness and better decision making. Gartner Group (1996) defined KM as “a discipline that promotes an integrated approach to identifying, capturing, evaluating, retrieving and sharing all of an enterprise’s information assets. Delphi Consulting Group says, knowledge management is the leveraging of the collective wisdom of people to increase responsiveness and innovation.
  6. 6. + Why Managing Organization’s Knowledge (1/2) Effective management of knowledge can add value to an organization in various ways :  KM enables an organization to create, store, filter and distribute structured and unstructured data and information  KM helps organization for effective search of information/documents and reduce time to retrieve the right information.  Sharing knowledge of past mistakes and lessons learnt can help an organization to reduce duplication of work and make better future decision.
  7. 7. + Why Managing Organization’s Knowledge (2/2)  Knowledge of best practices across the organization can increase staff productivity, maintain standards, reduce the learning curve of the new employees.  KM helps the organization to locate the internal experts and increase the transfer of knowledge.  Knowledge management can improve customer satisfaction by focusing and creating customer-preference database and share the customer needs across the organization to provide better services. Organizations can increase the financial value by treating people’s knowledge as an asset similar to traditional assets like inventory and capital facilities. --U.S Department of Navy, 2001
  8. 8. + The Knowledge Hierarchy The data is assumed to be simple isolated High facts. WISDOM Value When such facts are put into a context, and KNOWLEDGE combined within a Meaning structure, information emerges. INFORMATION When information is given meaning by Low interpreting DATA it, information becomes knowledge.
  9. 9. + Knowledge Types in the Organization Personal Experiences Scientific Formulas Codes, Manuals KNOWLEDGE Know-how TYPES Presentations Reports Financial Data Databases Understandings Organizational Insights Structure
  10. 10. + Knowledge Categories – I. Explicit Knowledge and II. Tacit Knowledge • Can be expressed and shared in the form of data, Codes, Manuals scientific formula, Personal Explicit specification, and Experiences such like. Presentations • Can be processed, Reports transmitted and stored relatively Know-how easily. Financial Info KNOWLEDGE Insights Databases • Highly personal and hard to formalize. Understandings Tacit Scientific • It is deeply rooted in Formulas action, commitment, ideas, values and emotions.
  11. 11. + Knowledge Management Process – 4 major activities Knowledge Creation of new knowledge; best Creation practices, innovation etc. Categorization of knowledge (taxonomy), Knowledge presentation of Knowledge ( portal, Organization website) Knowledge Face-to-face and online knowledge sharing policies, Sharing tools, processes Usage of past knowledge to Knowledge make new decisions, lessons learnt are shared application
  12. 12. + Knowledge Management is the Convergence of People, Process & Technology PEOPLE  Sharing/Attitudes PROCESS  Culture  KM Roadmap  Teamwork  Policies  Motivation  Workflows  Communities KM  Best Practices  Standards  Business Intelligence  Learning TECHNOLOGY  Databases KM is 80% people  Data Mining related management  Intranet/Groupware and 20% Technology  Decision Support system management.  Networks
  13. 13. + How to start a KM program in an organization (1/4)  Step 1- Identify what business/organizational problem(s) Knowledge Management program is going to solve!  Then align the knowledge management initiative with the overall business goal.  Step 2- Develop a business case for how the KM program is going to address the specific problem that was identified in step 1. This business case will help to generate management buy in.  Once management agrees with the initiative, a sponsor ( a high level management official) will be identified who will oversee and be accountable for the implementation of the program .
  14. 14. + How to start a KM program in an organization (2/4)  Step 3- Conduct a Knowledge Audit  Knowledge audit will help to understand the critical knowledge need to solve the identified problem ( step 1), where are those knowledge currently located, who owns this knowledge. The audit will find out if any critical knowledge is currently not available in the organization ( a knowledge gap) and how to find them ( by creating new knowledge or partnering with external experts?)  Step 4- Conduct a small-scale cultural audit  The cultural audit will identify the various knowledge sharing culture and behavior currently exists in the organization. Understanding this culture will help to design the change management component under the KM program.
  15. 15. + How to start a KM program in an organization (3/4)  Step 5- Develop a KM strategy based on the findings of the knowledge audit Start with some quick wins  The knowledge and cultural audit will figure out where to put the focus- is it on the management and sharing of currently available but distributed knowledge assets or creation of new knowledge? KM strategy needs to be designed based on those findings.  Step 6- Start with some quick wins  Knowledge management is a difficult program as the ROI/Value creation/Impact of the program really takes a long time to realize. Therefore, it is important to come up with KM quick wins ( small budget, short term, easily implementable yet good impact projects), implement them and get everyone’s buy-in the organization.
  16. 16. + How to start a KM program in an organization (4/4)  Step 7- Develop a KM system, if not available  A technology platform is important to store and share the critical knowledge identified in step 1. The KM system can be developed in stages- using the simplest tool available. Even e-mails can be considered a good KM tool to start with. There are many open source software currently available that can be used to store and share knowledge assets.  Step 8- Measure Performance  A performance matrix needs to be developed to monitor the implementation of the KM program as well as the value creation/impact out of the program. Well defined performance indicators will help the knowledge manager to keep track of the goal of the program, i.e. solving the business problem ( step 1).
  17. 17. + Developing a KM Strategy (1/4)  Scenario:  Company A is a car manufacturing company. One of its business /management problems that can be solved by KM intervention is- many (45%) of the senior staff are retiring within next 5-6 years. There is a huge influx of new, young staff in the company who are not well-equipped with the right knowledge and skill to carry out the task.  The question is- how would a KM program address this problem?  After an initial knowledge audit the knowledge manager found that much of the company’s valuable knowledge are not stored and shared in a central location. He also did a cultural audit and figures out that senior staff are not habituated to regularly share their knowledge.
  18. 18. + Developing a KM Strategy (2/4)  The KM strategic focus-  The knowledge manager should focus on 2 areas in the strategy- I. How to collect, store and share those critical knowledge with everyone in the organization II. How to reduce the learning curve of the new staff Development of projects to address both the areas has to be done in stages.
  19. 19. + Developing a KM Strategy (3/4)  The KM Projects  To address the issue in area no. I- The knowledge manager can do the following: - Develop a simple KM system/platform - Collect the knowledge assets from various sources - Categorize them and upload accordingly - Train people on how to use the system - Develop policies on the usage - Communicate regularly with the importance of the system to better manage organizational knowledge
  20. 20. + Developing a KM Strategy (4/4)  The KM Projects  To address the issue in area no. II- The knowledge manager can do the following: - Introduce a Community of Practice ( CoP) program where the senior staff act as mentors to the junior staff and share knowledge - Announce Rewards and Recognition ( R&R) system- to motivate people to share - Expert knowledge transfer program- to capture critical knowledge and experiences of the retiring senior staff through interviews, discussion forum etc and share them with others by the KM system.
  21. 21. + Some KM tools (1/4)  After Action Review  After Action Review (AAR) is a tool to identify what has actually happened in an activity. It is sort of quick reviewing the performance and gap of any activities. There are normally 4 questions to ask in an AAR:  What was supposed to happen/goals/objectives?  What actually happened/real outcome?  Is there any differences, why?  What to learn from this action ?  When to use- after any event, meeting, project or program; with a group of people.
  22. 22. + Some KM tools (2/4)  Storytelling  Storytelling is about telling stories of the journey of an organization/project or event. It is about sharing facts with examples of real life experiences. Storytelling is a powerful tool as it gives a human touch to the information sharing, rather than just presenting data, reports.  Storytelling can be used for many reasons, for example:  To tell the staff about the success and failure of a project  To convey the personal dexterity that the organization’s top management had shown in dealing with a situation  To engage staff in deep discussion on organization’s challenges and opportunities.
  23. 23. + Some KM tools (3/4)  Community of Practice  Community of Practice , in short form, CoP is a group of people who share a common business objective, passion about a subject and who wants to connect with each other to enhance personal knowledge and/or develop new organizational knowledge.  Communities of Practice can be formal or informal.  Formal CoPs are assigned with KPIs/deliverables by the management and are officially formed with concrete goals and roadmap.  Informal CoPs are mostly formed by people who are interested to deepen their knowledge in certain areas connecting with other experts in the organization. Informal CoPs do not necessarily be bonded with certain roadmap or goals.  CoPs can be highly effective provided they have been designed properly with reward mechanism.
  24. 24. + Some KM tools (4/4)  Knowledge Café  Knowledge café is a simple, relaxing method to conduct business discussions, brainstorming. Like a Café setting, knowledge café ( also called, World Café) invites participants to sit in few circles to start a discussion topic. There is a facilitator, who opens up the topic, explain the purpose of the café and rule of discussion-  Depending on the depth of the topic, a Knowledge Café can last for hours. According to the rule set by the facilitator, there can be breaks after every 20-30 minutes where the participants are asked to change their 1st group and join another group. After 3- 4 rounds of breaks and changing of groups, participants are advised to share the overall discussion findings to the entire group. This process allows people to share their ideas with almost everyone in the room.
  25. 25. + Knowledge Management Useful links ….  An interesting video on KM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WM0G_WiN7vg  Knowledge Management website- www.kmtalk.net  Knowledge Management blog- www.kmtalk.net/blog
  26. 26. + THANK YOU. Copyright: www.greenleafinstitute.com

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