A case study on the adoption of knowledge management by the
Corporate Projects Division of Suncorp.
Presented by Cory Banks (KM Specialist) to the 2007 KM Australia
Conference, 23 July 2007.
UK Public Footpaths
• Public Rights of Way, Permissive Routes, Queens Highway
• Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000
• Owners cannot obstruct (fence, gate, stile) without permission and
must comply with standards
What if we had “Public Footpaths” in our organisations. What if we had
to maintain access to our knowledge so anyone from your organisation
could travel along the footpath and discover what they need?
• Setting the Scene
• KM Program
Who is Suncorp?
• Top 15 ASX
• Financial Services
• Allfinanz model – Banking, Insurance & Investments
• Headquartered in Brisbane, QLD. 17,000 staff throughout Australia &
• Recently merged with Promina.
Corporate Projects Division
• Enterprise Project Management Office (PMO)
• Portfolio Management Responsibility
• Program & Project Management, Business Analysis, Change
Management and User Acceptance Testing Capabilities.
• Involved with high complexity, high risk, group wide projects.
• 6070 projects p.a. – $200$300m
• 80% Contract Delivery Staff
• Drivers – Customer Feedback – Professional Services Model
• Early 2005 Part of CPD Realignment Program External Assessment of KM Maturity
• Findings presented in July 2005 Maturity level of 1 – KM by Accident
• Recommended appointing a KM Specialist Provided a list of 24 projects to be undertaken to
• Recruitment – Meeting with MOR (General Manager). Leading the drive for KM. Came from
consulting firm background and has seen and experienced the benefits.
• Started Dec 2005 – Good time of year to start. Christmas slowdown and people available.
• Given the Investigations Report containing a plan to deliver the 24 projects Took a step back.
Set about designing KM Strategy.
• Research – What have others done? Models / Frameworks Looking to find what was
suitable for the situation.
• Strategic Alignment Customer Focus: Consultation, perceptions, priorities People Systems,
not technology “Quick Wins”
• Looking for support – Divisional Strategy, Departmental Strategy, Corporate Strategy
• Divisional Strategy Institutionalise Corporate Knowledge
• Corporate Strategic Drivers Execution Excellence, High Performing Teams, Group
• Code of Conduct Core Competencies Building Capability
• Identified Leaders Perceptions – What does KM mean to you? What are your expectations?
• Balance – (Learning Before, Learning During, Learning After)
• Foundation Alignment with other programs Quick Wins
• Two Phases Establish (foundation) and Grow
• Nine Initiatives in the first 12 months
• Eight Initiatives in the second 12 months
Relationship of Program Activities
Previously mentioned balance. Balance across Learning Before,
Learning During and Learning After as described by Geoff Parcell and
Chris Collison in their book Learning to Fly (www.learningtofly.org) .
This slide is an animated walkthru of the cycle.
• People – Culture – Time to develop self versus time to develop others.
Acceptable to ask for help, share and support others. Not a sign of weakness.
• No budget. Sole resource. So what do you do? You borrow, you steal. Learn
• Don’t reinvent the wheel. Look for what is already there, what’s working
Internal and External
• Communities Networks
• Document repositories Skills register
• Induction/Mentoring program
• PIR Process
• It’s not cheating, it’s working smarter.
• Rule No. 1 – Lead by example. Practice what you Preach. Show the value.
Set the standard.
What did we find and reuse?
• Mentoring Program
• Wiki / Intranet
• Explicit Resources
• Communities “in the wild”
What did we have to create/deliver?
• Existing Test Forum, informal Project Officers Group and sporadic PM
• Working with stakeholders. Supporting ‘Owners’. Strategic Alignment.
• Rebooted PM Community Kicked off Change Management
Community Working on BA Community.
• Facetoface gatherings supported by intranet site, wiki and email list.
• People reticent to ask for help. Relying on personal networks/trusted
• People with issues contact KM Specialist instead of community.
• Core members see the value.
• Leader behaviour effects participation
• Learning Before
• Scalable Activity
• Workshop based on Peer Assist model developed by Collison &
POST IMPLEMENTATION REVIEWS
• Occurrence determined by personal preference
• 2 week to 12 month activity
• External Facilitator
• Survey and Interview Based
• Scores produced
• Blurred with Closure activities (2 similar surveys)
• Report required customer approval
• Findings ‘filed’
• Scalable, collaborative approach – AAR. Scale E.g. SDP, APRA
• Narrative Capture – Dave Snowden (Cognitive Edge)
• Duration massively reduced – 2 days
• Focussed on producing Improvements and Learnings
• Using Learnings
• Sense of Closure 10
• Complimenting the PM method with Knowledge Assets.
• An improvement in KM Maturity to Level 2.
• Three Communities of Practice related to capability areas and another
one on the way.
• Embedded AAR and Headstart activities.
• Improved Induction Program – recognised as one of the most
comprehensive in the organisation.
• Mentoring Program recently launched
• KM recognised in staff KRA’s (KPI’s)
• Improved access to external knowledge sources – Corporate
Executive Board, Human Systems Network
• Supporting repositories due for launch in August (Lessons Learned
Library & Expertise Locator Sharepoint)
• Other parts of the organisation asking for help
• Look at it from changing Behaviour / Culture
• There is no one way to do KM. Get across a few different ways and
work out what is going to be suitable in your situation.
• Find what is already working in your environment and see what
makes it tick.
• Include those you are going to effect in the design & decision making.
• People before Technology
• Don’t try to do it all at once. Pace yourself.
• Ask “Has this been done before?”. Learn from previous efforts.
Practice what you preach.
• Leader Behaviour People follow the Leader.
• More people offer than ask for help