Knowledge Strategy Project
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Knowledge Strategy Project

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Example of a knowledge strategy project for a company in the enterprise IP communications apps sector. (Grade = 100%)

Example of a knowledge strategy project for a company in the enterprise IP communications apps sector. (Grade = 100%)

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Knowledge Strategy Project Knowledge Strategy Project Document Transcript

  •   BCI  Knowledge  Strategy   Mor  Sela,  IKNS  4301,  December  8th  2013   Table  Of  Content   Introduction   ....................................................................................................................................  2   1   Organizational  Context   .............................................................................................................  2   1.1   About  BCI  ...........................................................................................................................  2   1.2   Mission,  Vision,  and  Values  ...............................................................................................  2   1.3   Business  Strategy  ...............................................................................................................  3   1.4   Key  Strategic  Challenges  ....................................................................................................  3   1.5   Organizational  Structure   ....................................................................................................  4   2   Assessment  of  Current  Knowledge  Services  ............................................................................  5   2.1   Communities  of  Practice   ....................................................................................................  5   2.2   Content  Repositories  .........................................................................................................  6   2.3   Information  Technology  and  Communication  Infrastructure  ............................................  7   2.4   Information  and  Knowledge  Flow  .....................................................................................  7   2.5   Knowledge  Services  Value  Map  .........................................................................................  9   3   Recommendations  .................................................................................................................  10   3.1   Business  Strategy  .............................................................................................................  10   3.2   KM  Vision  .........................................................................................................................  10   3.3   KM  Mission  ......................................................................................................................  11   3.4   Knowledge  Values  ...........................................................................................................  11   3.5   KM  Ownership  .................................................................................................................  11   3.6   KM  Solutions  ....................................................................................................................  11   3.7   Risks  &  Challenges  ...........................................................................................................  14   3.8   Roadmap   ..........................................................................................................................  15   4   Conclusion  ..............................................................................................................................  18   Appendix  1:  Lessons  Learned  ..........................................................  Error!  Bookmark  not  defined.   Knowledge  Strategy  Project  (wo  the  appendix).docx     1   Columbia  University  
  •   Introduction   “If  HP  knew  what  HP  knows,  we  would  be  three  times  more  profitable”  said  HP’s  former  CEO   Lew  Platt1.  Knowledge  is  arguably  the  most  valuable  asset  of  most  organizations  in  the  21st   century.  To  maximize  the  value  of  this  asset,  companies  should  become  intentional  in  the  way   they  capture,  develop,  share,  and  effectively  use  their  accumulated  organizational  knowledge.   The   objective   of   this   paper   is   to   recommend   a   knowledge   strategy   for   BCI   that   will   support   the   organization’s  strategic  objectives  and  contribute  to  its  long-­‐term  competitiveness.   The  paper  starts  with  context  about  the  company  and  its  overall  business  strategy  today;  and   an  assessment  of  BCI’s  current  status  as  it  related  to  knowledge  management.   The   core   of   the   document   is   a   recommended   knowledge   strategy   that   meets   the   above-­‐ mentioned   objective.   By   applying   scholarly   research,   analysis,   and   insights   from   the   IKNS   classes,   reading   and   discussions   -­‐-­‐   I   recommend   high-­‐level   strategic   guidelines   (KM   Vision,   Mission,  and  Values)  as  well  as  practical  solutions  for  BCI’s  top  three  most  burning  challenges   related   to   KM.   For   each   specific   knowledge   solution,   the   paper   predicts   potential   business   impact   (value)   and   maps   the   strategic   objective   it   aims   to   address.   In   addition,   the   paper   addresses  the  risks  and  challenges  associated  with  the  recommendations.   1 Organizational  Context   1.1 About  BCI   Best   Communications,   Inc.   (BCI)*   is   a   venture-­‐funded   company   that   provides   telecommunication   solutions.   The   company   has   developed   unique   technology   that   enables   delivering  high  quality  communications  over  unstable  networks  (such  as  the  public  internet)  at   a   lower   cost,   compare   to   legacy   systems.   The   company’s   main   offering   is   a   platform   that   enables  users  to  communicate  and  collaborate  visually  using  a  range  of  devices  -­‐-­‐  from  personal   devices   such   as   PCs,   tablets   and   smartphones   to   large   room   systems.   In   addition   to   this   enterprise   offering,   the   company   licenses   its   Software   Development   Kit   (SDK)   to   3rd   party   developers.   The   company   has   280   employees,   ~35%   of   which   are   based   at   the   corporate   headquarters   in   NY,   ~15%   at   the   CA   office,   and   the   rest   are   spread   around   the   US,   Canada,   Europe  and  Asia  Pacific.     *   To   protect   the   confidentiality   of   the   company,   I’m   using   a   fictive   name   and   have   changed   information  that  could  make  it  easy  to  identify  the  company’s  identity.   1.2 Mission,  Vision,  and  Values     The  company  does  not  have  a  stated  mission,  nor  does  it  have  stated  vision  or  values.  However,   when   I   asked   director-­‐level   managers   at   BCI   about   their   perception   of   these   attributes,   I   got   fairly  consistent  answers  that  allowed  me  to  define  the  following  implicit  definitions:   Knowledge  Strategy  Project  (wo  the  appendix).docx     2   Columbia  University  
  •   ! ! ! Mission:   Making   visual   communications   both   affordable   and   usable,   to   enable   its   widespread   global   adoption   as   an   enabler   for   more   engaged   telecommunication   among   workers  and  people  in  general.   Vision:   A   world   in   which   visual   communications   are   as   prevalent   as   voice   communications.   Values:   The   key   value   that   uniquely   represents   BCI   is   innovation.   BCI   prides   itself   for   being  innovative  both  technologically  and  from  a  business  model  perspective.     1.3 Business  Strategy   BCI   is   a   latecomer   to   the   communications   space.   IP-­‐based   communications   has   been   around   since  the  late  90’s  and  is  currently  dominated  by  Cisco  who  has  more  than  50%  of  the  market.   However,   BCI’s   unique   technology   and   pricing   structure   has   the   potential   of   disrupting   the   current   status   quo   and   capture   a   significant   market   share.   Given   this   technology-­‐based   advantage,  and  given  BCI  broad  (implicit)  mission  statement,  BCI  has  decided  to  compete  head-­‐ to-­‐head   at   all   market   segments   with   the   incumbent   communication   players.   Given   its   competitors   are   far   larger   and   have   a   well-­‐established   market   presence,   BCI   is   trying   to   completely  disrupt  the  market  by  creating  a  unique  offering  that  none  of  the  incumbent  players   can  offer  today:  Better  user  experience  at  a  significantly  lower  cost*.     BCI   is   trying   to   penetrate   all   possible   market   segments   concurrently   –   SMB,   large   enterprise,   healthcare,   financial,   education,   government,   defense,   service-­‐providers,   and   app   developers;   and  in  all  global  territories.  Moreover,  in  addition  to  targeting  multiple  market  segments,  the   company  product  offering  is  very  wide,  providing  applications  for  mobile  devices  (iOS,  Android),   PC   (win,   mac,   Linux),   multiple   room   systems,   SDK   and   APIs.   In   my   opinion,   this   strategy   is   extremely  risky  for  a  small  company  who  enters  an  established  market.  This  strategy  of  going   after   all   possible   market   segments   can   be   explained   by   Porter’s   “The   Failure   to   Choose”   trap   and  “The  Growth  Trap”  (Porter,  1996)2.  The  main  risk  is  that  by  targeting  on  so  many  segments,   given   its   relative   small   size,   the   company   is   unable   to   fully   satisfy   any   of   the   segments   it   serves   and  is  prone  to  jeopardize  its  credibility  in  the  marketplace.   *Note:   by   “cost”   I   mean   Total   Cost   of   Ownership   (TCO),   not   just   the   direct   cost   of   buying/licensing   the   product/software.   This   includes   cost   of   operations   and   network   requirements.   1.4 Key  Strategic  Challenges   Unfortunately  I  did  not  get  a  chance  to  interview  the  CEO  for  this  project.  Instead,  I  asked  the   Director-­‐level  mangers  which  I  interviewed  the  following  question:  “In  your  opinion,  if  I  asked   the  CEO  to  identify  key  strategic  challenges  that  could  be  addressed  by  KM,  what  would  be  his   answer?”   The   answers   were   quite   consistent   with   the   following   four   challenges   clearly   being   the  top  priority:   ! ! Agility:  Outperform  the  competition  by  having  agile  product  development  and  quick   response  to  the  ever-­‐changing  market  dynamics.     Usability:  Improve  product  usability.   Knowledge  Strategy  Project  (wo  the  appendix).docx     3   Columbia  University  
  •   ! ! Quality:  Improve  product  quality.   Reduce  Cost:  Look  for  ways  to  reduce  the  cost  of  the  product  and  the  total  cost  of   ownership  (TCO)  by  customers.   1.5 Organizational  Structure   BCI’s   structure   is   fairly   typical   for   late-­‐stage   VC-­‐funded   technology   start-­‐ups.   To   save   cost   and  be  nimbler,  BCI  consolidates  few  typical  officer  functions  such  as  COO,  CIO  and  CHRO,   having  the  CFO  effectively  filling  all  these  functions.   The   structure   is   designed   in   a   way   that   allows   a   small   company   to   target   customers   worldwide  and  in  multiple  vertical  industries  in  a  fairly  efficient  way.     The  main  challenge  with  this  structure  is  that  for  the  most  part,  only  sales-­‐related  functions   are   distributed.   This   structure   does   not   allow   for   high   quality   localization   of   the   product,   its   marketing  and  the  professional  services  that  enterprise  customers  expects  to  get  with  it.     BCI’s  plan  is  to  modify  its  structure,  adding  more  capabilities  to  its  global  centers  following   the  next  round  of  financing  (most  likely  an  IPO).   Figure  1  -­‐  Organizational  Structure   CEO   General  Counsel   SVP  Engineering   SVP  Product   Management   SVP  Sales   SVP  Sales   Operalons  &   Customer  Support   CMO   CFO   Product  1  R&D   Product   Management   USA   Sales  Operalons   Product   Markelng   Finance   Product  2  R&D   Program   Management   EMEA   Produclon   Field  Markelng   IT   Product  3  R&D   Technical   Publicalons   APAC   Customer  Support   PR   HR   Product  4  R&D   QA   ROW   Sales  Engineering   Adoplon  Services   Business   Development   Channels   Verlcals     Knowledge  Strategy  Project  (wo  the  appendix).docx     4   Columbia  University  
  •   2 Assessment  of  Current  Knowledge  Services   BCI  does  not  have  any  official  KM  function,  nor  does  it  have  defined  any  of  its  activities  as  a   “KM  practice”.  That  said,  here  is  a  sample  list  of  KM  practices  that  are  taking  place  at  the   company  (terminology  and  taxonomy  are  based  on  SMR  Briefing,  Sep  2012)3:   2.1 Communities  of  Practice   ! ! ! Formal   Product  Management  &  Marketing  Forum:  Weekly  meeting  (using  videoconferencing)   with  all  members  of  both  the  NY-­‐based  product  management  team  and  the  CA-­‐based   product  marketing  team.  The  objective  is  to  exchange  information,  keep  each  team   updated  about  activities  of  the  other  team,  and  brainstorm  ideas  for  the  overall   improvement  of  the  product  and  its  marketing.   Semi-­‐Formal:     Yammer  Groups:  BCI  IT  has  launched  Yammer  for  all  employees  to  collaborate  internally   without  any  governance  or  guidance  about  how  to  use  it.  The  Marketing  team  and  few   marketing-­‐oriented  employees  from  other  departments  use  this  tool  to  discuss   marketing  ideas,  share  relevant  industry  news,  as  well  as  some  casual  “water-­‐cooler-­‐ like”  discussions.   Informal/Social:     Lunch  Groups:  During  lunchtime,  few  unstructured/social  COPs  would  typically  gather  at   the  cafeteria  or  in  the  company’s  meeting  rooms.  While  it  is  common  for  these  COPs  to   group  based  on  the  work  department/team,  few  of  them  would  include  employees  from   different  disciplines  in  the  organization.  It  is  a  fairly  effective  forum  to  share  knowledge   across  organizational  silos.   The  above  communities  of  practice  meet  Donald  Hislop’s  criteria4,  i.e.  they  develop  1)  a  shared   body  of  common  knowledge,  2)  a  shared  sense  of  collective  identity,  3)  some  overlapping   values.  The  traits  and  benefits  of  these  practices  are  summarized  in  Figure  2  below.   Knowledge  Strategy  Project  (wo  the  appendix).docx     5   Columbia  University  
  •   Figure  2  -­‐  Traits  and  Benefits  of  COPs     2.2 Content  Repositories   ! ! Codified:     The  Company  does  not  have  an  intranet,  nor  does  it  have  any  other  common  depository   for   its   content.   Each   department/team   may   use   a   different   repository.   The   Product   Management   team   use   Confluence   collaboration   software   to   store   and   collaborate   on   all   internal   product   specifications.   Sales   use   salesforce.com   for   depository.   Customer   Support   use   Microsoft   Dynamics.   Many   employees   store   content   on   various   network   folders,  again  with  no  governance  around  taxonomy.  This  approach  makes  it  very  hard   for  employees  to  find  and  use  other  teams’  codified  information/knowledge.   Tacit:     o Experts:  Several  employees  are  known  for  being  very  knowledgeable  on  various   topics,   which   are   not   necessarily   their   direct   responsibility.   Few   of   them   are   also   Knowledge  Strategy  Project  (wo  the  appendix).docx     6   Columbia  University  
  •   known  for  being  very  accessible  and  happy  to  share  their  knowledge  with  others.   For   example,   Chris   is   known   as   an   expert   about   customer’   operational   environment,  Paul  is  known  as  an  expert  about  database  technologies,  and  Mark   is  known  as  the  go-­‐to  person  for  product  demos.       o Staff  Directory:   There   is   no   indication   of   expertise   in   the   staff   directory.   There   is   no   codified   tool   that   may   assist   employees   in   finding   other   employees   or   consultants  with  specific  expertise,  other  then  their  direct  role.     o  Orientation   Training:   Once   a   quarter,   new   employees   are   invited   for   a   3-­‐day   orientation   training   at   the   company’s   headquarters.   This   training   includes   market,   company,   and   product   overview.   It   is   also   an   opportunity   for   new   employees   to   meet   the   CEO   and   other   executives   and   get   their   vision.   However,   other   than   that,   there   is   little   further   training   and   career   development   opportunities  other  than  online  courses  that  employees  may  take  at  their  (non-­‐ existent)  spare  time.   2.3 Information  Technology  and  Communication  Infrastructure   The   Company   has   a   very   liberal   and   experimental   approach   to   deploying   and   using   IT   applications.  There  is  little  central  governance  related  to  KM  related  systems.  As  a  result,  the   company   has   never   invested   in   creating   a   centralized   content   management   system   (CMS).   In   the   absence   of   a   central   CMS,   each   department   implemented   a   CMS   based   on   its   individual   preferences.   Marketing   use   SharePoint   and   Yammer;   Customer   Support   use   Dynamics;   Sales   use  Salesforce.com;  Engineering  use  CVS;  and  Product  Management  use  Confluence.  On  top  of   that,   email   is   extensively   used   to   share   information   and   many   employees   also   use   shared   network  folders  to  store  &  share  documents.     While  this  lack  of  governance  and  unity  across  the  company  has  some  advantages  (e.g.  CMS  is   better  optimized  to  the  unique  needs  of  each  department)  the  negative  impact  of  this  approach   is   inefficient   content   management   and   ineffective   inter-­‐departmental   communications.   Knowledge  acquired  by  one  department  is  rarely  available  to  the  rest  of  the  company.     From  communication  infrastructure  perspective,  the  company  is  very  advanced.  The  company   is   using   its   own   product   to   visually   collaborate   between   employees   and   with   partners   and   customers.  The  company  also  leverages  Microsoft  Lync  unified  communication  platform,  mostly   for   instant   messaging   and   voice   calls.   Yet,   while   many   of   the   employees   collaborate   regularly   using   these   advanced   technologies,   the   shared   tacit   knowledge   is   rarely   codified   in   a   manner   that  allows  future  use  of  it.     2.4 Information  and  Knowledge  Flow   Information  and  knowledge  (I&K)  reside  in  any  part  of  the  organization,  some  of  it  is  codified  in   digital  format,  some  is  in  written  documents  (very  few  though),  and  the  majority  is  tacit  I&K   that  resides  within  the  employees’  minds.     It  would  have  been  not  feasible  to  analyze  each  possible  I&K  flow  within  the  time  limits  of  this   Knowledge  Strategy  Project  (wo  the  appendix).docx     7   Columbia  University  
  •   project.  Therefore,  I’ve  decided  to  analyze  the  flow  of  just  two  types  of  I&K  assets:  Product  I&K   and  Customer  Insights  I&K.    Table  1  addresses  the  following  questions  for  these  I&K  resources:   ! How  does  the  I&K  flow  from  the  units  who  hold  the  knowledge  to  the  units  who  use?     ! What  tools  and  investments  has  the  organization  made  to  improve  the  flow?   ! What  functions  and  positions  help  to  organize  and  improve  the  flow?     Table  1  -­‐  Information  and  Knowledge  Flow   I&K  Asset  Type:   Product  I&K     Customer  Insights  I&K   (e.g.  features,  specifications,   competitive  positioning)    (e.g.  customers’  requirements,   needs,  deployment  environment)   Units  who  hold  it   Product  Management   Sales  &  Sales  Engineering   Units  who  use  it   Sales  and  Marketing   Product  Management   How  does  it  flow?   Product  Documentation  –   Product  Management  is   responsible  for  documenting  all   product  functionality,   specifications  and  user  guides.   What  tools  and   investments  has  the   organization  made   to  improve  the   flow?   The  use  of  video  conferencing   technology  makes  both  the  sales   training  and  the  weekly  “sync”   meeting  more  engaging  and   efficient  for  remote  participants.   Feature  Request  Process  –  Both   customers  and  their  sales   representatives  are  encouraged   to  submit  feature  requests  (FR).   The  FRs  are  codified  in  a   Sales  Training  (virtual  and/or  in-­‐ standard  form  by  the  relevant   person)  –  typically  once  a  quarter   sales  representative.  It  is  then   being  reviewed  and  prioritized  by   or  when  having  a  major  new   an  FR  Committee,  headed  by   product/version  release.   product  management  and   Weekly  ‘sync’  meeting  between   participated  by  stakeholders   the  product  Management  team   from  Engineering  and  Sales   and  the  Product  Marketing   Operations.  The  person  who   teams  (virtual).   submits  the  FR  gets  the   opportunity  to  “defend”  it  in   Online  repository  of  product   front  of  the  FR  committee.  All   specs  and  documentation   FRs  are  prioritized  and  stored   (Confluence)   online  for  future  reference.   Confluence  is  a  fairly  recent  tool   that  was  initially  introduced  by   the  Engineering  team  and  was   adopted  by  the  Product   Knowledge  Strategy  Project  (wo  the  appendix).docx     8   This  process  required  very  little   investment  as  it  is  mostly  based   on  manual  work.   BCI  should  consider  investing  in   an  online-­‐based  FR  application   tool  that  will  allow  both   customers,  channels  and   employees  to  easily  submit  FRs   and  track  their  progress.     Columbia  University  
  •   Management  team.  It  is  a  useful   and  effective  tool  for  content   management,  file  sharing,  and   textual  collaboration.     What  functions  and   positions  help  to   organize  and   improve  the  flow?     Moreover,  such  tool  should  allow   voting  and  comments  by   others…to  gain  more  insights   about  the  demand  for  the   feature  and  a  richer  description   of  it.     The  Product  Management  and   Product  Marketing  teams  are  the   functions  that  drive  the  above   initiatives.  It  includes  the  SVP  of   Product  Management,  VP   Product  Marketing,  product   managers,  product  marketing   managers,  program  managers   and  technical  writers.   The  FR  process  requires  active   participation  mostly  by  the   following  functions:  Sales,  Sales   Engineering  and  Product   Managements.  Additional   functions  involved  are   Engineering  and  Sales   Operations.   2.5 Knowledge  Services  Value  Map   Table  2  maps  the  current  implicit  knowledge  services  described  above  with  the  value  they  bring   and  the  strategic  challenges  they  aim  to  address:   Table  2  -­‐  Knowledge  Service  Value  Map   Knowledge  Service   Value   Strategic   Challenge  it   Addresses   Product  Management  &   Marketing  Forum   Improving  alignment  and  collaboration  between  the   two  teams.  Hence,  increasing  the  likelihood  of   having  a  product  that  is  more  aligned  with  market   requirements  (Usability),  faster  response  to  market   trends  (Agility),  and  more  effective  &  accurate   marketing  communications  (Quality).   Usability   Yammer  Groups   Creating  better  relationships  and  collaboration   across  the  organization.  Hence,  increasing  the   likelihood  of  finding  faster  solutions  to  problems.   Agility   Lunch  Groups   Creating  better  relationships  and  collaboration   across  the  organization.  Hence,  increasing  the   likelihood  of  finding  faster  solutions  to  problems.   Agility   Orientation  Training   Quickly  bringing  new  employees  up  to  speed  and   increasing  their  knowledge  on  a  variety  of  subjects   Agility   Knowledge  Strategy  Project  (wo  the  appendix).docx     9   Agility   Quality     Columbia  University  
  •   beyond  their  direct  area  of  responsibility.  Hence,   Quality   increasing  the  speed  in  which  new  employees   becomes  effective  and  increasing  the  quality  of  their   work.   Product  Documentation   Customers  perceive  documentation  as  an  integral   part  of  the  product.  Hence,  quality  documentation   adds  to  the  perceived  quality  of  the  product.  It  also   improves  the  usability  of  the  product  and  reduces   customer  service  calls,  which  reduces  BCI’s   operational  cost.   Feature  Request  Process   This  process  helps  BCI  understand  what  customers   are  looking  for.  Hence,  it  helps  improving  the   usability  of  the  product.   Quality   Usability   Lower  Cost   Usability   3 Recommendations   3.1 Business  Strategy   As   the   company   moves   beyond   the   “start-­‐up”   stage   to   the   “growth”   stage,   it   should   start   to   shift   its   strategy   and   allocate   more   management   attention   to   the   long-­‐term   sustainability   of   its   competitive  advantage.     Such  long-­‐term  strategy  can’t  rely  merely  on  the  current  inherent  technology  advantage  of  its   product.  Just  as  BCI  disrupts  the  current  market  status  quo,  soon  enough,  new  innovators  will   arrive  to  the  market  and  will  aim  to  disrupt  the  status  quo  once  again.     To   effectively   compete   in   such   dynamic   environment,   BCI   has   to   be   a   knowledge-­‐driven   company5,   developing   unique   Knowledge   Management   (KM)   initiatives   that   would   result   in   constant   and   fast   innovation   of   its   market   offering   so   that   it   effectively   addresses   the   ever   evolving   needs   of   it   customers.   In   addition,   the   KM   initiatives   should   result   in   operation   excellence,   driving   down   cost   and   time-­‐to-­‐market,   while   maximizing   product   and   service   quality.  Also,  organizational  knowledge  should  be  leveraged  for  more  educated  and  data-­‐driven   decision  making.   3.2 KM  Vision   A  company  that  embraces  knowledge  development,  knowledge  sharing,  and  knowledge-­‐based   decision  making  as  core  enablers  of  its  competitive  advantage  sustainability.   Knowledge  Strategy  Project  (wo  the  appendix).docx     10   Columbia  University  
  •   3.3 KM  Mission   Leverage  the  organizational  knowledge  development,  sharing,  and  analytics  to  drive  constant   innovation,  operational  excellence,  and  more  informed  decisions.     3.4 Knowledge  Values   A   key   success   factor   in   the   adoption   of   BCI’s   knowledge-­‐driven   strategy,   the   company   should   embrace   a   ‘Knowledge   Culture’.   This   means   acknowledging   the   value   of   knowledge   development,   knowledge   sharing   and   knowledge   Utilization.   Such   organizational   culture   change   must   be   driven   (or,   at   least,   genuinely   supported)   by   top   management   of   the   company.   Managers  and  employees  should  be  expected  and  encouraged  to  codify  their  knowledge,  share   their   knowledge   with   others,   and   rely   on   the   accumulated   knowledge   of   the   company   when   making  decisions.   3.5 KM  Ownership   To   ensure   that   KM   is   becoming   an   inherent   part   of   the   organizational   culture,   it   is   recommended  to  appoint  a  Knowledge  Manager  that  reports  to  a  senior  executive.  Given  the   relatively   small   size   of   the   company,   this   function   could   be   achieved   by   either   a   part   time   internal  position  or  an  external  consultant  (the  second  option  may  be  the  most  effective  and   efficient  approach  since  there  is  no  one  inside  the  organization  with  the  necessary  expertise).   3.6 KM  Solutions   While   there   are   possibly   many   KM   initiatives   that   could   benefit   the   company,   I   limited   my   recommendation  to  only  the  top  three  that  a)  could  make  the  most  positive  impact  and  b)  are   practicable.   The   following   table   depicts   three   specific   recommended   KM   solutions.   For   each   solution,   I   included   the   problem   it   aims   to   solve,   the   value   it   is   expected   to   bring,   and   the   strategic  challenges  they  address:   3.6.1 Content  management  and  collaboration  software   Problem   Organizational  Silos   Each  department  implemented  a  CMS  based  on  its  individual  preferences.   Marketing  use  SharePoint  and  Yammer;  Customer  Support  use  Dynamics;   Sales   use   Salesforce.com;   Engineering   use   CVS;   QA   use   Jira;   and   Product   Management  use  Confluence.  On  top  of  that,  email  is  extensively  used  to   share  information  and  many  employees  also  use  shared  network  folders  to   store  &  share  documents.     As   a   result,   knowledge   acquired   by   one   department   is   rarely   available   to   the  rest  of  the  company.     Recommended   Solution   Adopt  a  company-­‐wide  social  intranet  platform,  consolidating  the   various  content  management  silos  in  the  organization   Knowledge  Strategy  Project  (wo  the  appendix).docx     11   Columbia  University  
  •   I  recommend  using  Confluence  given  its  integration  with  Salesforce.com   and  Jira,  which  will  continue  to  be  used  as  content  sources.     Expected  Value   Improving  knowledge  sharing,  alignment  and  collaboration  between  all   teams.     Hence,  increasing  the  likelihood  of  having  faster  response  to  market   trends/needs  and  higher  quality  offering   Strategic   Challenges  it   Addresses   ! ! Agility   Quality       3.6.2 Knowledge  Codification     Problem   “We  don’t  know  what  we  know”   There   is   no   governance   around   knowledge   codification   and   there   is   no   significant   attempt   by   management   to   drive   it.   Significant   portion   of   the   knowledge   sharing   is   done   verbally   in   meetings   with   no   consistent   note   taking  and/or  decision  codification.     As   result,   some   key   intellectual   property   is   being   lost   when   people   leave   the   company.   Also,   there   is   inefficiency   as   different   people   “reinvent   the   wheel”,   not   knowing   that   the   same   issue   was   discussed   and   addressed   before.   Recommended   Solution   Knowledge  Codification  Governance  and  Incentives     (a  mix  of  stick  and  carrot)   The  company  as  a  whole  and  each  department  should  define  clear   guidelines  around  what  knowledge  should  be  codified  and  how.  For   example,  there  should  be  a  clear  policy  on  who  should  take  minuets  of   meeting,  what’s  the  expected  template,  where  it  should  be  stored,  and   how  it  should  be  shared.   Also,  in  the  spirit  of  gamification,  the  company  should  create  an  incentive   and  recognition  program  that  will  drive  employees  to  share  knowledge  and   follow  the  codification  guidelines.   Expected  Value   Developing  organizational  intellectual  capital  and  avoiding  wasteful   mistakes  and  redundant  work.     Hence,  increasing  the  likelihood  of  having  faster  response  to  market   trends/needs  and  reducing  cost  associated  with  wasted  time.     Knowledge  Strategy  Project  (wo  the  appendix).docx     12   Columbia  University  
  •   Strategic   Challenges  it   Addresses   ! ! ! Agility   Quality   Operational  Efficiency     3.6.3 Knowledge-­‐based  Decision  Making   Problem   Leveraging  organizational  knowledge  for  better  decision  making   BCI  doesn’t  use  codified  knowledge  to  help  make  informed  decisions.   For  example,  product  pricing  strategy  is  not  driven  by  analytics  of   customers  and  competitive  data.   “Knowledge  becomes  intelligence  when  and  only  when  it’s  transmitted  to   someone  who  can  act  upon  it  to  create  value.”  (Tim  Powell,  2013)6   Recommended   Solution   Business  Analytics  and  Strategic  Intelligence   The  company  should  utilize  BA/BI  tools  and  best  practices.     I  recommend  looking  at  all  major  decision  made  (e.g.  which  target  markets   to  go  after,  what  should  be  the  pricing,  make/buy/outsource  decisions,   etc.)  and  trying  to  support  these  decisions  by  intelligence,  based  on   knowledge,  which  is  based  on  information,  which  is  based  on  data.   (I’ll  be  in  a  position  to  provide  more  a  more  detailed  recommendation   after  completing  IKNS  K4304  -­‐  Business  Analytics  and  Strategic   Intelligence.)   Expected  Value   More  informed  decisions   Hence,  increasing  the  likelihood  of  making  smarter  decisions  that  would   help  win  the  competitive  game.     “Embedding  analytics  into  core  business  processes  creates  sustainable   competitive  advantage”  (Jeanne  Harris,  Accenture,  2013)7   Also,  by  using  BA/BI,  the  company  may  evaluate  their  cost/efficiency  and   cut  costs  accordingly.   Figure  3  below  illustrates  how  data  can  create  value.   Strategic   Challenges  it   Addresses   ! ! ! Agility   Quality   Operational  Efficiency   Knowledge  Strategy  Project  (wo  the  appendix).docx     13   Columbia  University  
  •   1 Figure  3  -­‐  The  Knowledge  Value  Chain     (with  a  slight  modification:  replacing  “Production”  with  KD  and  “Use”  with  KU)         3.7 Risks  &  Challenges   Change   Management   will   likely   be   the   biggest   challenge   in   pursing   the   above   recommended   knowledge  strategy.  The  risk  is  that  due  to  inherent  resistance  to  change,  status  quo  will  prevail   and   all   the   time,   money   and   effort   invested   in   implementing   this   strategy   will   result   in   no   meaningful  business  impact.   According   to   Dale   Stanley 8 ,   60%   of   major   knowledge   strategy   implementations   fail,   80%   of   these   failures   are   due   to   change   management  problems.   To   overcome   these   dismal   statistics,   the   appointed   KM   manager   should   implement   a   Change   Management   program   that   follows   these  principals9:   1) 2) 3) 4) Sponsorship   Change  Agents     Organizational  Readiness  and  Managing  Resistance     Communication  Planning.   Knowledge  Strategy  Project  (wo  the  appendix).docx     14   Columbia  University  
  •   3.8 Roadmap   The  roadmap  for  implementing  the  above  recommended  strategy  might  vary  based  on   available  resources.  Therefore,  at  this  time  my  recommendation  does  not  include  specific   dates.  However,  it  does  outline  the  major  milestones  in  the  process.  I’ve  broken  down  the   strategy  to  three  tracks:  1)  Strategic,  2)  Social  Intranet  and  3)  Business  Analytics  tracks.  These   tracks  are  not  linear.  Once  the  strategic  track  has  passed  the  4th  milestone,  both  tracks  2  and  3   can  start  in  parallel.   Track  1:  Knowledge  Strategy         Knowledge  Strategy  Project  (wo  the  appendix).docx     15   Columbia  University  
  •   Track  2:  Social  Intranet         Knowledge  Strategy  Project  (wo  the  appendix).docx     16   Columbia  University  
  •   Track  3:  Business  Analytics           Knowledge  Strategy  Project  (wo  the  appendix).docx     17   Columbia  University  
  •   4 Conclusion   Like   many   start-­‐up   companies,   in   its   early   years   of   existence   BCI   focused   its   strategy   and   management   attention   on   activities   that   would   enable   the   creation   a   competitive   offering   (financing  and  product  development)  and  initial  market  success  (marketing  and  sales).   While  BCI  does  implement  implicit  Knowledge  Development  and  Knowledge  Sharing  practices   that   add   clear   value   and   address   the   company’s   strategic   challenges   (see   Table   2),   these   activities  are  sporadic  and  rather  narrow  in  their  scope.  There  is  much  more  that  could  be  done   in   the   knowledge   domain   to   drive   constant   innovation,   operational   excellence,   and   more   informed  decisions.     As   the   company   moves   beyond   the   “start-­‐up”   stage   to   the   “growth”   stage,   it   should   start   to   shift   its   strategy   and   allocate   more   management   attention   to   the   long-­‐term   sustainability   of   its   competitive   advantage.   Such   long-­‐term   strategy   can’t   rely   merely   on   the   current   inherent   technology   advantage   of   its   product.   Just   as   BCI   disrupt   the   current   market   status   quo,   soon   enough,  new  innovators  will  arrive  to  the  market  and  will  aim  to  disrupt  the  status  quo  once   again.     To  effectively  compete  in  such  dynamic  environment,  BCI  should  develop  a  knowledge  strategy   that  would  result  in:   ! ! ! Constant  and  fast  product/service  innovation   Operation  excellence,  driving  down  cost  and  time-­‐to-­‐market,  while  maximizing  product   and  service  quality   Leveraging  organizational  knowledge  for  more  educated  decision-­‐making.   In   summary,   here   are   the   steps   that   I   recommend   in   the   roadmap   to   achieving   the   above   strategy:   a. Clearly  define  and  communicate  the  company’s  Knowledge  Mission,  Vision  and  Values   b. Appoint  a  Knowledge  Manager  that  reports  to  a  senior  executive   c. Adopt  a  company-­‐wide  social  intranet  platform,  consolidating  the  various  content   management  silos  in  the  organization   d. Knowledge  Codification  Governance  and  Incentives   e. Utilize  BA/BI  tools  and  best  practices  to  drive  more  informed  decisions   To   ensure   success   of   this   strategy,   a   thoughtful   change   management   program   should   be   implemented.       Knowledge  Strategy  Project  (wo  the  appendix).docx     18   Columbia  University  
  •   References:                                                                                                               1  Daveport,  T.  and  Prusak,  L.,  Working  Knowledge  (Harvard  Business  School  Press,  2000)  xxi   2  Porter,  Michael  E.,  What  Is  Strategy?  (Harvard  Business  Review,  1996)  96608,  75   3   SMR  Briefing,  The  Knowledge  Audit  (SMR-­‐Knowledge.com,  Sep  7,  2012)   4   Hislop,  Donald,  Knowledge  Management  in  Organizations  (Oxford  University  Press,  2008)  158-­‐ 167   5  Stewart,  Tom,  Booz  &  Co.,  Knowledge  Strategy,  Knowledge  Products,  and  Innovation  (IKNS   K4302,  11/12/13)  Slides  6-­‐8   6   Powell,  Tim,  Knowledge  is  Power  –  Not!,   http://www.knowledgevaluechain.com/2013/08/12/knowledge-­‐is-­‐power-­‐not/  (last  accessed   on  11/10/2013)   7  Harris,  Jeanne  G.,  Accenture,  Competing  and  Winning  with  Analytics  (IKNS  Residency,   8/30/13)  Slide  11   8  Stanley,  Dale,  Business  Realities:  Change  Management  (IKNS  K4301,  Session  5,  Expert   Interview  video)  02:35   9  St.  Clair,  G.,  and  Stanley,  Dale,  “Afterword:  Managing  Strategic  Change”  In  Building  the   Knowledge  Culture:  The  Knowledge  Services  Effect.  (SMR  International,  2009)  55–68   Knowledge  Strategy  Project  (wo  the  appendix).docx     19   Columbia  University