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Starting a KM Initiative


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KM Chicago (March, 2009)

Published in: Business, Technology
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Starting a KM Initiative

  1. 1. Starting a KM Initiative <ul><li>Background: Dave Simmons </li></ul><ul><li>Director of KM for Global Operations </li></ul><ul><li>- LEGO Systems A/S </li></ul><ul><li>Director of Prospect Research & Mgmt. </li></ul><ul><li>- Children’s Memorial Hospital Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Management Specialist </li></ul><ul><li>- US General Services Administration </li></ul><ul><li>Public Buildings Services (Region 5) </li></ul>
  2. 2. KM Business Propositions Operational Effectiveness Market Leadership & Innovation Customer Intimacy
  3. 3. KM Business Propositions <ul><li>Operational Excellence – efficiency of operations, doing things better, faster, cheaper </li></ul><ul><li>Customer Intimacy – knowing our customers and anticipating their needs, CRM </li></ul><ul><li>Market Leadership and Innovation – doing things differently to change the industry </li></ul>
  4. 4. KM Learning Points <ul><li>Learn Organization’s Business Proposition as early as possible and either incorporate projects or identify opportunities within that proposition. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on primary business proposition and build stealth KM around the secondary and tertiary propositions. </li></ul>
  5. 5. All 3 Business Propositions involve the same elements People Information Processes
  6. 6. Business Propositions Applied <ul><li>LEGO Systems A/S </li></ul><ul><li>* Market Leadership & Innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Children’s Memorial Hospital Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>* Customer Intimacy </li></ul><ul><li>US General Services Administration </li></ul><ul><li>Public Buildings Services (Region 5) </li></ul><ul><li>* Operational Effectiveness </li></ul>
  7. 7. Steps for new KM work <ul><li>Gather information </li></ul><ul><li>Learn the language of success </li></ul><ul><li>Familiarize yourself with the success metrics </li></ul><ul><li>Gather “information pain” stories </li></ul><ul><li>Review all reports and understand the headers (definitions, formulas, meanings) </li></ul><ul><li>Collect stories at all levels </li></ul><ul><li>Write it down as an Environmental Assessment </li></ul>
  8. 8. Sources for Gathering Information <ul><li>Mission statements </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic plans </li></ul><ul><li>annual reports </li></ul><ul><li>CEO “cheerleading” comments </li></ul><ul><li>Departmental goals and plans </li></ul><ul><li>Metrics in place </li></ul><ul><li>What the top boss say to their boss(es) </li></ul><ul><li>Sister/parent agency reports </li></ul><ul><li>Market/industry measures/standards </li></ul>
  9. 9. Build your toolbox <ul><li>Lexicon – words, meaning, source, acronyms </li></ul><ul><li>Staff List – people, positions, expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational Outline – departmental expertise, accomplishment </li></ul><ul><li>Types of knowledge that has the highest value </li></ul><ul><li>Manuals for every process </li></ul><ul><li>Report formats that are important </li></ul><ul><li>Journal – to keep track of yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Advisor Network – such as KM Chicago </li></ul><ul><li>Graphic collection of KM concepts </li></ul>
  10. 11. Structure (Subject Tree) I . II. III. V. Tacit Knowledge Quality Assurance Issue: Capturing and keeping TK relevant and current Explicit Knowledge LEGO’s KM Strategy (2003) … okay, so the Dane’s like complicated diagrams… Internally-produced materials Outside LEGO Access (Phase II) Other Stakeholders Marketing/ Branding Concept Development Quality Assurance Issue: Quality Assurance Issue: Quality Assurance Issue: Knowledge Management System World Wide Web (outside LEGO) Matching Commercial Subject Tree to LEGO Subject Tree Assuring documents are easily accessible by everybody Commercial (subscription) Databases Assuring remote websites are still available USER INTERFACE PUBLISHER INPUT INTERFACE Feedback based on Usage Taxonomic
  11. 12. IV. Knowledge Management System <ul><li>Allows knowledge and data from different sources and formats to co-exist </li></ul><ul><li>Uses a hybrid of both automatic indexing and manual subject naming </li></ul><ul><li>Works with IBM and MAC systems </li></ul><ul><li>Adapts to LEGO Security system </li></ul><ul><li>Low cost for setup and ongoing maintenance. </li></ul>
  12. 13. Knowledge Management Plan
  13. 14. Identify Projects & Build Case <ul><li>Short-term/Long-term projects </li></ul><ul><li>Public vs. Stealth </li></ul><ul><li>Build plans around desired improvements </li></ul><ul><li>Collect baseline measurements (what you’ll measure your improvements against) </li></ul><ul><li>Get buy-in from your boss </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No plan will go unused, so don’t throw away any plan…it’s time will come sooner or later. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Learn business process mapping and knowledge artifacts derived from those maps </li></ul>
  14. 15. Work the Plan <ul><li>Prioritize daily </li></ul><ul><li>Be an “information plummer” </li></ul><ul><li>Report monthly broadly </li></ul><ul><li>Be inclusive, start small, and grow your folks slowly. Make them the experts and teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t sell it as a “fad” but a complementary skill to other initiatives (avoid KM ribbon-cuttings) </li></ul><ul><li>Keep your promises, negotiate your deadlines </li></ul>
  15. 16. More Learning Points <ul><li>In a verbal environment, be the chronicler </li></ul><ul><li>In a social networking environment, be the node (the go-to person) </li></ul><ul><li>If handed pre-constructed projects, deconstruct quickly to business proposition and build case </li></ul><ul><li>Not all problems require “IT solutions” </li></ul>
  16. 17. And yet more Learning Points… <ul><li>Value order and consistency </li></ul><ul><li>Keep a daily journal </li></ul><ul><li>Keep track of all meetings and decisions made </li></ul><ul><li>You are learning the business as quickly as you are solving KM problems (don’t separate the two) </li></ul>
  17. 18. OK (sigh.) <ul><li>Definition of Knowledge Management </li></ul><ul><li>A way to connect people to relevant and useful information that creates business and personal success. </li></ul><ul><li>(keep it simple, keep it easy, keep it ready). </li></ul><ul><li>“I’m here to help solve your info-pain.” </li></ul>
  18. 19. “ Information Plummer” Approach <ul><li>Watch for patterns of information flow </li></ul><ul><li>Look for info blockages and disconnects </li></ul><ul><li>Find the pools that folks want to access and democratize the information </li></ul><ul><li>Look for primary, secondary, and tertiary info </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t get hung up on the content or the devices…track the flow of information </li></ul>
  19. 20. Dave’s KM Rules of Thumb! <ul><li>1.   Write Once - Use Many Times and Ways! 2.   Learn & use your institution's language of success     a.  Identify what top brass think is important/ valuable knowledge and how they measure it       b.  Build KM metrics on business goals       c.  Prioritize on mission-critical info-flow problems 3.   Seek feedback from all quarters </li></ul>
  20. 21. Of Rules Thumbed <ul><li>4.   No Time to &quot;Do Over&quot; 5.   Connect KM to daily work 6.   Eat an Elephant One Bite at a Time 7.   Plan Convergences Carefully 8.   Personalize the Experience of Each Knowledge Worker </li></ul>
  21. 22. O f Thumbed Rules <ul><li>Protect the Body of Information - change clothing regularly. </li></ul><ul><li>Don't Set the Interface in Stone - Throw it out there and modify constantly </li></ul><ul><li>11. Rollouts are Overrated.  Virally promote the projects and grow support one user at a time </li></ul><ul><li>12. Build Lexicons, Taxonomies, and Dictionaries: They are the glue that knowledge sticks to </li></ul>
  22. 23. Thumb of Rules <ul><li>13.  Circle Back Continuously on Usability </li></ul><ul><li>14.  The Most Successful Adoption is Done </li></ul><ul><li>Quietly Without Force 15.   The Seemingly Simplest Project May Have </li></ul><ul><li>the Largest Impact. 16.   Consider Sustainability Issues When </li></ul><ul><li>Viewing a Project </li></ul>
  23. 24. Thanks! <ul><li>Dave Simmons </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Management Specialist </li></ul><ul><li>US General Services Administration/Public Building Service – Region 5 </li></ul><ul><li>230 S. Dearborn Avenue </li></ul><ul><li>Chicago, IL 60604 </li></ul><ul><li>312.353.5253 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>