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UNDP Presentation: How to Develop a Successful KM Strategy

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This is a generic presentation outlining rationale, success factors and 9 practical steps for developing a corporate knowledge management strategy, based on the example of the United Nations Development Programme.

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UNDP Presentation: How to Develop a Successful KM Strategy

  1. 1. How to develop a successful KM strategy Johannes Schunter Policy Specialist, Knowledge Services United Nations Development Programme, New York
  2. 2. 2How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy The UN Development Programme • 7,500 staff members in 150 countries • “UNDP focuses on helping countries build and share solutions in Sustainable development, Democratic Governance and Peacebuilding, and Climate and Disaster Resilience” • KM programme since 1999 • First corporate KM Road Map in 2004 (20% funded) • Second corporate KM Road Map in 2007 (20% funded) • First official KM Strategy 2009-2011 (100% funded) • New KM Strategy 2014-2017 (80% funded)
  3. 3. 3How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy „Knowledge Management is like herding cats“
  4. 4. 4How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy Learning Objectives A. Why a KM strategy, and which road to choose B. How to go about developing a KM strategy C. How to determine success of your KM strategy
  5. 5. 5How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy Learning Objectives A. Why a KM strategy, and which road to choose
  6. 6. 6How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy What is a strategy? A strategy is an informed, measurable decision about the direction you wish to take, and the measures you will pursue to get there. You define a goal, a destination or end state, and the strategy describes how you will achieve it.
  7. 7. 7How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy A KM strategy KM Strategy • Formulated Strategy Document • Defines destination for KM in your organization • Determines steps for getting there • Strong KM branding • Promotion • Plan for and allocate budget and capacity Who of you are working in an organization who has such a KM strategy?
  8. 8. 8How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy 5 reasons to develop a KM strategy • Overall guidance, direction, and filter for decision making • Legitimacy through management approval of strategy • Legitimacy through staff involvement in strategy development • Clarification of roles and responsibilities, strengthening position of KM actors • Easier to benchmark and measure KM efforts
  9. 9. 9How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy 5 reasons NOT to develop a KM strategy • Proposing a big KM strategy implies a big budget • Some things are easier to achieve when you are working under the radar (“Stealth KM”) • Proposing a big KM strategy will create change resistance • Having a KM Strategy creates expectations that you cannot possibly fulfil • Having a KM Strategy in place makes you less flexible to react to emerging needs
  10. 10. 10How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy KM strategy vs. Stealth KM KM Strategy Stealth KM • Formulated Strategy Document • Defines destination for KM in your organization • Determines steps for getting there • Strong KM branding • Promotion • Plan for and allocate budget and capacity • Do KM without calling it that • No formal corporate strategy document • Use available budget and capacity • Identify opportunities for small, low-budget catalytic initiatives • Collect good examples and stories to demonstrate the value of KM and scale up
  11. 11. 11How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy When to go for a Stealth KM approach • When the term knowledge management is ‘burnt’ in your organization • When there are no senior management sponsor/champions for a KM strategy • When you are not ready to raise too many expectations (because you’re new to the job, because of lacking capacity, or internal politics) • When a strategy would be unlikely to be funded • When there are existing strategies or initiatives that you can build on and improve, rather than creating new initiatives • When there is goodwill and energy among individual staff to experiment and try out new things • When there are no corporate performance measures that hold the organization accountable for KM outcomes
  12. 12. 12 A. Why a KM strategy, and which road to choose B. How to go about developing a KM strategy (in 9 steps) How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy Learning Objectives
  13. 13. 13How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy STEP 1: Establish the KM Imperative • What is the organization’s core mandate? • What kind of organization does it want to be? • Where does it want to be in 2, 5, 10 years? • What kind of products, services and employees do we need to fulfil our mission?  What is KM’s role in that?  Why do you need KM for that?  How does our KM have to look like to support that?
  14. 14. 14How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy STEP 2: KM needs assessment • Existing processes for  Identifying knowledge content and people  Discussing and exchanging knowledge  Aggregating, consolidating, sharing and promoting knowledge content  Learning and applying knowledge • Knowledge mapping of  Actors, networks, partners, focal points  Past and planned knowledge products and services
  15. 15. 15How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy STEP 2: KM needs assessment • Focus Group Discussions and Interviews to identify  Understand their knowledge-related challenges and needs around specific key areas of work • Online Survey to assess  Satisfaction with existing services, products and tools  Understand challenges and needs of staff • Assessment of IT Infrastructure  Needs/gaps analysis for online content management, document storage, internal communication, collaboration and knowledge networking
  16. 16. 16How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy STEP 2: KM needs assessment Start working on buy-in now! •With managers: Make the issues visible •With staff: Listen to concerns and understand obstacles •With KM staff: Take into account their experience •With partners: Show you are pursuing a KM agenda
  17. 17. 17How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy STEP 3: Identify the KM challenges “Where does it hurt the most?” The case of UNDP a)“It is difficult to reliably find a universal compendium of UNDP’s activities and projects” b)“Open knowledge sharing is not institutionalized as a natural exercise” c)“The current process of knowledge product development and dissemination does not yield the quality, reach and impact that’s needed” d)“Thematic silos prevent cross-practice sharing” e)“There is lacking reward for the sharing of knowledge and for support to colleagues in other units” f)“Internal hierarchies and politics favor private knowledge sharing” g)“UNDP needs to do more to tap the knowledge of its external audiences and beneficiaries” h)“The potential of KM for identification and management of talent and expertise is underutilized”
  18. 18. 18How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy STEP 4: Define the ideal KM state For your organization, what would the promised land of KM look like?
  19. 19. 19How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy STEP 4: Define the ideal KM state The case of UNDP 1.“UNDP’s k-products are relevant, of high quality, and widely accessed” 2.“UNDP’s knowledge services are easily accessible, of high quality, and in sustained demand” 3.“Members have easy access to knowledge and information they need, and find what they are looking for quickly” 4.“UNDP’s knowledge processes, services, products, and experts contribute to informing and influencing our policy, partners’ policies and public knowledge” 5.“UNDP acts as convener and facilitator of policy dialogue and knowledge “ 6.“Lessons from projects and programmes are captured and used to improve the design and quality of new projects and programmes” 7.“Staff members are well connected across the organization, interact frequently and work collaboratively” 8.“KM is integrated in UNDP HR procedures and performance systems”
  20. 20. 20How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy Your KM focus Nick Milton and Stephanie Barnes: • Operational excellence focus: Improve internal practices and processes so that the org operates better/faster/cheaper/safer/etc. • Customer knowledge focus: Improve delivery of knowledge to the people who work with your customers on a day-to-day basis to improve services • Innovation focus: Generate new knowledge in order to create new products and services • Growth and change focus: Replicate existing success in new markets or with new staff by learning from lessons learned and scaling up good practices [KM World Magazine, 2015, Issue 4]
  21. 21. 21How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy STEP 4: Define the ideal KM state The case of Hewlett-Packard Consulting 1.“Our staff feel and act as if they have the knowledge of the entire organization at their fingertips when they consult with customers” 2.“Our staff know exactly where to go to find information” 3.“Our staff are eager to share knowledge as well as leverage other’s experience in order to deliver more value to customers” 4.“We will recognize staff that share and those that leverage other’s knowledge and experience as the most valuable members of the HP consulting team” [KM Institute Washington D.C.]  Customer knowledge focus
  22. 22. 22How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy STEP 5: Telling a story with your KM strategy • What will your KM enable the organization to do that it couldn’t before, and why? • What will it allow staff to do better than before, and why? Theory of Change Based on assumptions about our organization and the environment it finds itself in, it explains how we expect that our KM activities will affect change, and how that change will help the organization fulfil its mission.
  23. 23. 23How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy STEP 5: Telling a story with your KM strategy UNDP’s Theory of Change for KM Public development discourse and partners’ actions are informed and influenced by UNDP’s knowledge products, services, experts, and leadership UNDP is a more open organization, engaged in networking, knowledge exchanges and collaboration with development partners UNDP programmes and projects create and leverage knowledge to improve their performance Knowledge management and learning are made part of UNDP culture, behaviors & performance K-products are relevant, of high quality, and widely accessed K-services are easily accessible, of high quality, and in demand K-processes, services, products, and experts contribute to informing and influencing policy, partners and public opinion UNDP acts as convener and facilitator of policy dialogue and knowledge exchanges which otherwise would not take place External k-exchanges generate partnerships and opportunities Lessons from projects and programmes are captured and used to improve design and quality of new projects and programmes UNDP staff members are well connected across the organization, interact frequently and work collaboratively Staff members have easy access to knowledge and information they need, and find what they are looking for quickly KM is integrated in UNDP HR procedures and performance systems • KM Initiative 1 • KM Initiative 2 • KM Initiative 3 • KM Initiative 4 • KM Initiative 5 • KM Initiative 6 • KM Initiative 7 • KM Initiative 8 • KM Initiative 9 • KM Initiative 10 • KM Initiative 11 • KM Initiative 12 • KM Initiative 13 • KM Initiative 14 Activities/Outputs Immediate Outcomes Long-term Outcomes
  24. 24. 24How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy STEP 6: Linking the story of your KM strategy with corporate objectives • Scan your multi-year strategy, your annual business plan, your key units’ work plans, etc. and reference where and how your ideal KM state will add value • Quote from the board papers, corporate strategy paper, media announcements and from speeches/statements of the CEO, board members, senior managers and partners  Use the links and references to demonstrate the relevance of your KM strategy to get buy-in
  25. 25. 25How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy STEP 7: Design your KM initiatives Can you find the common pattern? •APQC: “Critical success factors for continuing the KM journey include […] developing an evolutionary process, not a ‘big bang’ approach” •NHS UK: “Whether you choose to create a formal knowledge management strategy or not, a large-scale, high-cost, ‘big bang’ roll-out is not recommended” •Oracle: “Avoid ‘big bang’ implementation in favor of a phased approach” •Kana: “An effective implementation strategy requires […] a realistic roll-out plan that eliminates the risks of a ‘big bang’ implementation approach” •Askmecorp.com: “'Grandiose' KM projects that take more than nine months to implement and deliver business value are considered to be extremely risky and end up being the excellent candidate for dissolution. The Big Bang approach as a part of a KM strategy spells trouble.”
  26. 26. 26How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy STEP 7: Design your KM initiatives • Avoid a big bang approach, instead go for “squirrels” (KM Institute Washington): Agile small initiatives that fill niches to address a specific need • Try out different approaches, create prototype initiatives, test and learn, then repeat • Scale up those initiatives that prove valuable
  27. 27. 27How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy STEP 7: Design your KM initiatives • For pointers to different KM methodologies and tools check out the Knowledge Sharing Toolkit at http://www.kstoolkit.org
  28. 28. 28How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy STEP 8: Broad Consultation • Time to present your draft strategy document to a wider audience:  Senior management  Staff  Beneficiaries/Clients/Partners  Peer KM staff in other organizations
  29. 29. 29How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy What is missing?
  30. 30. 30How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy Learning Objectives A. How to go about developing a KM strategy B. How to determine success of your KM strategy C. How to determine success of your KM strategy
  31. 31. 31How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy STEP 9: Establish a Performance Measurement Framework Why are we measuring our strategy? • At the output level, to understand which elements/activities of our KM strategy are working, which aren’t, and how to improve them • At the immediate outcome level, to monitor existing and ongoing pain points regarding KM, understand how well the organization is doing in KM, and where to focus further efforts • At the long-term outcome level, to be able to demonstrate to management and donors KM value/impact and return on investment
  32. 32. 32How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy STEP 9: Establish a Performance Measurement Framework UNDP’s Theory of Change for KM Public development discourse and partners’ actions are informed and influenced by UNDP’s knowledge products, services, experts, and leadership UNDP is a more open organization, engaged in networking, knowledge exchanges and collaboration with development partners UNDP programmes and projects create and leverage knowledge to improve their performance Knowledge management and learning are made part of UNDP culture, behaviors & performance K-products are relevant, of high quality, and widely accessed K-services are easily accessible, of high quality, and in demand K-processes, services, products, and experts contribute to informing and influencing policy, partners and public opinion UNDP acts as convener and facilitator of policy dialogue and knowledge exchanges which otherwise would not take place External k-exchanges generate partnerships and opportunities Lessons from projects and programmes are captured and used to improve design and quality of new projects and programmes UNDP staff members are well connected across the organization, interact frequently and work collaboratively Staff members have easy access to knowledge and information they need, and find what they are looking for quickly KM is integrated in UNDP HR procedures and performance systems • KM Initiative 1 • KM Initiative 2 • KM Initiative 3 • KM Initiative 4 • KM Initiative 5 • KM Initiative 6 • KM Initiative 7 • KM Initiative 8 • KM Initiative 9 • KM Initiative 10 • KM Initiative 11 • KM Initiative 12 • KM Initiative 13 • KM Initiative 14 Activities/Outputs Immediate Outcomes Intermediate Outcomes
  33. 33. 33How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy STEP 9: Establish a Performance Measurement Framework Output level: •Collecting data on activities/outputs (e.g. #of k-products produced, #of trainings held, # of workshop participants, # of staff exchanges, # of roster entries, web hits, downloads, discussion comments, likes, shares) Immediate Outcome level: •Staff perception surveys (e.g. satisfaction with Communities of Practice or onboarding procedures, percentage of staff who they think documents are easy to find, etc.) •Client feedback surveys (e.g. satisfaction with quality and relevance of knowledge products or advisory services, rating of products, etc.)
  34. 34. 34How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy STEP 9: Establish a Performance Measurement Framework Long-term Outcome level: •Collecting data on uptake/results (e.g. # of new partnerships following an event, # of citations of UNDP products in government documents, # of backlinks to a UNDP project website, percentage of staff retention, strength of social networking links between business units) •Impact stories (e.g. how client used a k-product to effect change, how a tool helped staff achieve a goal, how an event helped advance agenda) •Correlation analysis (e.g. correlation between use of corporate tool and achievement of results, or number of knowledge products in a country and perception of UNDP as a good partner in that country)
  35. 35. 35How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy STEP 9: Establish a Performance Measurement Framework Report on your results •Annual KM report •Communicate impact stories •Talk about successes (webinars, e-discussions, posters) •Be honest about failures (they are there to learn from them) •Adjust your goals if they turn out to be too unrealistic
  36. 36. 36How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy Learning Objectives A. Why a KM strategy, and which road to choose B. How to go about developing a KM strategy C. How to determine success of your KM strategy
  37. 37. 37How to develop a successful KM strategy A. Why a KM strategy and which road to choose • Guidance, direction, and filter for decision making • Legitimacy • Clarification of roles and responsibilities • Benchmark and measuring  Decide whether an official KM strategy is right for you vs. a stealth KM approach
  38. 38. 38How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy B. How to go about developing a KM strategy (in 9 steps) • STEP 1: Establish the KM Imperative • STEP 2: Do a KM needs assessment • STEP 3: Identify the KM challenges • STEP 4: Define the ideal KM state • STEP 5: Tell a story with your KM strategy (Theory of Change) • STEP 6: Linking the KM strategy with corporate objectives • STEP 7: Design your KM initiatives • STEP 8: Conduct a broad consultation • STEP 9: Establish a Performance Measurement Framework
  39. 39. 39How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy C. How to determine success of your KM strategy 1. Collecting data on activities/outputs 2. Staff perception surveys 3. Client feedback surveys 4. Collecting data on uptake/results 5. Impact stories 6. Correlation analysis
  40. 40. 40How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy Final Comments 1. Relentlessly communicate your KM strategy 2. Control the KM narrative in your organization (by generating hard evidence and debunking rumors) 3. Avoid the myth of the one overarching KM system (remember the “squirrels”)
  41. 41. 41How to develop an (un)successful KM strategy Thank you!

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