Who initiated the process and why?
The process of Knowledge Management (KM) in Volkswagen (VW) was
initiated by the top HR management people (with assistance of change
management advisors- Bernd Ihnken) who foresees the concerns of
loosing knowledge each time an employee moves on.
The focus here lies on the direct transfer of knowledge between two
experts: the predecessor and the successor
Knowledge is a key factor for success and makes a huge
contribution to the competitiveness of any company.
What was the Initial Idea?
The initial idea was to save the knowledge of experts which was gained
via processes and courses of action linked with individuals personal
experiences and other valuable details gained, for example, through
interaction with customers and networks.
What professionals are involved, how and why?
For different department in VW, different professionals are involved.
• Experts with unique skills and Knowledge
• Project Managers, Teams and Clients
• Personnel officers and employee development specialists.
• Typical customer within the VW group.
What kind of knowledge is managed and how?
Knowledge based on experience, specialism, project or managerial
skills is managed by combination of effective methods and tools
tailored to meet the requirements of the situation at hand
Basic components of Knowledge management?
Organization of Knowledge Flow?
• People: Different skilled people
• Process: steps to follow
Knowledge flow in VW was structured approach. The process is as
• Creation : creating the docs at individual level.
• Collection: creating the database of the collection.
• Vetting & review: Article review by business experts.
• Sharing: sharing of KM docs within the team.
• Access and use: utilization of Knowledge docs for innovation.
What technology support KM?
What innovation they practice?
VW follows incremental innovation by using step by step
procedures, defined process flows for knowledge Management.
Utilizing current competencies and follow a more predictable path
with respect to cost.
• Use of knowledge maps
• Transitioned workshops
• Sharing checklist
• Moderated discussions between project managers and project
What are the benefits of implementing KM?
• Guaranteeing the unique knowledge of experienced employees.
• Ensuring the smooth handover of tasks.
• Preserving best practices.
• Avoiding errors and the duplication of work (time saving).
• Discovering potential for synergies.
• Optimizing change in an intercultural context.
Do they manage cultural assets and how?
Yes! VW manage there cultural assets because the business lies on
the customer trust and taking care of cultural issues by sharing
knowledge and information in an undistorted, promptly and completely
way to promote cooperation and better cultural understanding within
Do they have common language?
The strategy was to have a common language within the group so that
everyone can understand and help in creation of knowledge base.
For this they used :
- Knowledge maps
- Defined techniques
- Online tools