KM Approach

March 8, 2007

I’ve been asked to develop a plan for my KM strategy. So with lots of help I came up with the following. Its still not been finalized so I expect somethings to change. But I thought it would be useful to share and see if any of you had an opinion of it.

Introduction
The KM program will be used to build awareness of the need for specific Knowledge Management (KM) tasks and to change behaviors to support KM, so that they become an integral part of ‘How we do business’ and not an overlay to business. Currently our group does not have a defined approach to KM nor does it execute good KM practices regularly.
Good KM practices in our group, are simply:

  • Optimizes a process or service as a result of a post-project or service review
  • Regular and timely contribution to a central repository of information
  • Improves the competitiveness of our group by updating delivery kits, best practices etc
  • Provides a foundation for repeatability and reuse of knowledge, best practices and lessons learned
  • Finding a way to share with others what you know to increase technical and business competency within our group

Success Metrics
For the first year these are the metrics that will define if the KM program was successful:

  • 25 billable customer projects underwent post-project reviews.
  • 2 or more Communities of Practice aligned with corporate strategic initiatives.
  • 3 or more Practitioner’s Guides developed and produced by CoPs aligned with corporate strategic initiatives.
  • The number of hours per week spent by consultants on KM objectives steadily increased and then leveled out over the year.

Keys to Success
Though the KM program is focused on our group; we do not operate in a vacuum. A successful KM program will require:

  • Active participation and support from product and marketing. Such support would be in the form of participating in CoPs, providing review and oversight on knowledge assets such as Practitioner’s Guides, Best Practices, Whitepapers etc and contributing to any knowledge bases.
  • Commitment from global management to provide the necessary consultant time to participate in KM activities.

First Year Objectives
In order to achieve these behavioral changes here are the most important objectives that I will be focused on:
1. Define the specific KM tool for some specific project-related tasks

a. Inventory current KM tools such as Sharepoint, Groove, Wiki etc
b. Determine which tools are appropriate to specific tasks
c. Define business governance of how and where each tool should be applied and used
d. Develop list of gaps of current tool set and find possible solutions

2. Working with Human Resources and Management to review and, if needed, update, consultants’ Job Descriptions to include an expectation of KM activities such as:

a. Sharing documents and knowledge with others
b. Centralizing or submitting all key project deliverables to make available to others
c. Actively participating in one or more Communities of Practice
d. Updating existing guides, delivery kits, knowledge bases
e. Participating in project reviews for each project delivered

3. Each Consultant must have a consistently-defined KM objective in their annual performance review for creating, collecting, sharing and reusing assets and knowledge
4. Develop multiple methods through which consultants can complete their KM objective(s) in their PPR.

a. Create and Support Communities of Practice to allow consultants to share their knowledge
b. Facilitate Project Reviews to capture new techniques to improve execution and customer satisfaction
c. Facilitate the creation or updates to a variety of documents including but not limited to Practitioner Guides, Best Practices Whitepapers etc

5. Develop and build the case for a dedicated KM budget to support:

a. Face to Face meetings
b. Small recognition prizes for good KM behavior (iPods?)
c. Potential credits for consultant time toward KM practices
d. Determine if outside consulting help is necessary for success
e. Determine if additional KM staff is necessary for success

3 Month Objectives
Currently the focus of the KM program is on specific products and services. In order to successfully build and sustain KM in this area the following 3 Month objectives are proposed:
1. Develop and execute a Community of Practice for these products and services
2. Define and create specific output from the CoP in the form of recommendation guides (Practitioner Guides)
3. Create a baseline of KM awareness and importance among management and consultants.

a. Using an online survey, phone interviews and using some KM tool statistic gathering.
b. Communications to management and consultants on progress, output, and successes

4. Track consultant and CoP member time.

a. To allow for accurate tracking
b. To create a baseline of effort involved
c. To drive the definition of what is a KM activity and what is a core-business activity (.i.e. billable time) and where they overlap

5. Create a destination for the content and a mechanism for sharing it

Conclusion
My goal is at the end of 3 years, the separate groups will have incorporated the various processes and practices into their own methods. Also, KM would encompass other strategic initiatives, so that a formal corporate led KM initiative is no longer needed, but is self sustaining throughout the company.


Board Update

January 11, 2007

Well, its been almost a month since my last round of meetings with my Board of Advisors. I did accomplish all of the goals that were expected of me. And I have scheduled another round of meetings for this month. These should take place early next week.

I was pleasantly surprised today when I logged on Yahoo.com. One of the stories posted was titled “8-Ways to Enhance your Career“. The article was from the Wall Street Journal and the first way believe it or not was to “Create a Board of Advisors”. The article went on to say “Find two or three people you admire, and take each one to lunch a few times this year, says Dale Winston, chief executive of recruiting firm Battalia Winston International. Look to your advisers for counsel, feedback on your career progress and introductions to new people or ideas. The ideal board will include someone at work who understands your company better than you do, someone within your industry who has a broad sense of what’s happening in the field, and a third person who understands what you want from life.”

Well I guess there goes that patent idea. But its nice to see some indirect approval of the method I laid out for myself. It would appear I’ve started off on the right path, (at least according to Mr. Winston). I am sure you’ve been wondering who my Board of Advisors are? Well they all agreed to be put on my blog, so click on Board of Advisors above. It would also appear from reading the article that I owe my advisors lunch, something I will gladly rectify the next time I see each one.

Here were my goals to complete before the next meeting:

  1. Sign up for a class that I will demonstrate quantative skill
  2. Sign up for Toast Masters
  3. Begin volunteering
  4. Research into a comedy or improv class

I’ll post more on each goal after meeting with my advisors.


Happy New Year

January 4, 2007

Well I took some time off for the holidays and did not blog, check email or surf the web (much). I am looking forward to getting started on my goals from my Board of Advisors. So far I’ve signed up for a Statistics class at Harvard University’s Extension School. Hopefully this will help to improve by educational background.