Friday, 22 September 2017

Quantified value stories in KM - numbers 115, 116 and 117

As part of our series of stories and examples of quantified value from KM, please find below three examples from a 2015 article in the UAE National, entitled "Knowledge management is power for companies"

An example of KM in action is the case of El Paso Corporation – a 5,000-employee North American provider of natural gas and related products. To maximise the benefits of a new organisational structure and encourage communication, El Paso decided to try a KM programme focused on business opportunities and challenges. Its aim was to foster expertise within the workforce and share technical knowledge with a scorecard used to measure and report on the programme. Its elements included: savings, improvements, successes, costs and milestones. In the first year, the goal was to save the organisation US$500,000, but it delivered $1.2 million in savings.

“A recent best-practice transfer between KOC and other k-Companies in Kuwait, where technology and know-how have been transferred between companies resulted in savings of several million Kuwaiti dinars,” (Abdul Jaleel Tharayil, project leader of Knowledge Management Practice for Kuwait Oil Company) says.

“Another example is an internal collaboration between deep drilling and development drilling, which brought forth a reduction in non-production time by introducing a change in casing design, leading to savings of around 250,000 dinars.”


The Kuwaiti Dinar is currently worth about  3.3 US Dollars.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Collecting documents is not the same as managing knowledge, said King Solomon

The endless accumulation of reports is not necessarily a helpful thing in Knowledge Management.


Image from wikimedia commons
This issue was recognised thousands of years ago by one of the reputedly wisest men in history - King Solomon - revered as a prophet, King and Wise Man by all the Abrahamic traditions. As the wise man said, in the book of Ecclesiastes -

"Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh".

I was reminded of this quote last month at a conference, where a knowledge manager asked me if I could help her with her issue. Her problem was that she was measured on one indicator - the number of reports in her repository - and she was struggling to get people to write anything. Partly people were too busy, partly it was an oral culture rather than a written culture, often they did not know what to write, they were unsure about writing in English, and they were shy of putting their thoughts on paper.

I advised her to put her collection on hold, to start to introduce conversations about knowledge through After Action Reviews and Communities of Practice, and to use those conversations both as a source of further content and as an indication of which knowledge was currently important to the organisation. But it also made me think, and conclude that;

Using the number of reports and articles in a knowledge base as a KPI is unhelpful and can be counter-productive.

I say this for the following reasons.

  • As King Solomon nearly said, of writing reports there is no end. You can write as many reports or articles as you want - it doesn't mean they are good, or helpful, or add anything to the store of knowledge. Volume is not an indicator of quality. Must volume is just noise in the system.
  • If all you do is collect documents, then the old out-of-date knowledge is mixed in with newer more relevant knowledge, or with contradictory conclusions and advice, which may be very unhelpful. 
  • In knowledge management - volume of content is a bad thing. In their excellent book "Working knowledge", Davenport and Prusak point out that "Volume may be the friend of data management, but it is the enemy of knowledge management; simply because humans have to sift through the volume to find the desired knowledge".
  • This "sifting through the volume of reports" is what King Solomon referred to as "a weariness of the flesh", and busy people looking for knowledge do not want to face a mammoth task. Here is a third KM guru quote for you - Dr Johnson, the 18th century man of letters, wrote that  "Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labour; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it". The more documents in your repository, the more intellectual labour it takes the seeker to find the knowledge, regardless of the quality of your search engine.
  • The aim of KM is not to collect, but to combine and synthesise. The C within the famous SECI model stands for "Combination", not Collection. The purpose of collecting new knowledge is to combine it with old knowledge and other new knowledge, and to create a synthesis - to move understanding forward; to filter out the noise and improve the signal.

The ideal knowledge base, for any given topic, really only requires one primary document, and a restricted selection of supporting documents.


  • The primary document is the Wiki, representing the current state of knowledge or the current best practice, constantly updated as new knowledge becomes available;
  • The wiki then links out to secondary documents, community discussions, lessons etc which give more detail if needed, and which provide the evidence base for the knowledge in the wiki;
  • There may also be a small collection of exemplar documents - proposals to copy, formats to use, templates and go-bys.

The secondary documents and exemplars should be rigorously collated, and old material should be archived.

Don't aim for volume - aim for helpfulness and synthesis. Otherwise you may just be perpetuating "the weariness of the flesh"


Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The 4 types of KM training every organisation needs

Please find below yesterday's Knoco newsletter.


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Knoco Newsletter; header graphic

September 2017 


The 4 types of Knowledge Management training

 your organisation needs.

 

 

In This Issue

Other News

·         News from Knoco
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Contact us

 
Javier's blog in Spanish
Vedalis blog in French
Ewa's blog in Polish
 Most organisations embark on a Knowledge Management Journey only once, and so are trying something they have never done before. Training is therefore essential, in order to develop an understanding of the journey ahead, and to gain the necessary skills that effective KM will require.

This newsletter covers the 4 types of Knowledge Management training that organisations need as they go through the implementation process for Knowledge Management.

The 4 audiences for KM Training

There are four main stakeholders or actors involved in Knowledge Management, and each of these groups require some form of training to develop either their understanding of Knowledge Management, or their KM skills. These four audiences are as follows:

The senior managers are one of the first groups who need KM training, to develop their awareness of what Knowledge Management actually is, how it will affect their organisation, what their competitors are doing in KM, and what they will need to do to support the development of KM in their own organisation.

The second group is the Knowledge Management team themselves, who need to understand the issues involved with implementing KM, and to develop some of the skills they will need in the early stages.

The third group is the people with specific KM roles within the business - the Community Leaders, Lessons facilitators, Best Practice owners and so on - who need to understand that this role entails, and also need to develop a new set of skills.

The final group is the Knowledge Workers - the users of the new Knowledge Management system, who need to be aware of what they need to do in KM terms, and also how any new processes and technologies might work.

Hopefully you will have mapped out these stakeholders as part of your stakeholder mapping in the KM early stages, and will have some idea of what the training will be required. Generally the first people to engage are the senior managers followed by the KM team, who will need training in the early stages of KM implementation. Training for the people with KM specialist role comes later, once you have defined what these roles will be, and identified the role-holders.  Finally once the Knowledge Management Framework has been finalised, you will need a run of user training, and probably also will need to re-engage the senior managers.


Training participants in Greece engaged in our Bird Island exercise


Contact Knoco if you want more help with implementation planning, stakeholder mapping or development of a KM training plan.


 

Awareness training for Management

The senior managers are the ones who will sponsor Knowledge management and provide the implementation budget. Given they are paying the money, they need to know what they are paying for and what they will receive as a result. And remember - senior managers do not want KM per se, they want the benefits that KM will bring.  So before submitting the KM budget request, you need to conduct an awareness workshop, or awareness training, for senior managers. This should cover:

·         An introduction to Knowledge Management, and what it means in your organisational context;
·         A vision for what Knowledge Management will deliver for your organisation, and the benefits it will bring;
·         If time allows, a clear demonstration of KM value such as our Bird Island exercise;
·         Case studies of best practice KM as applied by your peers or competitors;
·         A discussion of what will be involved in KM implementation; and
·         Agreement on the next steps.

If this agenda is successful, then the senior managers should understand KM and its benefits well enough to make an informed decision to support the next stage of the KM implementation program.

In the later stages of KM implementation you may need a second round of awareness training for the next level of management - the middle managers, divisional leaders and heads of discipline. The time for this is once the Knowledge Management Framework has been finalised and agreed, and you are about to roll out the roles, processes, technology and governance. The middle managers need to understand their role, particularly how they set expectations for KM in their teams and divisions, how they recognise and reward the good performers, and how they react to people who shirk their KM duties. This second round of training should cover:

·         The rationale for Knowledge Management in the organisation;
·         Success stories from the piloting phase;
·         The details of the KM Framework;
·         A discussion of the management role within this framework, particularly as part of the governance element;
·         A discussion of what will be involved in KM implementation;
·         An overview of the roll-out timetable, and
·         Agreement on the next steps.


Engagement training for managers in Hungary


Contact Knoco to learn more about developing awareness of Knowledge management at senior management level.

Training for the KM team

The KM team, assuming they have not conducted a Knowledge Management Implementation before, have a lot to learn. In the early stages of KM implementation you should schedule a Masterclass in KM theories and models, KM skills and techniques, and the processes of KM implementation. We find that the best approach is to combine this training with workshop activity, so that (for example) training in KM strategy is followed by a strategy development workshop, and training in knowledge capture is followed by a knowledge capture session from an expert or a project team.  Training and on-the-job application can then be mixed into a "Knowledge Management Starter Week" for the KM team and some or all of the KM champions, with an agenda such as the one below:
Day 1 of the week covers introduction and strategy:
·         An introduction to Knowledge Management;
·         The Bird Island simulation;
·         Identification and prioritisation of business drivers;
·         KM visioning workshop;
·         Critical Knowledge Analysis workshop;
·         KM Intervention options.


Day 2 covers the KM Framework, and consists of an Assessment and Framework workshop addressing:
·         Knowledge creation and capture;
·         Knowledge ownership and synthesis;
·         Knowledge seeking and reuse;
·         Knowledge sharing and discussion;
·         KM Governance.


Day 3 covers identification of the KM Framework components and  KM skills development in these components, such as;
·         Skills training in knowledge capture;
·         Training in knowledge packaging;
·         Training in community of practice development;
·         Training in meeting facilitation (if needed).

Day 4 covers Knowledge Management, including: the KM implementation roadmap; Pilot project selection; Implementation planning; Communication and culture change.
·         Skills training in knowledge capture;
·         Training in knowledge packaging;
·         Training in community of practice development;
·         Training in meeting facilitation (if needed).

Day 5 is set aside for further development work based on days 1 through 4. This might involve Further skills training; Knowledge retention approach and strategy; Knowledge audit; KM culture audit; Development of a KM communication pack; Technology user case development.


Training a KM team in China


 Contact Knoco to learn about how we can help you design a KM starter week program for your organisation.

Skills training for the people with a KM role

Introducing a Knowledge Management Framework means introducing a number of specific KM roles to the organisation - many of them part-time, but some of them potentially full-time. These roles might include some of the following, depending on your organisational context:

·         Community of Practice leader;
·         Community of Practice facilitator;
·         Owner for a specific knowledge topic (a subject matter expert, subject author, or research field leader for example);
·         Project or department knowledge manager;
·         Lesson capture facilitator;
·         Lesson management team;
·         Knowledge base content owner;
·         Knowledge base administrator.


You may need to train these people so that they fully understand their new role and develop the skills they need. Some examples of the training they might need are below.

The community leaders and facilitators need to understand:

·         How communities of practice work, and how they are different from other business structures;
·         How to define a community charter and business case;
·         How to launch and grow a community;
·         How to manage and facilitate online discussion;
·         How the community software works;
·         How to track value delivered by a community;
·         How to measure community development and maturity;
·         How to link community activity with other elements of the KM framework.

The knowledge topic owners need to know:

·         The different between documented knowledge and other forms of information;
·         How to synthesise knowledge from many sources;
·         How to develop best practice;
·         How to run events such as knowledge exchange and wikithon;
·         How to write and structure knowledge to make it maximally useful for the user;
·         How the knowledge base software works;
·         How documented knowledge is updated with new material, new lessons and new community input.


The lessons facilitators, lesson management team and project knowledge managers need to know:

·         How projects and divisions are required to create and apply knowledge;
·         How to capture knowledge from individuals and from project teams, including interviewing skills and facilitation skills;
·         How to document captured knowledge to retain as much value as possible;
·         How to use audio, video and pictures as part of documented knowledge;
·         How to write and structure lessons;
·         How the lesson management software works;
·         How lessons are linked to the communities of practice and knowledge owners.


Training for community of practice leaders in the UK


Contact Knoco for advice on the roles you will need in your organisation, and on developing training courses to provide them with the necessary skills.

General training for the Knowledge Workers

The final suite of training will be for the users of the new Knowledge Management Framework - the Knowledge Workers themselves. They need to know the new way they will be expected to work, and they need to be familiar with new processes and technologies. Ideally training should be offered to every team and every division in the organisation, covering the following topics:

·         What Knowledge Management means for the organisation, and why it is important;
·         The new expectations for Knowledge Management - what they are, and how they will be measured and rewarded;
·         The new KM processes - how they work and when they will be applied;
·         The new technologies for KM - how they work and what they do (ideally including hand-on training);
·         The new KM roles, and the people who will take those roles;
·         The important knowledge that needs to be managed.



Training for Knowledge Workers in Indonesia


Contact Knoco to help plan and develop your KM user training.

News from Knoco

Some updates from across the Knoco family are listed here.
Welcome to Knoco Brazil
Fabio Batista
Knoco has now opened its first franchise in Brazil, under the leadership of Fabio Batista, KM Manager at Summit Quality Systems Consultores Associados. Fabio has been working as researcher, academic, practioner and consultant in the field of KM for many years, and for 15 has published a book intitled "KM Framework for Brazilian Public Administration: How to implement KM to produce results to benefit citizens". One of the organizations where Fabio provided KM implementation consultancy services, the Brazilian National Aviation Agency, was the winner of the 2nd Knowledge Management and Intellectual Capital Excellence Awards 2016

Welcome to a new Knoco Russia
Timur Gareev
Knoco Russia is now under the leadership of Timur Gareev of Novus-KM. Timur has wide experience in knowledge and innovation management, and has published a knowledge management book based on the best practices and methodologies – “Knowledge management in learning organization, a practical guide".
Founded by Timur in 2013 Novus-KM, is a leading expert consultancy in the field of knowledge management in Russia. The company, its experts and partners have implemented dozens of projects, from knowledge management strategy development, best practices analysis to implementation of holistic knowledge management systems in various industries.

Indonesia Knowledge Summit
Sapta and Iqbal (Knoco Indonesia) organised and delivered the second Indonesia Knowledge Summit last month in Jogjakarta, Indonesia. This 2 day conference was a great success, attracting attendees from every part of Indonesia to listen to the talks and take part in the workshops.


Speakers, organisers and attendees at the 2nd indonesia Knowledge Summit

Public KM Masterclasses
Knoco Indonesia will hold a public KM Masterclass on 27-29 November 2017. The aim of this course is to transfer some of the skills and techniques of knowledge management to your employees. Through a mixture of tutorial and exercise work, the participant will develop skills in the capture, packaging, and transfer of knowledge, and will develop implementation plans for business pilots. Techniques and strategies for cultural change will also be covered. The course will also cover transferring the keys skills and techniques of knowledge management, and its strategic implementation. Contact Iqbal for details.

Knoco Russia will conduct a public KM training course during international coference INNO-WAVE 2017 http://2017.inno-wave.ru/ in Moscow on October 12th.  The topic of master-class is "Knowledge management. How to improve the efficiency of a modern company". Contact Timur for details.

The biggest Bird Island exercise in the world
In early May, Rupert Lescott (Knoco UK) and Don Dressler (Knoco USA) ran the largest Bird Island workshop to date. Over 200 people took part at the annual KA Connect conference in San Francisco. KA Connect is an annual KM conference aimed at the AEC industry (Architecture, Engineering and Construction), and since Bird Island involves building towers, it was a great fit. If you're interested in using Bird Island to demonstrate the link between knowledge and performance, please contact us.

200 people engaged in the Bird Island exercise

KM for Firefighters
Fabio (Knoco Brazil) recenly lectured on Knowledge Management to the National Firefighters KM Committee in Goiania, Brazil.

Meeting with members of the National Firefighters KM Committee in Goiania, Brazil

Activity in Chile
Javier (Knoco Chile) has a number of activities coming up, including the following:
·         starting a project to develop the critical knowledge map for the maintenance and engineering departments of the Aconcagua Refinery of ENAP (National Oil Company in Chile) https://www.enap.cl/;
·         beginning an assessment and critical knowledge map for Methanex https://www.methanex.com/location/south-america/chile;
·         participating in the 10th “Learning, education and neurosciences” international seminar http://www.educacionyneurociencias.cl/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Programa-X-JornadaE.pdf.

Knoco at KM World
Two of our Knoco consultants are presenting at KM World in Washington DC in November. Nick Milton (Knoco UK) will be presenting a half-day workshop  on November 6th, the theme of which will be "Practical Ways to Demonstrate the Value of KM". Contact Nick for details. The following day, Cory Cannon (Knoco Kansas) will be talking about "Collaborative Tools and Solutions" based on his military work. Contact Cory for details.

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