Friday, 21 July 2017

Example KM policy statement, Hong Kong Police

Found here, an interesting KM policy statement from the Hong Kong Police Force. Short, but powerful, and a good example of content for a Knowledge Management policy. 


Policy Statement

The Hong Kong Police Force (the Force) attaches great importance to effectively managing the wisdom, experiences and knowledge accumulated, accrued and acquired over the years either at the individual or the Formation/Unit levels. 
Such organizational wealth which exists in the form of Major Formation / Formation databases or intangible (tacit) knowledge residing within an officer is highly valued.  
With a view to enhancing the performance of the Force and in turn to delivering a better service to the public, the Force is committed to developing and promoting KM which should at all times be aligned with the Force Vision and Mission.  

Thursday, 20 July 2017

KM vision statements, numbers 16 to 45. Number 37 is so simple, it's elegant!

In December 2011 I wrote a post titled 15 Knowledge Management Visions.  Here are 30 more to add to the list.


All of these are vision statements for organisational KM programs, forming a core part of the respective Knowledge Management strategies.

Some of these were appended as comments to the original blog post, others are more recent additions. My favourite is number 37 - so simple!

16. NATO communications and information agency
The Vision of NCI Agency’s Knowledge Management is of customer satisfaction through knowledge superiority, the Mission is to deliver customer-focussed and cost-effective solutions through collaboration and knowledge sharing.

17. Unesco
UNESCO’s KM and ICT vision is to enable programme planning, delivery and evaluation in the most efficient and effective way, through the full and innovative use of information and communication technologies and the implementation of Knowledge Management based on a knowledge-sharing culture. This will allow UNESCO to be a modern and learning organization, capable of adapting to the changing world and playing fully its role within the United Nations system.

18. World Health Organization
The vision of WHO KM is of global health equity through better knowledge management and sharing.

19. Worcester Health Libraries
Our vision is to harness the body of knowledge and exploit it at point of need so that the right information will be available to the right people in the right format at the right time. We believe that the effective management of knowledge and information is essential for the provision of the best patient care.

20. UN Economic Commision for Africa
to ensure that ECA becomes and remains Africa’s premier think tank, consistently generating top quality, thoroughly researched products reflecting the latest thinking on issues relating to Africa’s transformative agenda.

21. Hulley & Kirkwood

What does Knowledge Management mean for our employees?

  •  Better communication with peers. 
  • Access to quality information and knowledge that has been validated by internal experts. 
  • Best practice. 

What does Knowledge Management mean for our customer?

  •  Potential cost savings by implementing lessons learned on previous projects at earlier stages of the design. 
  • Greater exposure to the knowledge and expertise of 130 engineers across 8 regional locations. 
  • More efficient delivery of our design. 

What does Knowledge Management mean for our project partners?

  •  Exposure to rationale, lessons learned and local knowledge across our organisation. 
  • Potential cost savings due to better quality information at all project and design stages.

22. Main Roads, Western Australia
OUR KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT VISION: To be recognised as a world class road authority, working innovatively with industry, our partners and the community, to share and build cutting edge knowledge and expertise.

23. The UN-REDD Programme
The UN-REDD Programme partner countries develop REDD+ readiness and implementation capacities aligned with UNFCCC requirements, through the systematic identification, capture and sharing of REDD+ related knowledge.

24  FAO
FAO will facilitate the access to and exchange of knowledge, as well as its generation, in the domain of agriculture and food security. It will assist its Members in generating, accessing and utilizing knowledge in food and agriculture, as well as any other knowledge that relates to it, required to address Members‟ individual and collective development and food security goals.

25. McKnight Foundation
We manage and share knowledge to maximize McKnight’s credible influence in support of mission and programs.

26. Samsung SDS
Samsung SDS' mission is to provide the best possible IT service to our customers. This best service can only be created via our know-how, which is produced by freely sharing our best practice, knowledge and experience from every area within the company

27. GMI
KM: Promotes and strengthens our capacity to learn, question, investigate, share and innovate based on our organization´s culture in order to generate long term value for clients, stakeholders and workers.

28. Aspen Tech. 
All employees will have access to the information, knowledge, and processes they need to achieve their individual objectives and help AspenTech meet its strategic goals.

29. NHS library and knowledge services in England
NHS bodies, their staff, learners, patients and the public use the right knowledge and ,evidence, at the right time, in the right place, enabling high quality decision-making .learning, research and innovation to achieve excellent healthcare and health improvement

30. Ernst and Young 2002
Our knowledge management mission is to enable and steward the acquisition, sharing and reuse of knowledge by our people worldwide. By doing this, our people will be better able to generate new revenues and strengthen client relationships.

31. Department of the Navy 2014 version
The DON vision for KM is to create, capture, share, and reuse knowledge to enable effective and agile decision-making, increase the efficiency of task accomplishment, and improve mission effectiveness. To achieve this vision, the DON KM community will continue to share and leverage the significant KM experience and resources existing within the Department. Currently, DON KM is a centralized vision executed through decentralized implementation

32. ACCCRN
ACCCRN partners will collaborate to build a recognisably credible knowledge base of practical and actionable know-how to meet key climate change urban resilience challenges that will ultimately improve the lives of poor and vulnerable people.

33. The Parliament of Finland 
 The Parliament is an open and competent knowledge organisation with a co-operation oriented work culture and the capacity and will to learn.

34. The U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) Knowledge Management Office
Providing secure connection to information on demand - any type of information, across multiple applications & business processes
 Consolidation & integration of information to provide a single view of data & higher value information for insights, greater efficiency & improve our competitive advantage
 Integration of partner-enabled solutions & diverse sources of information to provide acceleration of the deployment of end-to-end business processes to improve operational efficiency

35. Lloyds register Marine 
Our vision is to have a knowledge sharing culture that is recognised and respected globally by industry, our clients and our people. We will have behaviours, technology and processes that will connect our global expertise and the right information will always be in the right hands at the right time. Through our people, knowledge and expertise, Lloyd's Register’s performance will continuously improve.

36. Office of Nuclear Energy
The vision of the Office of NE KM Program is to benefit the NE programs by providing scientists across the community with the information required to assess and analyze the accuracy of advanced nuclear energy systems and associated capabilities.

37. US Army TRADOC
 A knowledge-enabled force – one learns, everyone knows.

38. Canadian International Development Agency
The vision of CIDA is to be "a knowledge-driven organization".

39. Comcare
Comcare will create, capture, share and reuse knowledge to support effective and agile evidence based decision-making. We will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our people and deliver high level service to our community.

40. GPET
GPET will be a learning organisation where the outcomes of previous projects and research inform future work.
Staff will have easy access to information to allow them to do their work. This will include embedding procedures and guidelines into workflows and the ability to find the latest authoritative information across the organisation.
Stakeholders will be able to capitalise on learnings across GPET programs to inform or establish best practice in GPET and their own organisations.

41. ASARECA
Agricultural knowledge contributing effectively to improved livelihoods in Eastern and
Central Africa.

42. NASA JPL
JPL will “make good use of what JPL knows.”

43. Department of the Navy, 2005 version
The DON vision of KM is to create, capture, share, and reuse knowledge to enable effective and agile decision-making, increase the efficiency of task accomplishment, and improve mission effectiveness.

44. U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence
Connected 24/7 to information, knowledge, and training.

45. MTR organisation
An organisation that
  • Provides continuous opportunities for people to learn 􀂋
  • Provides skill development and renewal opportunities 􀂋
  • Provides better career opportunities 􀂋
  • Provides platform to capture and retain crucial knowledge 
Where people are
  • Aware of business and work expectations 􀂋
  • Share knowledge and expertise openly 
  • Seek new and creative ways of working
Beneficial to All Stakeholders
  • 􀂋Customers 􀂋
  • Shareholders 􀂋
  • Staff



Wednesday, 19 July 2017

A story of how a community lost trust

It is possible for the members of a Community of Practice to lose trust in the community as an effective support mechanism. Here's one story of how that happened.


The story is from one of Knoco's Asian clients.

  • This community started well, with 4 or 5 questions per week from community members. 
  • The community facilitator forwarded these questions to community experts to answer, rather than sending them to the whole community and making use of the long tail of knowledge.  This may well have been a cultural issue, as her culture reveres experts.
  • Sometimes the expert would answer on the community discussion forum, but most of the time they answered by telephone, or personal visit. Therefore the community members did not see the answer, and were not even aware the question had been answered.
  • Often the expert did not have enough business context to answer the question (this is a complicated business), so when they did answer on the forum, the answer was vague and high-level. In a culture where experts are not questioned, nobody interrogated these vague answers to get more detail. 
  • Often the questions themselves were asked with very little context or explanation, so it was not possible to give good answers. The community facilitator never "questioned the question" to find out what the real issue was.
  • Where there was a discussion around the question, it very quickly went off-topic. Again the facilitator did not play an active role in conversation management.
  • When the facilitator followed up, to see if the questioner was satisfied by the answer, the answer was usually No.
  • A year later, the questions have dropped to 1 or 2 a month.

As far as the community members were aware through observing interactions on the forum, the questions seemed either to receive no answer (as the real discussion happened offline), or to receive worthless answers.  The users lost trust in the community forum as a way to get questions answered effectively, and have almost stopped asking. 

One way to revitalise this community will be to set up a series of face to face meetings, so that the members regain trust in each other as knowledgeable individuals, then ask the members to help design an effective online interaction. This will almost certainly involve asking the community and not the experts, and making much more use of the facilitator to get the questions clarified, to make sure the answers are posted online, to probe into the details of vague answer, and to keep the discussions on topic.

This sort of discussion is needed at community kick-off, so the community can be set up as an effective problem-solving body, and so that the members trust that their questions will be answered quickly and well.

If the members do not trust that the community will answer their questions, they will soon stop asking.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Why Yammer's default question is unhelpful

If you agree with me that the greatest value in organisational online discussion comes through answering questions, then Yammer's default prompt does not help.


"What are you working on?" asks Yammer - as a work-related version of the Facebook question "What's on your mind".

As a way of getting people to share work-related activity, that's a reasonable question, and pretty soon you will find your Yammer stream full of statements like
  • "I'm working on a new proposal"
  • "I'm getting ready to go on holiday"
  • "I'm finishing the assessment report"
For some people, that's interesting connectivity, that helps them feel connected with co-workers. For others, that's unwelcome Noise; stuff they didn't need to know that distracts them from their own work. The risk is that the noise turns people off.

This blog has long championed the use of Knowledge Pull behaviours, and Knowledge seeking.  We know for example that Asking is tougher than sharing, but gives instant results. We know that the more questions that are asked in a Community of Practice, the more successful it is. We know that 75% to 90% of knowledge sharing comes as a response to a request for help. We (or I, at least) believe that an internal knowledge market is best grown through demand rather than through supply. And also  that Facebook is not a good analogue for in-house social media.

If you want to use a product like Yammer for knowledge sharing, then I can't help thinking there's got to be a better default prompt - one that drives Pull and not Push; one that develops the habit of Asking.

Maybe something like

"What knowledge do you need to help deliver your work?"
"What can your social network help you with today?"
"What question do you have for your network?"

Monday, 17 July 2017

Why Knowledge Management needs empowerment

Knowledge management needs empowerment - Knowledge provides empowerment.


There is a close link between knowledge and empowerment. Let me illustrate this with two scenarios.

Scenario 1.
Betty is writing a policy paper. She looks online for ideas, and comes across some busy discussions from a similar organisation in another part of the world. Intrigued, she gets in touch with the people in the discussion, and receives some really useful experience, stories, tips and hints that should really improve her policy. Excited, she updates her policy paper with this new knowledge, and takes it to her boss, Johann. "I'm sorry Betty, I am going to take this out" Johann tells her. "We've never done it like this - it seems rather risky. Let's stick to what we know, shall we?" Betty leaves the meeting, dejected.

Scenario 2.
Ben is writing a policy paper. Ben's boss, Jutta, comes in and say "Bob, I want to you take a fresh view here. I want a policy that is going to make a big impact, and I want you to find first out how others do it". Bob is excited by this challenge. He looks online for ideas, and comes across some busy discussions from a similar organisation in another part of the world. Intrigued, he gets in touch with the people in the discussion, and gets some really useful experience, stories, tips and hints that should really improve the policy. "Good work, Bob" says Jutta. "We've never done it like this before, but there's enough knowledge and experience here to suggest this might be a good way forward.".

Betty is disempowered. She has the knowledge but is not allowed to apply it. She probably won't bother to look for ideas from elsewhere any more, she will just do what her boss expects her to do - play it safe. In Betty's case, the lack of empowerment stifles Knowledge Management, as she was unable to apply the knowledge she found.

Bob is empowered. He is empowered to look for knowledge and to use it, and the knowledge he finds enables him to write a better policy paper. You could say that the knowledge he finds also empowers him, in an intellectual sense, to write a better paper and so deliver a better policy. In Bob's case, he was empowered to deliver a better policy, and the knowledge he found enabled him to deliver.


You will find that Knowledge Management is far easier to implement within a culture of empowerment, and delivers far better results.

Friday, 14 July 2017

NASA's 6 rules for making Wikis work

Wikis can sometimes be difficult to sustain as a Knowledge Management tool. Here are 6 rules for success.


Image from Wikimedia commons
I was reading a great article called "Why Wikis at NASA" by  John Verville, Patricia Jones and Mark Rober. In the article, they talk about NASA's experience with wikis, giving the examples of the Goddard Engineering Wiki and the JPL Wired Wiki.

From theie experience, they share these 6 basic and common sense rules.

  • Wikis work best when they solve a problem that is evident to most of a group. 
  •  Wiki use needs to replace an existing work process, not add to work. 
  •  Wikis need advocates and advertising. 
  •  Seeding the wiki with valuable content helps jump-start the process; with a blank page, no one knows where to start. 
  •  Gradual growth is fine, and starting small helps a core group of users become accustomed to the wiki (think pilot study). 
  •  A wiki that serves a niche need is okay; it does not need to be all things to all people.

The authors conclude that

"Wiki technologies have proven themselves to be usable, robust, and affordable. With wikis and other collaborative technologies springing up around NASA, we believe the technological, economic, and cultural forces have aligned to make us a more highly collaborative culture".

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Four quadrants of community activity

We can use a simple quadrant to remind ourselves of four areas of community knowledge activity.


This diagram came out of a conversation with a community of practice leader, who was wondering what to do with his portal. He had created a massive database of community documents, and had the company experts providing blogs, and was wondering what to do next. Should he put in a search engine, for example?

My suggestion was to look at the twin aspects of Personalisation (Connection of people) and Documentation (Collection of documents), and of Push and Pull (Supply of knowledge and demand of knowledge).

These two dimensions, each with two complementary aspects, define a Boston Square with four quadrants, as shown here.

Our community leader was addressing the Push side of knowledge transfer, but was neglecting the Pull. Certainly he realised he needed a search engine to allow Pull from teh documentation, but even more than that, he needed to address the behaviour of, and the support for, asking.

We agreed that his community portal should address the four quadrants in the diagram above, and should give equal weight to each (if you are to emphasise any one quadrant, make it the Top Right quadrant). So the portal should include

1) the ability for people to ask the community a question, plus the roles and behaviours that mean that this question is answered, and answered well and quickly;
2) the ability for SMEs and others to blog about new knowledge they have gained and which needs to be shared;
3) the ability for people to search for and find documents they need;
4) The ability for SMEs and others to publish documents which may be of use to others.

My advice to a community portal owner would be tackle all 4 of these quadrants, in the order shown above, from 1 through 4.

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