Focus on a real business problem
Exchange of Tacit Knowledge
A company had moved into a South American country through acquisition. They had taken over a chain of local dealers, and needed a business information system up and running. The vendors said “This will take you 10 months.” Management said “we need it in 6 months if we are to capitalise on this acquisition”
Although this implementation of a business information system was new to that country office, it was not new to the company. Offices in eastern Europe and the Middle East, had done this sort of thing recently, a team in head office were working on standard processes for business systems, and there were several vendors who offered these systems.
The country office decided to tap into this knowledge through a 2-day Peer Assist. They held video interviews with the participants to develop a shared context in advance, and built a careful agenda of knowledge sharing and solution creation.
An email from the country manager afterwards confirmed that they had benefited from applying the knowledge management principles, starting with the peer assist, which produced a much improved project plan, reducing the time-scale from 10 to 4 months.
Examples of processes/procedures and technical templates were lifted from Poland and Russia to start the project off. External benchmarking suggests that the costs would have been up to $500,000 higher without the knowledge transfer.
So a direct benefit of $500,000 was realised, with the additional indirect benefits of accelerating proper governance by 6 months compared to the original vendor estimate.