Saturday, 5 June 2010

KM at the Olympic games

Did you know that KM has gone Olympic? This article from the vancouver post describes the KM program undertaken by the International Olympic Committee. I quote

In the summer of 2006, chief executive Cesare Vaciago (Turin Olympic committee) and a number of his staff came to Vancouver to deliver their views on what they did right and wrong at the 2006 Olympic Games. The debriefing was part of the IOC's relatively new program to transfer knowledge to future Games organizers from those who have been through the process. Now it's Vancouver's turn to pass on advice on best practices ... and what not to do.

The debriefing program was created in response to Olympic organizers making costly and repetitive mistakes. Each country, wanting to put its own nationalistic stamp on the Games, often repeated decisions that didn't work at previous Games, only to discover they worked just as poorly for them. The IOC wanted to put an end to "white elephant" venues, of wasting money on extravagant and unnecessary programs and of leaving taxpayers fatigued with debt.

Their approach?

They created an internal website accessible to all future Games organizers and bidders, and required that an official debriefing follow every Olympics.

A good mix of process and technology (and roles as well). And some of the lessons learned?

Ticketing and volunteers were two bright spots; Vanoc tried to eliminate the empty-seat syndrome that plagued the Turin Games. Vaciago four years ago also told Vanoc that the Italians had too many untrained volunteers doing menial
tasks. Vanoc clamped down on scalpers and created a resale site for its
customers. And it created a volunteer program, populated by Furlong's 25,000 "Blue Jackets" who were widely credited with creating a festive and relaxed atmosphere.

Ticketing and volunteers are also two problems facing Sochi. The culture of volunteerism is almost non-existent in Russia, and the lure of vast profits from reselling domestic tickets will be an intoxicant for Russians, whose average monthly wage is about $650.

And this is what the IOC chairman says about it all.

"Such transfers of knowledge are of paramount importance ... Sochi and Rio already know that they do not have to reinvent the wheel each step of the way, and the dialogue with Vancouver and the IOC will go a long way to engage and inspire them," he said. "At a time when the world is struggling to come out of recession, staging the biggest sporting event in the world can sometimes feel daunting. This is natural. To be supplied with firsthand knowledge from those who have been there before them, however, allows future host cities to make their own projects as economically efficient and effective as possible and to gain a great deal of perspective."

Brilliant. KM as it should be!

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