Continuing from this article referenced yesterday, here's some lessons on KM implementation from the Hoffman-LaRoche experience.
"First, managers hoping to make a difference through better knowledge management should start by focusing on the right problem. Patricia Seemann chose a spot that was closely tied to the strategy of the business, and a driver of the firm’s future growth. She also focused on a process that was undeniably knowledge-intensive, ensuring that the impact of knowledge improvements would be great.
"This points to a second lesson: set definitive goals for what the effort will achieve. Preferably, as at Roche, these can be stated in terms of ultimate increases in profitability.
"The third lesson to take away from Roche’s story is that knowledge management need not be technology- intensive, and should not be technology-driven. Tools like prototypes and knowledge maps can be surprisingly low-tech. They don’t require people to buy into major infrastructural overhauls up front and on faith—they simply get a job done, and win converts along the way.
"Finally, Roche’s success teaches a lesson about bringing together the right project team. A mix of twenty-five Roche people and a variety of outside consultants, Seemann’s was small enough to move fast, but big enough to bring a variety of perspectives to the table. Most importantly, every member of the team was drawn from the best and the brightest Roche had to offer. Too often, Seemann knew, internal projects are staffed with employees who have time on their hands. Unfortunately, they may be free for good reason—they are not the organization’smost valued contributors. Getting the best benefits a project on two levels: it gets the work done faster and better, and it makes a very visible statement about the project’s importance to top management. In Seemann’s words, “Do not divest knowledge management to your deadwood. Knowledge is something that is so dear to the company that only the best and brightest can actually bring it out.”