Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Knowledge Management at ENI - case study

ENI, the Italian oil company has just published some details of their KM system. Here is a summary. 

ENI NC41 DP4 Bouri platform, from wikimedia commons
 ENI is a large Italian oil company, headquartered in Rome, with 80,000 staff over 79 countries. The upstream side of ENI employs 29,000 staff and covers oil exploration and production activities. 

ENI upstream have just published details of their KM system here and here

ENI Upstream define knowledge management as "the processes and systems that support the creation, development, sharing and application of knowledge within the company", and believe that KM will make it possible to reach the right people at the right time to solve problems quickly, with "contributions from the finest experts inside the company".  Their focus is on efficiency, cost reduction, problem solving and innovation.

There are two main streams to KM at ENI - the well-known approaches of Connect and Collect.

They approach the connection of people through the establishment of Communities of Practice. The describe the following statistics for CoPs for 2015:

  • 50 business-based CoPs (27 hosted by Upstream)
  • 7274 members of the business CoPs (an average of 145 members per community)
  • 8 cross-business CoPs
  • 708 members of the business CoPs (an average of 89 members per community)
 For an international oil company of this scale, these Communities seem quite small. 

The approach the collection of documented knowledge through a Knowledge Management system described as "a technological platform that captures, disseminates and enhances the on-the-job knowledge gained by its people".  This is based on an Enterprise social network approach, thus merging connecting and connecting. Documented knowledge is stored as "Knowledge nuggets" and "innovation ideas". As ENI says"

"Our Knowledge Management System allows us to align operational subsidiaries abroad with internal standards of excellence and at the same time build a store of technical experience in the field at headquarters"

One interesting adaptation is  the ability for staff to tap into the social network through their smartphones.

ENI describe seeing a rapidly growing use of their KM system, and claim as follows:

"The benefits generated by Eni’s KMS have been immediate and strategic. We cut costs thanks to solutions we have developed ourselves, while we contribute to strengthen the company’s identity by involving everyone in the construction of our successes ... we improve the way we work, enabling us to speed up the dissemination of innovative solutions and avoid the repetition of mistakes".

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