Why you may need more than one KM strategy

Complex organisations may be involved in more than one type of activity, and may need more than one KM strategy and framework.

Two of the early activities in any Knowledge Management implementation are to develop a Knowledge Management Strategy (as we discussed yesterday), and start to map out a potential Knowledge Management Framework.  However a large organisation, with many different divisions working in different ways, may need more than one strategy and more than one framework.

Let’s take, as an example, a utility company, providing water and gas to consumers.

This imaginary utility company has a Projects division, which installs new pipelines and new processing plants.  They have a maintenance and operations division which maintains the supply of water and gas to customers. And then they have a customer care division, which signs up new customers and manages the relationship and the interaction with the existing customers.

This organisation might need 3 strategies and 3 frameworks. 

The strategy for the projects division will be about cost reduction, and ensuring that projects are delivered on time, to budget and to specification. The KM framework will focus on learning from experience in order to improve project performance, and will involve processes such as Retrospects and Peer Assists.

The strategy for the Operations division will be about operational reliability and the continued provision of service. The KM framework will focus on maintenance methods and best practices, and on sharing tips and hints in communities of practice.  

The strategy for the customer care division will be about customer satisfaction and customer retention. The KM framework will focus on provision of knowledge to customers, either through online self-help or via a contact centre, and the division will almost certainly need some sort of knowledge base software.

Although the whole organisation can share a KM policy and KM principles, each division will need to interpret these in their own context, and will need their own KM framework embedded in their divisional ways of working.

View Original Source (nickmilton.com) Here.

When you need more than one KM solution

The goal of Knowledge Management is to embed an effecting Knowledge Management Framework, that enables a thriving KM culture and impacts organisational outcomes. But sometimes one Framework is not enough.

I have blogged before about the different sorts of Knowledge which need to be managed, and suggested that Knowledge Management may look very different if it is Process-focused, Product-focused or Customer-focused.

A process-focused organisation will set up communities of practice who develop Best Practices, while a product-focused organisation will set up product-based communities focused on Best Designs.  The solutions will be similar in outline, but different in detail.

However there are many organisations which have more than one focus, as shown in the Ternary diagram here showing results from the Knoco 2014 Knowledge Management survey.  Manufacturing organisations, for example (the red square in the diagram) are equally focused on Process and Product. Info and Media companies (blue star) are equally focused on Product and Customer. Professional services (yellow circle) are concerned with all three.

These organisations may actually need to set up more than one Knowledge Management Framework.

An example

For example, we are working right now with a manufacturing company, looking at the way it manages knowledge.  We have found that they are not doing too badly in terms of product knowledge, but really need to sharpen their process knowledge. To this end, we are recommending two KM Frameworks, which we can summarise as follows:

A Product KM framework including

  • Knowledge Gap Analysis
  • Toyota A3 process
  • A set of Subject-matter-responsible engineers
  • Development of engineering checksheets
  • Linkage between the issues list, the checksheets and the failure-mode analysis
A Process KM framework including
If and when this company starts to look at Customer-focused Knowledge as well, we might recommend a third framework for their contact centre, including
  • Creation of knowledge articles based on consumer contacts
  • Contact centre coaches
  • Knowledge base software
What we find is that its mainly the bigger organisations that need more than one framework, but even for the medium sized organisations it’s worth asking whether one framework will fit all needs.

We often hear there is no “one size fits all” for KM, and sometimes there is no one KM solution that fits all parts of the organisation either. 

View Original Source Here.

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