Thursday, September 6, 2007

Gartner PCC Summit 2007 (part 14)

“Knowledge Management in a Connected World” (by Regina Casonato from Gartner) at PCC 2007 Summit.

- how is the role of KM in workplace initiatives evolving?
- what are the best practices for KM success?
- how can you incorporate new PCC technologies in KM projects?


Regina stresses that she will not talk about technologies with respect to KM. KM is about people.

Knowledge Management is not in their Hype Cycle anymore because it has reached the “plateau of productivity”.

Knowledge Management can now really be about Managing Knowledge (not products)
- workplace products such as portals, content management and collaboration are good enough to get out of the way
- emerging technology will help people manage knowledge in new ways
- people, business and operational issues remain the most difficult

Key issues of this presentation:
  1. What must we consider when starting a KM initiative, and when improving KM projects in their second or third iteration?
  2. how can KM help specific vertical and horizontal processes?
  3. how can emerging technologies help organizations manage knowledge better?
KM 101: Gartner’s working definition of Knowledge Management:
formalizing (deliberate program) the management of an enterprise’s intellectual assets (information resources that improve the operation of the company)
2007 key issues:
- what are the best ways to justify and initiate a KM initiative?
- what are the best practices for improving KM projects in their second and third iteration?
- how can emerging technologies help organisations manage knowledge better?
- how can KM improve the execution of specific vertical and horizontal processes?

KM is:
- methodologies and frameworks
Not a market
- something one does
Not something one buys
- Collected best practices
Not a collection of technologies

Knowledge Management Organization: start with the initiative and application (bottom-up and top-down approach).
  1. initiative (high-level commitment to improve how the organization manages intellectual assets)
  2. programs (set of ongoing projects within a particular process or business area)
  3. projects (specific efforts focused on one aspect of knowledge)
  4. applications (systems used in daily work)
There's a shifting role of technology in KM. They are contributor.

How to get started?

- decide on scope: initiative or application?
Get sponsorship or at least high-level validation
- find a recognizable business issue to address
- minimize initial investments; use what is already available
- build credibility with initial small-scale successes before scaling up the effort.

KM professionalization
Some of the most frequent questions in the past:
- are there certification programs?
- what are the job descriptions and roles?
- what training is available?

Institutes offering KM training and certifications (partial list):
- Crainfield University
- Danube University
- George Mason University
- KMCI
- George Washington University
- KM Institute
- Lancaster University
- Tilburg University
(However, mostly IT focused...)

How to keep KM going and growing?
- encourage usage (find out why people aren't using 'it')
- look for multipliers
- promote business value first, KM tie-in second
- beware of direct $ incentives
- use it or lose it
- embed KM in (current) processes

Regina also discussed outsourcing from a knowledge management perspective. Many mistakes made, due to misunderstanding of what corporate knowledge really is/was.

Retaining knowledge from employees leaving due to retirement or restructuring.
- start early, don't wait until he/she leaves
- use different approaches: apprenticeship, retainers, continuing coaching, expert-as-coach
- determine technology support for capturing and storing

A natural place to start a KM initiative is in the IT organization, because they are used to technology. However, don't expect this project to replicate in another part of the organization.

Regina gives a nice overview of (known) technologies that you can use for KM initiatives, for "network collective intelligence/crowd sourcing". E.g. wiki's, blogs, etc.
Mentions the portal as important tool, personal portals based on mashups.

KM priorities in 2008:
- recognizing and encouraging adoption of best practices
- connecting different projects into a larger project
- applying specific KM initiatives to vertical and horizontal processes
- demonstrating value
- adopting and adapting emerging technologies to support KM goals

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