May 292015

TTFOver the next few months I will be posting excerpts from my latest book Knowledge Management in Practice. Today’s post is from Chapter 15 Drinking the KM Kool-Aid: Knowledge Management Adoption:

“Drinking the KM Kool-Aid” is a metaphor to indicate the adoption of Knowledge Management (program, policies, procedures and the methods and systems that enable it) throughout your organization…

Once the need for a KM Program has been determined and immediately after its official launch efforts must be on the way to initiate its adoption. In order to initiate the adoption of your knowledge Management program an effort to market the program and its various components has to be an intentional endeavor…

Utilizing the Task-Technology Fit (TTF) Model for Adoption of Knowledge Management Systems:

The TTF theory can be applied to examine the motivation of users to leverage a KM System to perform their organizational tasks and that applying TTF Theory to the KM Program can have a positive effect on the success and adoption of the KM Program.

In applying the TTF Theory to the KM Program a determination of where the TTF Theory fits within the KM Program structure must be identified. The TTF Theory holds that information technology is more likely to have a positive impact on individual and group performance if it is aligned with the tasks the users perform. When incorporating the KM System into the KM Program the system is aligned with the KM processes that have been identified that the KM Program will support. The KM processes of the KM Program reflect how workers within the organization use knowledge to perform their tasks. The TTF Theory is suited to measure this usage and can be leveraged to understand not only how the KM Systems are being used but will guide the KM Program administrators on the best way to increase adoption and contribute to increasing the performance of the workers who use the KM System.

TTF Theory is predicted to be a significant precursor to KMS usage. Furthermore the Task-Technology Fit (TTF) Theory has shown to be suitable for understanding the specific KM system needs of the program contributing and contribute to the KM Program Roadmap as it pertains to the alignment of technology to the specific milestones and objectives identified within the KM Program. This directly leads to understanding what the key aspects to adoption of the KM system are by the organization’s users and provides mechanisms to measure the rate of adoption contributing to measuring and improve the KM Program as it matures.

The examination of the TTF Theory and more about KM Adoption is detailed in chapter 15.


Dec 312013
Default search results

Default search results using faceted search

In my upcoming publication Knowledge Management in Practice I detail search in a chapter called “Dude Where’s my Car: Utilizing Search in KM”. At the KM World Taxonomy Boot Camp I spoke about Utilizing Ontologies for Taxonomy & Content Organization and during this discussion there were questions concerning faceted search. Before the year ends (literally) I wanted to provide some details concerning faceted search.

Faceted search

Faceted search offers remarkable potential for putting the search experience in the hands of the user. It provides a flexible framework by which users can satisfy a wide variety of information needs, ranging from simple look up and fact retrieval to complex exploratory search and discovery scenarios.

With faceting, search results are grouped under useful headings, using tags you apply ahead of time to the documents in your index. For example, the results of a shopping query for books might be grouped according to the type of book and the price.

Each time the user clicks a facet value, the set of results is reduced to only the items that have that value. Additional clicks continue to narrow down the search — the previous facet values are remembered and applied again.

Faceted search results provide an easy-to-scan, browse and display that helps users quickly narrow down each search. The faceting tags that you store with your documents provide a way to add your own taxonomy to directly control the presentation of search results. In the end, it’s about helping the user find the right information. Faceted search gives a user the power to create an individualized navigation path, drilling down through successive refinements to reach the right document. This more effectively mirrors the intuitive thought patterns of most users. Faceted search has become an expected feature, particularly for commerce sites.

However, before you get too deep into the intricacies of faceted search, it is extremely important that you develop use cases or user stories around your search scenarios mentioned earlier. A great way to get started is to identify the main concepts you would like to search (people, reports, policies, etc.); next create logical categories (start by building or leveraging a taxonomy) for each group (Engineers, Executives, Administrators, etc.) a card sort exercise will be helpful here, and finally create (or use a current) information/content model showing relationships and considering navigation paths.

This will put you on a path to realizing the benefits of faceted search!

Apr 302013
KM in FinanceThis blog post represents a sneak peak at my upcoming book KM in Practice

Show Me the Money!  –  KM in Finance

The financial services industry is a highly dynamic and competitive marketplace. As the fight for customers intensifies, it is increasingly important to attend to customer needs while ensuring customer information is shared with the right people at the right time across the institution. To this end the technology supporting the institution is vital to facilitating the movement of information and knowledge to the customer. KM systems will have an increased importance as trends in personal investing move towards broader services and integrated product offerings.

By utilizing a knowledge management system, all employees interacting with a customer will have up to date knowledge of that customer’s breadth of relationship and experience with the institution. This helps the institution with cross selling, up selling and reporting on the effectiveness of any new customer initiatives.

It is well recognized that the financial services business environment is ever changing and is doing so at an ever increasing rate. This presents financial organizations with the challenge of acting and reacting to this volatility and communicating an appropriate value proposition to the market. In addition having an increasingly sophisticated consumer who is armed with the latest trading technology has added further stress to these companies to deliver the right knowledge at the right time in the right way to their customers.

If you are involved in the financial services sector as an employee and/or customer I would like to hear from you. Are you utilizing the tools and receiving the knowledge to make you successful? Look forward to all of your comments!

Jul 012012

Knowledge Management in the Military Knowledge Management (KM) in the United States (US) Military has been implemented using a top down approach that is resonated through each branch, command, directorate, division, group, battalion, etc.

The US Military has established a culture of KM that leverages its personnel, processes, and systems to facilitate a consistent flow of knowledge and the mechanisms to execute and make decisions from this knowledge.

The current Military KM strategy

It is widely acknowledged that knowledge management (KM) strategy is a desired precursor to developing specific KM initiatives. KM Strategies are established from the top down in every branch of the US Military. As this strategy is propagated and aligned through the organization, it is often a difficult process due a variety of influences and constraints. These KM influences and constraints include understanding, conflicts with IT organizations, funding, technology usage and configuration, and outsourcing.

Each branch of the US Military works to overcome barriers to KM adoption. To this effort an establishment of processes and tools, which involves providing approaches and solutions for knowledge sharing has influenced a change in people’s habits. This change will drive values to move US Military organization culture father to overall KM adoption. In support of the US Military in its knowledge sharing efforts, Communities of Practice (CoP) have become an integral method of sharing and distributing knowledge across all branches of the military. In addition enterprise web search capabilities have been implemented to increase “findability” of key content, which is leverage for decision making at all levels of command.

Continuing KM Challenge of BRAC

The Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC) specifically represents the challenge of capturing knowledge both tacit and explicit before it leaves a command from personnel shifts and loss due to a BRAC move. The US Military has already experienced this knowledge loss and unless steps are taken at least a year in advance of a BRAC move, this loss will continue.

The loss of knowledge has the potential to compromise mission activities and the soldier in theater. Leveraging the US Military’s ability to share knowledge through its established process and tools will help lessen the adverse impact of this knowledge loss. However, without process and tools to capture, catalog, and reuse knowledge, the US Military will be challenged to keep the various commands fully operational and effective long term for the solider in theater.

I am interested to hear from our men and women across the military, this includes active, inactive, reservists, as well as civilian personnel who have worked or are currently working with KM. I would like you to share your thoughts about how you are utilizing KM and/or if you feel KM is/will be a benefit for you!

Mar 232012

Knowledge Management (KM) in law firms has taken off in recent years. Where it’s not only a requirement to have KM experience, a KM Certification (or formal Degree), most law firms are requiring that the candidate also have a JD. The requirement for a JD may not be as stringent at corporations that are looking for KM resources within their legal departments; they usually look for candidates with KM and/or a Library Sciences background. All of this is fueled by the fact that KM enables Legal Organizations to respond quickly, efficiently and effectively when it comes to servicing its customers.

As discussed in a previous blog post Knowledge Management in Law Firms, “Law firms focus centers around client relationships and understanding the clients’ legal needs. These needs can range from but not limited to litigation, intellectual property, criminal, divorce, and bankruptcy. In understanding what a client needs the law firm partner has to determine who would be the best (lawyer/lawyers) to address specific needs of the client and how can they effectively and efficiently handle these needs. Therefore knowledge around servicing the client would be a good start for the KM Strategy to focus. The KM Strategy should address the knowledge needs, processes, initiatives and tools that will increase the performance of the staff and provide outstanding services and increase revenue of the firm”.

Some of the benefits KM has for legal professionals and firms are:

  • The ability through expertise locators to quickly build teams to address cases and client situations
  • The ability through Search Engine Optimization techniques (taxonomies, ontology’s and associated Information Architectures for legal information and knowledge objects) to improve retrieval of case history, enable associations of related cases and rulings, as well as locate knowledge resources (SMEs) based on knowledge objects that are retrieved
  • Share, Collaborate, and Store communication around intellectual capital
  • Mentor and cross train new, associate, and experienced lawyers
  • Manage and expand the talent and experiences of lawyers at the firm

A couple of good resource to look at about KM in Law are, Legal Research and Writing and Knowledge Management in Legal Departments. I am interested to hear from lawyers, law firms, and other legal entities about how you are utilizing KM and/or if you feel KM is/will be a benefit for you!

Jan 272012

KM in specific industriesOver the next few weeks I will examine several industries in which knowledge management (KM) is making an impact. I will take a brief look at Customer Service Centers, Research Institutions, Talent Management, Legal Institutions and the Military.

In this blog post I will take a look at what’s happening with KM as it pertains to Customer Service Centers.

Customer Service Centers are looking to leverage their knowledge assets, KM processes and tools in order to get knowledge to the customer service rep to convey to the customer or directly to the customer in a timely manner. The KM concepts of collaboration through live chat, content management and search as well as KM workflows and expertise locators to enable the “right” resources to solve customer problems are being deployed.

Used properly, knowledge assets with the proper KM tools will enable the customer service centers to not only answer customer questions and solve problems but also increase sales and customer satisfaction through an improved customer experience. KM being leveraged at Customer Service Centers achieve the following:

Lower service cost by reducing repeat calls, call handling/resolution times, and brings down the cost of agent training

Better Quality of Service, Customers are more likely to receive the right answers faster

Consistency in service, with the right KM processes, procedures and tools in place KM ensures that customers with the same question receive the same response, regardless of agent as well as interaction channel or mode

Speaking of tools, some of the tools being utilized for KM in Customer Service Centers include, Kana, and SharePoint. In considering the use of these tools organizations must understand first their knowledge management strategy, how such tools fit within the KM strategy as well as their specific requirements for using one or more of these tools. Keep in mind that if multiple tools are being used to deliver on the KM Strategy your organization should look at ways to integrate the tools in order to deliver consistency in response and service to the customer.

For those organizations leveraging KM or want to utilize KM as part of your Customer Service Center solution I want to hear from you. I look forward to knowing more about what is happening at your Customer Service Centers.

May 242010

knowledge management for law firmsOver the last several weeks I’ve been discussing knowledge management specifically in the areas of healthcare, telecommunications, government (military) and mergers/acquisition.

During these conversations a colleague of mine mentioned law firms and whether KM can provide viable assistance for lawyers and other legal personnel.

The conversation went quickly to KM tools such as those provided by Lexis Nexis ( I cautioned however that KM is not about IT. Technology is an enabler for KM initiatives. You must first understand the business of the law firm and the lawyers who operate in it (every firm and lawyer has different knowledge needs). So, I suggested you start with crafting a KM Strategy to understand how KM will be leveraged by the firm.

Law firms’ focus centers around client relationships and understanding the clients’ legal needs. These needs can range from, but are not limited to,  litigation, intellectual property, criminal, divorce, and bankruptcy. In understanding what a client needs the law firm partner has to determine who would be the best (lawyer/lawyers) to address specific needs of the client and how can they effectively and efficiently handle these needs. Therefore knowledge around servicing the client would be a good start for the KM Strategy to focus.

The KM Strategy should address the knowledge needs, processes, initiatives and tools that will increase the performance of the staff, provide outstanding services and increase revenue of the firm.

Some resources to review are: Effective Knowledge Management for Law Firms, Knowledge management and the smarter lawyer, and Lawyer KM.

I look forward to your comments.

May 012010

To continue the dialog about capturing tacit knowledge and managing human capital, Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC) represents a significant challenge for the United States military to continue operations without compromising mission activities and the soldier in theater. Due to a BRAC move many Commands will be transferring to other locations, while some bases will be closing. Many military personnel will not transition as these bases close and commands move to the new locations. This will undoubtedly cause a loss of personnel resulting in a loss of tacit and explicit knowledge. Leveraging knowledge management (KM) to address this challenge is essential to keep the various commands  fully operational and effective for the solider in theater. The following table represents some contributing factors of a BRAC and it’s effect on the Command:

This challenge has to be addressed and I welcome your comments on this important subject.

Feb 272010

First ResponderDuring a time of crisis, (such as natural disasters, pandemics, acts of terrorism) relevant information and knowledge is not received by the individuals or groups of individuals that need it the most. For instance many times First Responders are not able to respond quickly and effectively without the right information and knowledge during a crisis event. The lack of timely and accurate information increases the level of confusion, resulting in their ineffectiveness that may cause loss of life. Our current emergency broadcast systems are ineffective, see National Public Radio September 30, 2009 “GAO Faults FEMA on Nationwide Alert System (

This ineffectiveness is due to the lack of timely, accurate and meaningful information being delivered to the correct recipients during emergencies. This also prevents first responders, key government leadership and the public from preparing for imminent danger, compromises the ability to make informed decisions and enact the proper emergency preparedness operations.

Knowledge Management (KM) applied to the preparedness, response and recovery mission of First Responders will enable the first responder organizations to arrive at the scene in a timelier manner, be equipped with the right knowledge of the situation and have the right tools and technology to execute their job, resulting in saving lives. In many urban areas of the country, when a first responder team is dispatched they often do not arrive in a timely manner, are not fully aware of the situation and are not fully equipped to handle the situation. Applying KM to disaster preparedness, response and recovery will save lives not only in the communities’ first responders serve but also within the first responder teams themselves resulting in a safer, fully knowledgeable team responding to a crisis event.

With the current crisis event happening in Hawaii, and the recent events in Haiti having an Intelligent National Alert System is critical! Let me know your thoughts, I look forward to your comments.

 Posted by at 12:43 pm