Oct 272016
 

ajrhem-italy-corp-meetingThe Central Knowledge Management Office (CKMO) is comprised of Senior Management and Core Team members and is the vehicle for implementing and keeping under review the KM initiatives that will be championed by the organization. The CKMO will support KM innovation, and enhance individual and organizational performance, by delivering improved learning, collaboration, and knowledge sharing into the culture of your organization’s environment.

The challenge of knowledge management is to determine what knowledge within an organization qualifies as “valuable.” All information is not knowledge, and all knowledge is not valuable. The key is to find the worthwhile knowledge within a vast sea of information. Oftentimes, knowledge management is misunderstood as simply maintaining websites or other technology. Besides what is mentioned above, the following list outlines what a CKMO delivers:

  • CKMO is orderly and goal-directed. It is inextricably tied to the strategic objectives of the organization. It uses only the knowledge that is the most meaningful, practical, and purposeful.
  • CKMO is ever-changing. There is no such thing as an immutable law in CKMO. Knowledge is constantly tested, updated, revised, and sometimes even declared obsolete when it is no longer practicable. It is a fluid, ongoing process.
  • CKMO is value-added. It draws upon a vast amount of knowledge located throughout many repositories across your organization.
  • CKMO is visionary. This vision is expressed in strategic business terms rather than technical terms, and in a manner that generates enthusiasm, buy-in, and motivates managers to work together toward reaching common goals.
  • CKMO is complementary. It can be integrated with other organizational initiatives such as KCS and ITIL.

Once the process captures the organization’s knowledge, the real power occurs when an organization’s members act on that shared knowledge.

The following are essential components to establish and maintain the CKMO (Vision, Mission and KM Governance)

CKMO Vision

The CKMO enables the retrieval, creation, sharing, collaboration and management of knowledge and through the implementation of workflow, search and collaboration capabilities, the CKMO vision is to quickly provide reliable solutions to questions and support the organization’s knowledge management needs.

CKMO Mission

The CKMO mission is to support the vision of CKMO and implement the initiatives that support the best practices identified by the CKMO strategy. The CKMO Team will execute a Knowledge Management program that embodies situational understanding, organizational learning and decision making by providing knowledge products and services that are relevant, accurate, and timely.

CKMO Governance

Knowledge Management Governance ensures policy adherence and provides controls to guarantee that the knowledge stored and accessed provides the best value for the organization. CKMO Governance describes the policies, procedures, roles, and responsibilities to successfully maintain the organization’s knowledge assets. Effective governance planning and the application of the governance plan are critical for the ongoing success of knowledge management within the organization.

The governance plan will establish the processes and policies to:

  • Avoid proliferation of unnecessary knowledge by defining consistent review process (workflow).
  • Ensure that knowledge quality is maintained for the life of the knowledge asset by implementing quality management policies.
  • Provide a consistently high quality user experience by defining guidelines for knowledge creators.
  • Establish clear decision-making authority and escalation procedures so policy violations are managed and conflicts are resolved on a timely basis.
  • Ensure that the solution strategy is aligned with business objectives so that it continuously delivers business value.
  • Ensure that knowledge is retained in compliance with organizational retention guidelines.

As always, I look forward to comments and conversation on this topic.

Aug 312016
 

Knowledge Management in Practice by Anthony J RhemKnowledge is recognized as a valuable asset in organizations across many industries. How knowledge is shared, leveraged, obtained and managed will be the difference in how successful and sustainable an organization will become. This book is a culmination of my years of experience within the knowledge management (KM) discipline. Since 1998 I have been involved in knowledge management, from researching, developing processes for capturing and codifying knowledge, developing knowledge management systems, developing and operationalizing knowledge management strategies across several industries, writing articles, books, developing and teaching KM curriculum and speaking at numerous KM conferences.

My latest book Knowledge Management in Practice covers how knowledge management is leveraged in several industries. An examination of the various uses of KM practices, policies, procedures and methods including tips and techniques to create a competitive advantage are presented. The industries that are covered include first responders, military, healthcare, Insurance, financial services, legal, human resources, merger and acquisition firms, and research institutions.

Essential Knowledge Management concepts are also explored not only from a foundational perspective, but from a practical application. These knowledge management concepts include capturing and codifying tacit and explicit knowledge, KM methods, information architecture, search, KM and social media, KM and Big Data, adoption of KM, and why KM Initiatives fail.

The following are the subjects that are covered and what you can expect from the various chapters:

  • The Case for Knowledge Management (KM): Chapter 2 – The Case for Knowledge Management details the factors you must consider to in order to make the case for your organization to start instituting KM and its various practices and policies. This chapter details what will be necessary for your organization to either launch a KM initiative/project, and/or establish a KM program.
  • Being Social – KM and Social Media: Chapter 3 – In this chapter KM and Social Media examines how social media tools and techniques are becoming facilitators of knowledge for the organization. In this chapter specific guidance and insight is given to develop your organizations social media strategy and to determine the social media tools, techniques and platforms that can be utilized to begin taking advantage of what social media can bring to KM.
  • Dude, where’s my car: Utilizing Search in KM: Chapter 4 – Utilizing search in KM details the importance of search in knowledge management and in particular a knowledge management system. Several aspects of implementing search are examined including the importance of having user centric information architecture.
  • The Age of Discovery: KM in Research Institutions: Chapter 5 – Research institutions play a key role in product innovation. Knowledge Management is a catalyst to stimulating and sustaining a high level of innovation. This chapter examines how KM is utilized; focusing on various KM methods that can and in some cases are being incorporated at research institutions.
  • Where has all my experts gone? – KM in Human Resources and Talent Management: Chapter 6 – When it comes to talent management KM can play a critical role in ensuring the knowledge assets are captured and made available to the enterprise. KM in talent management when applied holistically involves capturing and sharing employee knowledge from onboarding to exit interview.
  • Sound the Alarm! – KM in Emergency and Disaster Preparedness: Chapter 7  – Emergency and disaster preparedness is enhanced through the incorporation of knowledge management. Putting the right knowledge in the right context at the right time in the hands of First Responders could be the difference in saving lives and preventing casualties. It is important to begin with a comprehensive KM strategy in order to establishing a plan to deliver the knowledge in a timely manner.
  • Happily Ever After – KM in Mergers and Acquisitions: Chapter 8 – When organizations merge or are acquired there is a level of uncertainty both from a macro (organization) level and from a micro (employee) level. Applying KM to mergers and acquisitions will enable the organization to know what knowledge is important to retain, who those knowledge holders are, what are the knowledge gaps and how to quantify the knowledge of the organization. From an employee standpoint having the organization share knowledge about the pending transaction as well as incentify employees to share what they know and to assist employees in transitioning (within the new organization or to a new organization) will go a long way to ensure a smooth M&A transaction.
  • Is there a Doctor in the house? – KM in Healthcare: Chapter 9 – Healthcare has become focused on the individual. As the healthcare community moves to electronic record keeping and capturing patient information at the point of initial interaction; having accurate knowledge about that patient as well as having the patient knowledgeable about his/her own health is essential to the success of caring for that patient. KM is an essential ingredient for healthcare success, especially in the areas of drug interaction analysis, sharing of patient diagnosis between hospitals and doctors, and furthering the development of healthcare informatics.
  • Show me the Money! – KM in Financial Services: Chapter 10 – Knowledge Management in the financial services sector centers on being able to attract, serve and retain customers. By delivering the tools to customers that provide knowledge in order to make sound financial decisions is at the heart of what KM will provide. In order to bring innovative financial services and products to the marketplace and have an understanding of how it will best serve and benefit the customer; putting specific knowledge at the fingertips of employees serving the customer will also be critical component of what KM will bring.
  • Are you in Good Hands? – KM in Insurance Industry: Chapter 11 – In this chapter you will learn how KM in the insurance industry is used to communicate knowledge to customers, agents and customer contact centers while providing mechanisms for employees to share, capture and catalog knowledge. KM in the insurance industry will provide the knowledge to (among other things), complete applications, bind insurance, and service a claim.
  • Sign Right Here! – KM in the Legal Profession: Chapter 12 – In this chapter an examination of how KM can/should be used to enhance the management of a law firm and execute on client engagements will be presented. KM in law firms is primarily executed through the building and fostering communities of practice around practice specialties. This enables legal representatives to respond to a situation with the right expertise, equipped with the right knowledge to resolve a legal matter.
  • Get That Knowledge! – Knowledge Management Education: Chapter 13 – This chapter examines the state of knowledge management education. This examination includes KM certification programs, KM curriculum at institutions of higher learning, as well as KM education policies, procedures and future direction of KM education. In addition this chapter will present specific criteria to consider when selecting a KM education option.
  • Big Knowledge! KM in Big Data: Chapter 14 – In this chapter an examination of how KM can and should be used to gain knowledge from your Big Data resources will be presented. How KM will be used on Big Data to provide a rich structure to enable decisions to be made on a multitude and variety of data is the essence of this examination. Along with specific analysis of the various types of data and KM methods for examining this data, a detailed understanding of KM’s impact on Big Data can be realized.
  • What have you done for the War Fighter Today? – KM in the Military: Chapter 15  – There is a rich history when it comes to KM in the Military. An examination of how KM in the military is being used with special attention to such events as Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC) will be examined. In addition a look at the various branches of the military (Army, Air Force, and Navy) and their KM Strategies, KM systems and KM methods are presented.
  • Drinking the KM-Kool-Aid: Knowledge Management Adoption: Chapter 16 -Adoption of KM programs, policies, methods, and systems, is a challenge for all organizations. This chapter is all about adoption! If your organization does not adopt its KM principles, practices, processes, procedures or systems that deliver KM they may be recognized as a failure. This chapter will present specific guidance on how to improve KM adoption and how to position your KM initiatives for success.
  • Failure is not an option! – Why KM Projects Fail: Chapter 17 – With lofty promises come unrealized results. Knowledge Management gained widespread popularity in the 90’s, however many KM initiatives failed and this popularity has tapered quite a bit. Since the mid 2000’s a renaissance of KM began to occur, some disparate KM success started to be achieve (call centers, research, human resources, military ) and KM is now considered as a discipline to use as a competitive advantage. Although KM is being used with some success in this new knowledge economy, many KM initiatives still fail. This chapter details the factors that contribute to KM initiatives failing as well as measures to adhere to in order to achieve KM success.

Included in this publication is an in-depth synopsis of each chapter and an overall introduction to the book in chapter 1. The book concludes with chapter 18, which offers a summary of the book and insight on what’s next for knowledge management.

For those individuals and organizations who have purchased my book I would like to thank you and invite you to ask me questions about the material covered in the book and/or any KM questions that are on your mind.

Jul 312016
 

MentoringI want to start this blog post by asking a question.

Question: Once you complete a training class, a college course, and/or a seminar are you then ready right away to apply what you’ve learned to effectively do your job?

I believe in 90% of the cases that answer is NO!

So how do we begin to address this? One proven way is to have a trusted mentor with the expertise you need to work with your team or individual to implement what has been learned. Mentoring or instituting a mentor protégé program is a proven method to transfer knowledge. Knowledge Management (KM) like any other discipline, needs mentors (or experts) to assist organizations to properly carry out their vision and mission for implementing KM. To properly execute KM at your organization, no matter if your organization is new to KM or have a need to bring your team to another level of understanding, mentoring is the preferred method.

Mentor, Coach or Consultant (adapted from Afif Tabsh)

So what distinguishes a mentor, coach or consultant:

Mentor: Someone who has a considerable amount of experience in a specific field, topic, industry and uses it to guide others, to show them how to use it and understand why it’s used a certain way.

Coach: Someone who has the skills and know-how of asking the right questions to people to extract ideas, concerns and decisions from them. A coach works through others to get results rather than show them the way or guide them into a solution.

Consultant: Someone who has the knowledge and expertise in a certain field, topic or industry along with the skills of how to facilitate discussions and ask the right questions to be able to give you the best solution for a specific issue or problem you are facing.

A Mentor is a combination of both Coach and Consultant!

What we are doing at my firm A.J. Rhem & Associates is implementing an online mentoring environment for Knowledge Management. We are taking the idea of the mentor and creating an environment where those who are working with KM to execute KM projects and/or establish KM programs can receive the guidance needed to achieve success and deliver on what KM can do for you as a practitioner and your organization.

Knowledge Management Mentor – Online

The KM Mentor.com site brings essential KM concepts to all subscribers that are not only from a foundational perspective but also from a practical application. These concepts include but are not limited to, capturing and codifying tacit and explicit knowledge, KM methods, information architecture, search, KM and social media, KM and Big Data, and the adoption of KM.

KM Mentor provides access to:

  • Presentations by industry leaders on a variety of topics
  • KM templates and instruction on executing KM strategy, performing knowledge transfer, and KM assessments and audits
  • KM program and project implementation guidance
  • Insights and reviews on KM tools
  • Guidance on implementing and executing various KM Methods
  • Specialized KM publications
  • A private secure collaboration community for members to discuss ideas and get expert answers and advice

As always I welcome your comments!