Integrating KM in Business Processes, Prusak on Knowledge, KMWorld 100, Authentic Leadership
KM Question of the Week
Q: I need some examples of how other companies have integrated KM into their business processes so that KM efforts are sustained and practiced on regular basis in the organization.
A: Here are three examples from HP:
- Knowledge Capture & Reuse (KCR) — an official process and policy which specifies when knowledge is to be captured and reused. The Solution Opportunity And Review (SOAR) process includes embedded checkpoints for asking bid teams what content is being reused. Project Startup includes the required submission of a Project Profile to the Project Profile Repository (PPR). The Project Closeout process includes a requirement to capture project lessons learned.
- Communities of Practice (CoPs) — a process called Ask the Expert uses community discussion forums as a reliable method of getting answers to questions. In some cases, community forums are replacing user help desks as the preferred method for providing internal IT support.
- Project Team Collaboration — when any new project is started, a collaborative team space is created using SharePoint. A standard template is provided to jumpstart the team space with relevant content and links. All collaboration between the members of the project team, the customer, and partners takes place in this standard environment.
For more information, see Capture and Reuse. From my colleague Marcus Funke:
KCR was laid out in more detail in a presentation to a local PMI chapter. The approach for HP Services was to focus on the key processes that generate value for our customers (e.g., our custom project selling and delivery). Next we worked with our Program Management Office (overseeing and governing these processes) to identify the key milestones and checkpoints where we could insert “KM hooks”.
We selected two major areas:
- Our governance process to decide about pursuing/not pursuing large custom projects (SOAR)
- Our Project Management Methodology
Both were under control of our PMO and were already implemented and known to our target audiences. This way we were able to leverage the communication and maintenance infrastructure of the PMO.
Last but not least a comment about ‘interesting side effects’ that occur over time. Since KM does not own these processes, the original owner should understand very well the purpose of the embedded activity. Otherwise it can happen that new process owners start their job, try to do something like ‘cleanup’ and suddenly your KM work is at stake. Proven ways to overcome this include maintain close relationships with the process owners and ensure good briefings every time a role change happens.
KM Blog of the Week
These are my notes from a talk that Larry Prusak gave at my invitation at the Kellogg School back when I was on the faculty there in 2002.
- Unit of Analysis
- Social Capital
- Defining Knowledge
- Promoting Community
- Knowledge and Learning
Larry closed with a really great question to use when poking around in an organization trying to get a sense of its attitudes toward knowledge and learning — “can you make a mistake around here?”
KM Link of the Week
So why do these companies matter? Not necessarily because they are the most innovative, but that’s a factor. Not because they are ahead of the curve on Enterprise 2.0 initiatives, but that’s also a factor.
Not because they are the most financially successful (that’s not a factor), and not because they have the most efficient marketing engines — that’s not a factor either.
We have long held that the true essence of knowledge management is an attitude, a single-minded commitment to improvement. And companies on our list simply must emphasize an abiding determination to serve their most important constituency: their customers. They must also show agile innovation combined with a full understanding of the forces that affect, and will affect, their customers.
KM Book of the Week
On March 12, 2008, I gave a talk on How to be an Authentic Leader at Michigan State University. My slides include links to 25 books that relate to the main points. Here is the full list.
- Developing the Leader Within You by John Maxwell
- You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader: How Anyone, Anywhere, Can Make a Positive Difference by Mark Sanborn
- A Force For Change: How Leadership Differs from Management by John Kotter
- Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value by Bill George
- What Makes a Leader by Ron Huber
- The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t by Robert Sutton
- Know Thyself, Show Thyself: A Guide to Becoming the Person You’ve Always Dreamed of Being by Victor August
- True to Yourself: Leading a Values-Based Business by Mark Albion
- Practice What You Preach: What Managers Must Do to Create a High-Achievement Culture by David Maister
- Bold Leadership for Organizational Acceleration by Jim Tompkins
- True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership by Bill George with Peter Sims
- Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions by John Hammond, Ralph Keeney, and Howard Raiffa
- A Bias for Action: How Effective Managers Harness Their Willpower, Achieve Results, and Stop Wasting Time by Heike Bruch and Sumantra Ghoshal
- Communicate or Die: Getting Results Through Speaking and Listening by Thomas Zweifel
- Leadership Presence: Dramatic Techniques To Reach Out, Motivate, And Inspire by Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar
- The Secret Language of Leadership: How Leaders Inspire Action Through Narrative by Stephen Denning
- The Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Companies Turn Knowledge into Action by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton
- Thinking for a Living: How to Get Better Performances And Results from Knowledge Workers by Thomas Davenport
- The HP Way: How Bill Hewlett and I Built Our Company by David Packard
- Successful Team Building by Thomas Quick
- Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
- Focus: The Future of Your Company Depends on It by Al Ries
- Ego Check: Why Executive Hubris is Wrecking Companies and Careers and How to Avoid the Trap by Mathew Hayward
- Bill & Dave: How Hewlett and Packard Built the World’s Greatest Company by Michael Malone
- Moral Intelligence: Enhancing Business Performance and Leadership Success by Doug Lennick and Fred Kiel