Thursday 29 May 2008

Presenting at Connectr #4 in Dublin

I will be presenting a "15 minutes of Fame" session at the ILUG Connectr #4 event at the IBM campus in Dublin on June 3rd. My slot is called "Implementing KM - Success Factors" which is closely linked to my previous post on the subject when finishing my dissertation.

Sunday 18 May 2008

Web 2.0 Conceptual Model by Ravi Govil

A great post by Ravi Govil called Web 2.0 - Conceptual Model. It communicates the enterprise view of how web 2.0 can support your collaboration needs and provides clarity of where these new behaviours include uses, communities and your enterprise content. Below is the conceptual diagram he presents for Web 2.0 principles:

  1. Web as a Platform.

  2. Service Agnostic of the Device.

  3. Data is the Competitive Advantage.

  4. Harnessing Collective Intelligence.

  5. New Web Business Model.

Saturday 17 May 2008

Promoting Your Enterprise Wiki Portal - Business Card Idea

I have been thinking of ways to promote our enterprise wiki, particularly to new groups who have not been using wiki systems before. One thing I have been trying to do is to sell the concept that the wiki portal can act as a central knowledge repository that we can all benefit from. We called it 'OnePlace', to symbolise this idea "...find all your answers in One Place!".

Then, in a slide show I was putting together, it came to me that if I want to promote this as a great source of knowledge within the organisation, why not promote it using a business card. Now if teams say "where will we find information about xxxx", they can check OnePlace!

I have yet to 'test' this idea, but I think I will include it in any presentations I give internally as my closing slide......"Now the important contact you need is OnePlace"

Wednesday 7 May 2008

Internal Blogging at BT

Another great post by Richard Dennison called Blogging Inside BT in which he describes how "BT management is prepared to allow its employees to express themselves and their opinions on ‘unregulated’, self-publishing platforms". It is a great read and another example of how to link the use of Web 2.0 tools to providing value internally behind the firewall.

I also like a response he has added to a comment on the post, relating to how blogs can have a longer life span than traditional discussion forums as "the owner feels responsible for keeping it going because it is part of their personal brand." I like this enterprise blogging idea, as it allows all employees to become experts in their own area, and makes individual knowledge more available to the wider internal community.

I have linked to Richard before, relating to his post on Web 2.0 adoption at BT. It seems that they have a clear vision of what they can achieve by empowering their employees with information and knowledge resources.

Anyone interested in real examples of how to formulate Web 2.0 strategy and learn from the BT examples should subscribe to Richard's blog Inside Out.

Tuesday 6 May 2008

Implementing KM - Success Factors

I gave a presentation tonight at the Dublin Institute of Technology based on my dissertation. In it I was demonstrating the high level findings of the research and some of the learning points and experiences of piloting an enterprise wiki as a knowledge management enabler.

First off was the idea that knowledge management is much more about people, their knowledge and embedding a knowledge sharing culture than any particular technology. IT will inevitably be part of any large KM initiative, but is only the enabler of the end goal. It is important to tie the goals of the KM program to the objectives of the organisation in which it is positioned. This will help senior management to sell and promote it.

I have tried to promote the benefits of KM as part of the initiative. I have found it is important to communicate these in a language which makes sense to all stakeholders, without too much jargon. The first 3 are recommended by Stan Garfield. They were:
  • Avoiding redundant effort.
  • Avoiding repeated mistakes.
  • Taking advantage of existing expertise in the organisation.
  • Making individuals more effective.
  • Making teams more effective.

Given the people focus of my research, collaboration and knowledge flows became important. If we examine the knowledge networks which exist in an organisation, we can better understand how knowledge flows throughout it. Large Organisations are made up of many networks, with key players who act as information brokers, boundary spanners, central connectors, and peripheral specialists. These flows can often create knowledge bottlenecks of bureaucracy, which can prevent free knowledge sharing.

Next it was onto Web 2.0, and how the elements and behaviours of web 2.0 applications and communities are becoming increasingly popular in knowledge management. For example, a Forrester paper out last week reported that 85% of companies using Wikis were using them as a knowledge management tool. The match between tools such as wikis to the knowledge cycle (find, organise, share, use/reuse) and the enabling features (Search Link Author Tag Extend Signal) of web 2.0 is one which has not gone unoticed. My approach was simple:

  • Engage Senior Management to back the initiative.
  • Secure exclusive, high profile use-cases for the portal.
  • Brand the portal to promote its use.
  • Meet with prospective teams and user groups to gauge reaction.
  • Drive wiki adoption by becoming a ‘Wiki Champion’.

The initiative was supported top-down by senior management, driven bottom-up from grassroots, and promoted laterally through communities of practices. This ensures sustained engagement across a wide range of groups within the organisation.

3 high level conclusions:

  1. Knowledge management is more about people and the processes which enable knowledge management than specific technologies.

  2. Simplicity is important, providing knowledge workers with the tools to quickly capture, organise, share and reuse knowledge which is important to their work.

  3. Wiki’s provide users with the collaborative environment required for successful knowledge management.