Today´s organizations are moving faster than ever before and are facing new challenges that come in different shapes and sizes. They need rapid answers and traditional knowledge management (KM) is not often able to deliver on time.
Knowledge as an asset has not lost momentum, in fact organizations still need proper KM tools and methods in order to reduce the risk of knowledge loss, improve collaboration, standardize best practices and so on. Problem begins when we try to solve this issues with a KM vision that was meant for a 90s-type business and not for today’s exponential organizations.
I still remember a conversation with a local CEO about how he felt KM could contribute to solve his problems and there are a few things I think are worth pointing out:
- “I believe knowledge management is worth it, only if you have the sufficient time to wait for results. It’s a long term race and we need a shorter course.”
- “You don´t necessarily need every KM strategy. Why should I choose to develop communities of practices or fund a peer assist program? We don´t need everything, just bring along the right amount of strategies and tools”
- “You don’t need KM to be deployed at every level of the organization. It should be flexible enough so that I can use KM in projects or teams that really need it and at the correct time”.
Following that moment, I was able to implement an agile version of KM in an IT corporation. The primary focus was never to deploy KM across all the organization, rather, to focus on key business issues that needed to be resolved and from that point onwards work hand to hand with the process owners in order to quickly develop a course of action and start generating results (using only the necessary tools and resources).
We began to work in the software factory where many projects were not reusing components so basically they were starting from scratch with every new requirement. Components are used to build, document and test systems and applications. It’s a form of explicit knowledge that is developed by coders and programmers. This led to many project members taking upto 8.5 additional hours trying to develop new components instead of using the available ones.
What was the result of that experience? Did we obtain the expected results? How did we change the way KM was deployed in order to fit current exponential organizations?
Have a look at the following slides that sum up our experience. This model was later applied at other 12 business units (from 4 different firms) and similar results were obtained.
If you cannot visualize the presentation please click here or go to the following url https://www.slideshare.net/jfavero/knowledge-management-for-2018