November 30, 2009

Make The Most Of What You Know

Make The Most Of What You Know
Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, UK
1st December
www.ia-centre.org.uk

I will be demonstrating knowledge retention at this event. Hope to see you all there.

Presented by the Intellectual Assets Centre, Scotland’s agency for development of businesses and organisations through effective management of their intangible assets, with support from the European Regional Development Fund, this event boasts an array of high profile speakers ranging from Tim Harford, BBC presenter and Financial Times Undercover Economist, to Ian Brinkley of the Work Foundation and includes presentations from such prestigious companies as Fujitsu, whose Knowledge Business Manager, Graeme Mackay, will explore their in-company approach to the challenges and the benefits of effective knowledge management.

However, this event is far from ‘talk-and-chalk’. David Gurteen founder of the Gurteen Knowledge Community – a global learning network of 14,000 people in 153 countries - will be speaking and running his legendary knowledge cafe, focussing on developing and utilising knowledge sharing strategies, with legal firm Maclay, Murray, Spens facilitating a legal CPDsession with accredited learning for attending legal professionals.

November 19, 2009

Good Costs, Bad Costs

In every operational plant there are activities that you plan for and allocate a budget to their delivery. An example might be the planned replacement of a section of pipe. These can be referred to as ‘good costs’.

There are other activities which are unplanned and unwanted. While there may be a budget to undertake unplanned work like this, it is not money that you want to spend. An example might be to replace a section of a pipe that has failed and is currently causing production downtime due to its failure. These can be referred to as ‘bad costs’.

The challenge is to have a conversation where the word ‘cost’ is included. Operations management want to drive out cost and sometimes have difficulty distinguishing between ‘good costs’ and ‘bad costs’, they just hear the word ‘cost’ and want to irradiate it.

Do you have an alternative terminology that you use to distinguish between expenditure that is planned and adds value to the plant, and reactive, unplanned expenditure that is the result of an unscheduled incident on the plant?
The above came about during a discussion I was having at the Smart Ops conference. We were discussing how the Choke Model had been created in BP as a vehicle to allow a fact based discussion to be conducted on efficiency of various parts of the overall plant process and also allowed learning to be captured and shared. We were also discussing how the Choke Model is now used in many industries to allow similar fact based discussions to occur and knowledge to be shared and re-used. Within BP this has now evolved into Common Process and while it is providing BP with significant insights as to how to improve plant up-time and share the knowledge of how this is being achieved, there is still difficulty discussing ‘costs’. We used the terms ‘good costs’ and ‘bad costs’ as described above, but our thoughts were that perhaps there is another way of engaging management in this discussion. If you know of one, I would be delighted to hear it.

Knoco Ltd

November 11, 2009

Knowledge Management and Smart Operations

I am just putting the final touches to the presentation I will be giving at the Smart Operations Conference next week in London, UK. The conference organisers, IQPC, have asked me to talk about how organisations can harvest their knowledge and use it to update their standards and procedures leading to best production practices and reduced costs. Of course once the standards and procedures have been updated they then need to be applied.

As I was putting the presentation together I created a mind map that I could use to ensure that I had covered the main points in the presentation. It wasn’t my intention to create a mind map that was exhaustive in nature but rather something that I could use to prompt me once I had drafted the presentation. I thought you might find it interesting to see some of the main points that I covered in the mind map;
• The challenge facing industry and project managers in terms of skills availability, retention and application
• Feedback on research into effectiveness of lessons learned systems
• Some of the barriers that impede the use of standards
• Some of the factors that you need for knowledge harvesting
• Moving beyond lessons learned
• Driving to excellence through standardisation
• Managing lessons
• Situations where new knowledge is created
• Enabling factors such as technology and communities
• Governance, metrics and monitoring

I hope to see you at the conference; the focus will be on applying knowledge to improve operational performance.

Allegedly in historical times if a clan wanted to get rid of someone but didn’t want to kill them they burned their house down. From this the expression, ‘to fire someone’ was born meaning to get rid of them.

Knoco Ltd

November 10, 2009

Knoco Benefits Mapping Template

Being able to articulate the benefits to senior management of utilising knowledge management in your project or organisation can sometimes be a challenge. We have found that creating a benefits map can be of immense value as it allows you to illustrate the benefits that could be achieved.

The purpose of the Benefits Mapping Template is to allow the participants in a benefits workshop to articulate, in the form of a diagram, how knowledge management interventions can yield measurable business results in service of business drivers or goals. We run the workshop with senior business leaders, whose guidance and buy-in are crucial.

This template will allow you to create your own benefits map. It can be requested at here.

As always we would welcome your feedback on the use of our free templates and tools.

November 5, 2009

Knowledge Management Event, Edinburgh, Scotland

If you are going to be in Edinburgh, Scotland, this is worth attending.


It’s all in the know-how!
Scotland’s Supplier Gathering

In today’s business environment knowledge and its effective use can be a critical factor to achieving business success, which is why the Intellectual Assets Centre has developed a major one-day conference to help Scotland’s business professionals identify, capture and exploit this all-important know-how.

Presented by the Intellectual Assets Centre, Scotland’s agency for development of businesses and organisation through effective management of their intangible assets, this event boasts an array of high profile speakers ranging from Tim Harford, BBC presenter and Financial Times Undercover Economist to Ian Brinkley of the Work Foundation. There will also be ‘live business surgeries’ where such prestigious companies as Fujitsu will explore their in-company approach to the challenges and the benefits of effective knowledge management and receive expert advice and direction of KM best practice from Knoco’s Tom Young.

However, this event is far from ‘talk-and-chalk’. David Gurteen founder of the Gurteen Knowledge Community – a global learning network of 14,000 people in 153 countries - will be running his legendary knowledge cafe, focussing on developing and utilising knowledge sharing strategies and legal firm Maclay Murray Spens will be facilitating a legal CPD session with accredited learning for attending legal professionals.

So if you are a professional adviser working in intellectual property, economic development, knowledge and technology transfer, an accountant, lawyer, director, manager, policy maker, academic or student – there will definitely be something of immense value for you!

As Iain Russell, chief executive of the Intellectual Assets Centre puts it; “Know-how or the knowledge and skill required to do something is an important type of intellectual property; even more so in the current economic climate, where organisations everywhere are searching for a competitive edge. This event will focus on how best to capture an organisation’s know-how and transform it into real bottom line benefits”.

If helping businesses develop is your business then this is the one event of the year that you cannot afford to miss! As well as gaining the knowledge, skills and strategies to help business to innovate and flourish through the exploitation of their inherent knowledge and know how, you will have the opportunity to meet with like-minded professionals and build your own network of knowledge-orientated contacts.

To find out how you can become part of Scotland’s knowledge community, simply visit our website: www.ia-centre.org.uk or book your place on the Gathering, simply call our Conference Organiser, Vicki Grant on 0141 434 1500.

November 2, 2009

Preparing Your Knowledge

When I read the coverage about how the last piano manufacturing plant in the UK was closing down and the work being transferred overseas my heart went out to the workforce. They had been manufacturing pianos for almost 100 years but had to be rescued just over 25 years ago but now the end had come. Unemployment is a terrible thing. The factory that will now manufacture the pianos is over four times the size of the factory that is closing.

One of the assignments that we conducted was for an organisation whose business environment was going to be changed by a change in the regulations and the company sought our assistance to prepare for the new working environment.

After we had conducted the assessment to understand what knowledge they and how they used that knowledge we worked with them to identify the new knowledge that they would require in order to be successful once the regulatory framework had been changed. We used processes such as BDAL (business driven action learning) to import the new knowledge that they required.

We also put in place processes to systematically manage the existing knowledge that would still be of value in the new regulatory regime.

This gave them a framework that allowed their key knowledge to be applied. The framework also ensured that learning from the application of that knowledge in the new regulatory was also captured and applied.

The new regulatory environment meant that some of what the previously did was no longer of any value. The knowledge had passed its sell by date, it was still knowledge but it didn’t have any value to them in the new regulatory environment. The knowledge was packaged into ‘knowledge bundles’ and archived.

This organisation did however something very interesting with the knowledge that they no longer required, they tried to sell it. It might not have application in their new environment but that wasn’t to say it might not have value to another organisation. Because they had the knowledge distilled and packaged into knowledge bundles they were able to approach other organisations and engage them in a discussion re a potential sale.

I came across a new term today; narrative engineering. The text in which it appeared was “Narrative engineering is the KM discipline that applies storytelling to the purposes of the organisation.”


Knoco Ltd