June 21, 2011

Aligning Technology with People and Process

A copy of Stephanie Barnes report “Aligning People, Process and Technology in Knowledge Management” arrived for review this week. I know Stephanie so I expected the report to be of a high calibre and I wasn’t disappointed.

We all have our natural inclinations and biases; some people will focus on the people aspects of knowledge management while others will focus on process while yet others will focus on technology. What Stephanie sets out to do with this report is to start from a technology perspective and link up with the process and people dimensions of knowledge management.

The result is a report that is easy to ready and very clearly demonstrates Stephanie’s ability to present technology in a manner in which the non technology expert can understand. Once she has clearly established that foundation she proceeds to illustrate how technology, people and process are dependant on each other.

The other dimension that I liked in this report is the inclusion in the case studies section examples of knowledge management projects that didn’t work and details of why not. We all know that we can learn as much, if not more, from things that didn’t work as from things that did work. The close relationship that Stephanie has with organisations is illustrated by them sharing details of what didn’t work with her.

The report is published by Ark Group and if I had something to say about the report it would be the pricing policy. In my opinion Ark Group have prevented this report from becoming an industry standard by pricing it far too high. It isn’t just me that thinks it’s too expensive, I have been approached by someone who knows I know Stephanie to ask whether their company should purchase a copy. They were concerned about the cost. Yet another contacted me to see if there were three providers of the report (I have just done a search on Amazon.com and couldn't find it) as he had to get three quotes due to the price of the report. So come on Ark Group, let make key documents such as Stephanie’s’ report available at realistic prices.

I also recorded a webinar for IQPC this week. The topic was culture and its impact on organisations but for some reason the title appears on the IQPC web site as “Culture – what is it and how can it benefit data and information management?” Why not have a look, you can find it at here

Knoco Ltd

June 8, 2011

Society and Culture

Organisations and their employees don’t operate in a vacuum; they operate within the society that they are located in. Where a company has offices and plants in multiple locations, the local society will impact on each office and plant differently. You have to factor that into any KM strategy or framework that you design.

One way (and not the only way) to get a feel for the local society is to read the local newspaper. Not the international news agencies like the BBC and CNN but the local, home grown, hold it in your hand newspaper.

Look at the stories, what are they telling you about the society and the influence that it might be having on the staff as they walk into the office or plant that morning? This is not an exact science; it is not cause and effect but rather looking for patterns, trends and direction.

For example imagine the local newspaper contained stories about corrupt politicians, audits, prosecutions, jails terms and unacceptable practices. This might lead you to think that staff would be concerned about the influence and power of auditors. Auditors would be feared and as a result procedures would be rigidly adhered to even when staff knew that what they contained wasn’t the most effective or efficient way of doing an activity. Any attempt to get staff to share what they know or to innovate would fail if it didn’t involve updating the procedures at the same time.

Wherever you happen to be in the world have a read of the local newspaper and see what it is telling you about the local environment and the impact that it might be having on local staff. You might just be surprised at what you learn.

Knoco Ltd