Tag Archives: Lessons learned

Does Knowledge Management Really Make a Difference?

Yes, I still get this question or some variation on it, even though there are lots of case studies and examples of knowledge management activities having a significant impact on the results of an organization. The quickest and often the easiest way of winning over sceptics is by having the opportunity to do Knoco’s Bird Island workshop (http://www.knoco.com/bird-island.htm), I have seen more “light bulbs” come on for people in doing this 2-hour workshop than I ever would have believed. I don’t want to give  away any of the surprise, but by using three different KM processes (After Action Reviews, Peer Assists, and Best Practice sharing) results of the activity go from abysmal to unbelievable, increasing  an average of 260%. Even if you want to continue to be sceptical of the results that making better use of your organization’s knowledge can have and you think you can only attain a fraction of this, 10% of the result demonstrated in the workshop is still 26%. Isn’t that worth at least giving it a try?

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What we can learn from Van Gogh for KM and Innovation

On November 11, 2015 I participated in a #PKMChat called, “Van Gogh on Learning” http://kneaver.com/blog/2015/11/pkmchat-van-gogh-on-learning/ it intrigued me as both a knowledge management professional and an artist and definitely gave me something to reflect on over the last week. (Note: the #PKMChat was based on work that Ger Driesen is doing, he facilitated the #PKMChat along with Bruno Winck, more about Ger’s work can be found by clicking on the link in #2 in the references listed below) I have been investigating the linkages between/among creativity, innovation, and knowledge management for more than three years, picking up ideas along the way, and experimenting and talking to people. Informally, there seems to be an agreement that there is a connection among the three things, but it’s in the background, below the surface, not immediately obvious to a lot of people. The #PKMChat helped shed some light on these linkages for me, so I am sharing them with you. There are three main ideas that we discussed in the #PKMChat, Thinking inside the box Practice Reflection As well as some secondary topics, like qualities of an artist, and how to balance social vs. solo learning. One of the first things I noticed about … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Community of Practice, Creativity, Innovation, Knowledge Management, Lessons Learned, Social Knowledge Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

KM, Continuous Improvement, Process Re-engineering, and Six-Sigma

Last week (January 28-29, 2015) I was in Amsterdam for KM Legal Europe, I provided some thoughts on that in my previous blog. Also in that blog post I mentioned that the subject of where KM fits with Continuous Improvement, Process Re-engineering, and Six-Sigma came up. We had a discussion about it, but we ran out of time and I’m not sure that we really came to any conclusions. First lets start off with some general definitions/explanations. While Continuous Improvement, Process Re-engineering, and Six-Sigma are all different activities and initiatives, and there are books and courses on each of them separately for the purposes of this blog post I am going to group them all together because for the purposes of this discussion their touch-point with KM is the same. So what are they? They are activities that have the objective of aligning organizational processes with the needs and objectives of the organization. They seek to remove inefficiencies and streamline work processes; they aim for standardization and the reduction of variability. Knowledge Management, on the other hand, is about learning and sharing, and making sure people have the knowledge they need to do their jobs. On the face of it, … Continue reading

Posted in Business-IT Alignment, Knowledge Management, Law Firm KM, Lessons Learned | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Notes from KM Legal Europe January 2015

I attended KM Legal Europe last week in Amsterdam; I enjoyed the conference very much. I got to talk with many of the speakers and attendees and learn more about what the law firms and corporate legal departments in Europe are doing in the KM space. I was impressed by their thoughtfulness and recognition of the fact that KM can bring them efficiencies and effectiveness as well as innovations and competitive advantage. They were a passionate group of practitioners. While KM in law tends to focus on documented knowledge because of the nature of the sector and the need to track matters and precedents, there were discussions of lessons learned and sharing tacit knowledge too. One of the things that (pleasantly) surprised me, was the discussion of automated document creation, when I have spoken with other organizations (not just law firms) about this technology they haven’t even known what it was, so to sit in a room where many were enthusiastic users was refreshing. Other things that I found refreshing were the discussion of continuous improvement, six sigma, and process re-engineering. Again, all things that utilize an organization’s knowledge and especially, at least in my mind, the use of lessons … Continue reading

Posted in Change Management, Collaboration, Information Management, Innovation, Knowledge Management, Law Firm KM, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Published: Designing a Successful KM Strategy

Advance copies of our book, Designing a Successful KM Strategy are now available from our publisher, Information Today, Inc. It will officially be published in mid-January, so if you buy it before that, you get 40% of the regular price. I did a workshop based on the book at KM World, on Nov 4th, that was well received, as well as a couple of book signings–it was great to talk to everyone about the book and how it can help them regardless of whether they are just starting with KM or at a point where they are re-evaluating their strategy after implementing KM for a few years. Information Today has also made a chapter available for preview, you can access it here http://books.infotoday.com/books/Designing-a-Successful-KM-Strategy/Making-the-Case-for-a-Knowledge-Management-Strategy.pdf Nick (my co-author) also has some helpful links up over on his blog at http://www.nickmilton.com/p/blog-page.html I hope you enjoy it. Be sure to get in touch if you have any comments or questions.  

Posted in Business-IT Alignment, Change Management, Collaboration, Community of Practice, Decision making, Knoco, knowledge by design, Knowledge Management, Organization models, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Art of Context

This past weekend I saw an art exhibit, you can read more about it on my Stephanie Barnes Art blog, but what struck me about it was the value of context, or knowledge to the understanding of the paintings. The paintings are abstract blocks of colour, meant to elicit emotions and a reaction, to me they have a meditative quality to them. They have value in the colours that they use, the textures, and the shapes. Seeing the exhibit revived me. I walked through the exhibit first on my own, but then joined a guided tour, where I learned more about the artists, and what was going on at the time, why they painted the paintings they way they did, what had come before, and what came after: context. Learning about the context added more meaning to the artworks my second time through the exhibit. It strikes me that this is the same with knowledge management. We can look at the end result of a process or project or activity and know if it was successful or not, but we don’t necessarily know what worked and what didn’t until we start asking the questions: what worked? what didn’t work? why? … Continue reading

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LawTech Camp, KM Technology discussion

A few weeks ago, I participated in LawTech Camp in Toronto. Connie Crosby and I were launching our beta-test for our Law Firm KM assessment tool, so we had an opportunity to do a demo presentation and talk about KM, I’ve posted the slides on SlideShare, click on the <demo presentation> or <about KM> links to see the slides. There was a lot of discussion both during and after the presentation about one of the slides, so Connie wrote a blog post about it, which you can see here: http://www.slaw.ca/2012/06/11/km-101-more-on-technology-complexity/#top.  

Posted in Business-IT Alignment, Collaboration, Community of Practice, Decision making, Information Management, Information Overload, Knowledge Management, Mentoring, Social Knowledge Management, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

KM helps you be lazy!*

Imagine this scenario: you’re working hard on a project or task, you’ve got a deadline you’ve got to meet, but you’re stuck, you don’t know how to finish. What do you do? Well, if you are experienced in the ways of knowledge management you: ask your colleagues, ask the Community of Practice you’re a member of, search in your expertise location system or yellow pages at peoples profiles, post something on your internal Q&A or social media application, you search your corporate document management system, ECM system, or other such repository/repositories to find the answer. And you find the answer, doing considerably less work than creating the solution yourself and you meet your deadline. With all that time you saved you take a couple of minutes to post the solution, so that someone in your shoes days/weeks/months/years from now can find your solution and be lazy too! *Thanks to Kathleen Wilson for the idea for this post.

Posted in Collaboration, Community of Practice, Information Management, Knowledge Management, Social Knowledge Management, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Who buys Knowledge Management?

I was going to write about Knowledge Management models, at least that’s what I thought earlier in the week when I started to write this, but I have discarded that notion, at least for now. As some of you will know, I have been out on my own doing Knowledge Management consulting for almost 6 years, after spending 4 years implementing it in a business unit at a large technology company, who will remain nameless. During this time as a consultant I have often pondered who to target with my sales pitch and marketing strategy, business or IT? Certainly the projects that I have done seem to turn out better when the business brings me in, and we work with IT as a stakeholder, since technology is inevitably part of the KM strategy implementation. But people are often trying to connect me to IT people as they perceive that my services are IT, not business-related. It all became clear to me the other night at the Knowledge Worker Toronto event http://www.meetup.com/Knowledge-Workers-Toronto/calendar/11140670/, thanks goes to Graham Westwood for pointing out what probably should have been obvious to me, except that it wasn’t. What did Graham point out? That it is usually, … Continue reading

Posted in Decision making, Knowledge Management, knowledge workers | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Knowledge Management Question

Today’s post is a little different than my last few, today I am wondering why all the lessons learned that I see for knowledge management initiatives are the same.

Posted in ITIL, Knowledge Management, knowledge workers | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments