Inside Knowledge Magazine /Knowledge Management Magazine Archive
Volume 6 Issue 3
This month KM Europe 2002 gets underway in London, the third combined conference and exhibition in a series that has established itself as the most important in the knowledge-management calendar. Both this year’s event and this issue of the magazine are targeted at helping practitioners to align their KM projects with real business needs, something too many companies have failed to do in the past. As a result, an alarming number of early KM projects failed to deliver tangible returns – while for those firms that decided to ‘do’ KM without setting measurable goals up front, they delivered precisely what was expected of them.
Organisations now accept, however, that the association between KM and long-term strategic goals is crucial if a knowledge-management programme is to generate real benefits. As Sandra Ward from TFPL says in this month’s Your Say feature, KM initiatives shouldn’t start with a KM idea looking for a home; they should begin with a business problem looking for a solution. Organisations will only realise the returns associated with knowledge management if it is business needs that drive KM implementation, and not the other way around.
In addition to features exploring this theme, this edition of Knowledge Management includes articles by a number of companies and practitioners taking part in this year’s KM Europe, including three of the keynote presenters: Dave Snowden, Tom Davenport and Dan Holtshouse. We also feature the final article in our series of keynote profiles. This month Tom Stewart offers his take on the most important issues facing companies looking to succeed in an economic context in which, he believes, knowledge has become our most important asset, our most value-adding process and our most important output.
KM Europe itself kicks off on the 13 November and runs for three days. If you have not yet registered to attend, there is still time to do so – visit www.kmeurope.com, or simply turn up on the day. Entrance to each keynote presentation is only £50, and the main conference stream and exhibition are free to attend. It should be a fascinating few days, so if you can spare the time I would strongly encourage you to make the trip to London. I hope to see you there!
Community building at MWH
Launched 18 months ago, MWHs knowledge-focused intranet is based around the user, rather than the technologys capabilities, and is focused on enabling communities of people with similar interests to share knowledge with each other and across the company as a whole. Andrew Cowell and Sarah Grimwood explain some of the lessons they have learnt from their experiences implementing the solution. [WEB ONLY ARTICLE]
Your Say: Linking KM to real business needs
For all the success stories that knowledge management has produced since the discipline was first introduced in a corporate setting, many organisations still fail to realise the true benefits KM implementation can bring. Simon Lelic talks to representatives from Aventis, Entopia, the IIMSI, TFPL and Verity, and discusses the importance of linking any KM programme with tangible business needs.
A new perspective on culture
The term culture has become a catch-all label for almost every aspect of human interaction, to the extent that organisations often find themselves out of their depth and heading in the wrong direction when they try to resolve the problems that relate to the concept. As Dave Snowden says, efficiency in a human system does not always equate with effectiveness, and here he offers a new perspective on how to approach cultural issues in an organisational setting.
Making knowledge work productive and effective
The nature of knowledge work is an area often ignored by firms looking to implement a knowledge management programme, yet real gains can be made by focusing on particular types of knowledge workers and targeting interventions accordingly. Thomas H. Davenport describes the experiences of Partners Health Care System to illustrate how knowledge work can be made more effective.
Knowledge enabling the enterprise
The challenge facing every knowledge-driven organisation today is to create a working environment that helps to raise that value of work at an individual level for the benefit of the organisation as a whole. Dan Holtshouse explains how Xerox has focused its KM efforts on achieving this goal by building on a number of core capabilities that together form the foundations for this process of knowledge enabling the enterprise.
Enabling rapid reform through KM
The UK governments crime reduction strategy demands rapid reform and continuous improvement within the police sector. For a central agency supporting 43 locally controlled police forces across England and Wales, this poses a huge challenge. Chris Mould and Adrian Peryer describe how Centrex is tackling the issue head on by building policing knowledge maps to help capture best practice direct from the front line.
New towns, new knowledge
A UK House of Commons committee recently reported on the state of Britains New Towns, some fifty years on from the programme being launched. Geoff Smith finds some fascinating parallels and lessons to be learnt for the broader practice of knowledge management.
Country focus: Denmark
Simon Lelic talks to Mette Mønsted, a professor in KM at Copenhagen Business School, and Hans Siggaard Jensen, research director at Learning Lab Denmark, about the evolution of knowledge management in Denmark
Five minutes with
Jacquie Bran, project manager with the Knowledge Management events team, spent five minutes talking to Jeanne Holm, chief knowledge architect within the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of Nasa, about the organisations experiences implementing a KM programme.
Book review: Knowledge Management - A Blueprint for Delivery
Steve Hales reviews Knowledge Management A Blueprint for Delivery by Tom Knight and Trevor Howes