A process view of knowledge management - Academic Conferences ...

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6 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 7 μήνες)

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A process view of knowledge management:

it ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it

Professor John S. Edwards

11th European Conference on Knowledge Management

Universidade Lusíada de Vila Nova de Famalicão

Famalicão, Portugal, 2
-
3 September 2010


Overview

Many organisations still find knowledge management a bit of a
struggle

Need to think (more) about process

What process thinking means

Where we (you?) might go from here


11
th

European Conference on Knowledge Management

Famalicão
, Portugal, 2
-
3 September 2010

KM is like learning to drive

There’s a big difference between:

Doing the theory test

Sitting in the front passenger seat while someone else drives

Actually driving the car yourself

“Driving” KM

General awareness is one thing…

…understanding is quite another

A commonly heard cry is that “we know about knowledge
management as a concept, but how do we
do

it?”

Doing KM isn’t easy

Over the past ten years or so, our research teams at Aston have
seen:



Organisations where KM has been successful



Organisations where an ongoing KM initiative has had little
or no impact



Organisations where KM has gone well for a time and then
stopped



Organisations where KM can’t get started

“The Problem”

Managers seem to be happy about the basic principles of KM in
isolation

But they have trouble in applying the ideas to their own
organisation

Workforce may also have difficulty in doing what the KM
recommendations suggest that they should

Why is it difficult?

Not really much disagreement about “good KM”, at least in
general terms

The fatal mistake is to treat KM as if it were a game of chess,
where thinking of a move is the same as doing it…

…rather than a game of tennis, where doing it is what makes it
difficult!

NEED TO THINK PROCESS!

11
th

European Conference on Knowledge Management

Famalicão, Portugal, 2
-
3 September 2010

What do processes do?

They flow

They do things for people

They cut across organisational boundaries

They make you think about the
demand

for knowledge, not just
the
supply

of it

11
th

European Conference on Knowledge Management

Famalicão, Portugal, 2
-
3 September 2010

People, processes and technology


TECHNOLOGY

PEOPLE

PROCESSES

Help design and
then operate

Define the roles of,
and knowledge
needed by

Determine the
need for

Help design
and then use

Provides
support for

Makes
possible new
kinds of

Directories,
Communities
of Practice

New ways to
work, build in
what you
want to
achieve

Repositories,
Knowledge
-
based
Systems

KM History so far

Some say there have been two generations:

First generation KM


emphasis on Technology

Second generation KM


emphasis on People

…perhaps it’s time for more emphasis on Process?

Others, like Mouritsen and Larsen (2005) that there have been
two waves:

The first, knowledge in individuals

The second, knowledge as intellectual capital

The second includes much more focus on process

11
th

European Conference on Knowledge Management

Famalicão, Portugal, 2
-
3 September 2010

What do we need to be able to do to
processes?

Identify processes

Design/plan processes

Implement processes

Facilitate processes

Monitor processes

Analyse processes

Mend processes

Retire processes

11
th

European Conference on Knowledge Management

Famalicão, Portugal, 2
-
3 September 2010

Or, as a diagram

11
th

European Conference on Knowledge Management

Famalicão, Portugal, 2
-
3 September 2010

Facilitate

Identify

Design

Monitor

Analyse

Retire

Mend

Implement

Changing a Process can be especially risky…

Let’s watch some videos



11
th

European Conference on Knowledge Management

Famalicão, Portugal, 2
-
3 September 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUvagsM
176o


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msXKYg
TCDec


Knowledge management (KM) and risk
management (RM)

Risk management has increased priority/visibility at present

Global financial crisis

Natural disasters (global warming, pandemics)

Increased fear of terrorism

Recently we have been working on KM and RM, two sectors we
have been researching being financial services (Eduardo
Rodriguez) and health care (Athina Anthropopoulou)

Biggest similarity


silo mentality

In hospitals, risk communication
has to go up the silos and “over
the top”

They say they cannot cut across
at lower levels as no
-
one has the
boundary spanning knowledge

In financial services, it seems
different departments simply do
not talk to each other, although it
seems likely that they could
understand one another

Middle managers in both cases
focus “down” more than “up”

Board

Dept

Dept

Dept

Processes cut across silos

Despite what they say, especially in hospitals, those involved in
“adjacent” or connecting activities within a process must be able
to share knowledge

This doesn’t mean they have to have completely the same
knowledge

It does mean they must have enough common knowledge to
communicate where their responsibilities overlap

This requires that someone must oversee this communication
(may be management, leadership or just facilitation)

May be a need for better
ba

11
th

European Conference on Knowledge Management

Famalicão, Portugal, 2
-
3 September 2010

Another non
-
process failure

A manufacturing company who thought that better IT support was
the answer to a lack of knowledge sharing, but only the IT people
wanted to share knowledge in this way

11
th

European Conference on Knowledge Management

Famalicão, Portugal, 2
-
3 September 2010

Process successes

Bou and Sauquet (2004)


documenting the process of helping
the unemployed to find a job; a proper process view with an
awareness of knowledge led to very different documentation

Spies et al (2005)


implementing an intelligent search engine in
Allianz required close attention to what the searchers
did

with it,
and this was different between different departments

Apostolou et al (2007)


implementing a system in a management
consultancy using what they called a “KM
-
enabled business
process”

Barcelo
-
Venezuela et al (2008)


stress the importance of core
processes; what the business


a university in their case


actually does

11
th

European Conference on Knowledge Management

Famalicão, Portugal, 2
-
3 September 2010

And one of my own…

Public transport timetabling information


they thought they
needed a “knowledge base”


a codified system

But a study from a process viewpoint revealed that codification
would be solving the wrong problem

The major knowledge sharing issues were only about new staff

So the best approach to take was one of improving the induction
process

11
th

European Conference on Knowledge Management

Famalicão, Portugal, 2
-
3 September 2010

Key themes to watch for

Breaking the silos

Leadership and roles

Someone has to have the overview as a process

How does this relate to knowledge champions or CKOs,
CIOs?

Learning


must be in the context of the activities that the task
involves

Managing risk/uncertainty

11
th

European Conference on Knowledge Management

Famalicão, Portugal, 2
-
3 September 2010

Do…and Don’t…

Do:

Lead from the top

Make sure to cut across boundaries

Think in terms of an ongoing KM activity, not a “project” that is
done and finished

Don’t:

Go against the organization’s culture

Expect people (or systems) to change overnight

Ignore the exceptions to the process

References

Apostolou D, Abecker A and Mentzas G (2007) Harmonising codification and socialisation in
knowledge management. Knowledge Management Research & Practice 5(4), 271
-
285.

Barcelo
-
Valenzuela M, Sanchez
-
Schmitz G, Perez
-
Soltero A, Martín Rubio F and Palma J
(2008) Defining the problem: key element for the success of knowledge management.
Knowledge Management Research & Practice 6(4), 322
-
333.

Bou E and Sauquet A (2004) Reflecting on quality practices through knowledge management
theory: uncovering grey zones and new possibilities of process manuals, flowcharts and
procedures. Knowledge Management Research & Practice 2(1), 35
-
47.

Maier R and Remus U (2003) Implementing process
-
oriented knowledge management
strategies. Journal of Knowledge Management 7(4), 62
-
74.

Mouritsen J and Larsen HT (2005) The 2nd wave of knowledge management: The
management control of knowledge resources through intellectual capital information.
Management Accounting Research
16(3), 371
-
394.

Spies M, Clayton AJ and Noormohammadian M (2005) Knowledge management in a
decentralized global financial services provider: a case study with Allianz Group. Knowledge
Management Research & Practice 3(1), 24
-
36.

11
th

European Conference on Knowledge Management

Famalicão, Portugal, 2
-
3 September 2010