Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Agile Knowledge Management

"Knowledge on demand" is about making all types of data and information accessible in situations and contexts as needed.

Digitization makes information only a click away, but managing knowledge becomes more challenging due to the abundance of content, the multitude of information format, the timely delivery, and risk/compliance concerns, etc. How should you apply the Agile philosophy and principle to modern knowledge management, does “Knowledge on Demand” an ultimate goal in your organization?


Knowledge Management is about making all types of data and information accessible in situations and contexts as needed; with KM, coming up with an agreed upon a model that can be deployed across a range of enterprises and supported by enough insight and experience that overall is accepted practices. An updated comprehensive definition of operational KM obligates that quality is at the heart of the competencies and skills needed by information professionals. Knowledge Management is about making all types of data and information (including implicit, explicit and tacit) accessible in situations and contexts as needed so that viable options materialize. This enables informed decisions and actions to be executed resulting in improvement of quality outcomes. This quality perspective ensures that firstly the right things get done in facilitating strategic effectiveness as well as secondly enabling them to be done in the best-known way to deliver on efficiency.


A slow management decision cycle is the biggest killer of agility. Agility is more about management decision making than it is about organizational processes, KM techniques, resources available, or any other factor. In general, management takes its time with decision making, because the goal is usually to minimize risk/exposure, not to achieve timeliness in seizing opportunities. Using business incubators, cloud computing, enterprise social networking, agile business intelligence, time-management, managing efficiently meetings, delegating responsibility etc., creating an open culture and giving a good leadership to get better relationships between employees and get knowledge exchange. Apply agile KM and effective HR methods to attract, insert and retain talent with incentives via good training programs. encouraging mentoring.


Knowledge on Demand! An agile approach to process improvement allows organizations to make small changes to a process over a series of iterations. Use small requirements (user stories) as opposed to a complete requirements document to get started. The constant feedback you get from the stakeholders after your release (iteration) will be your guide. This leads to greater adoption, encourages proper measurement of results and a focus on continuous improvement. The struggle is to define what areas are pure "KM" within an Agile context. And the challenge is developing a set of replicable steps for capturing tacit and implicit knowledge and turning it into explicit knowledge that can be accessed by an entire enterprise when needed: Knowledge on demand comes from highly networked groups that can access one another rather than an enterprise level system. From knowledge management  perspective, try doing an organizational network analysis, and identifying people from different strata of the company that acts as nodes. Tap into them to get system feedback. It is a networked (think social governance) rather than process (rigid, bureaucratic governance) means of KM.


There is definitely a place for Agile in KM, which goes way beyond decision-making; specifically with the design and implementation of KM frameworks within an organization, build agile into the KM process, and specifically in the ability of the organization to capture, adapt, transfer, and reuse their knowledge, as part of the work process. Combine agile PM methods with KM tools in one operating model, which has been successful to date. For example, if knowledge communities provide feedback through their champions for improvements that need to be made in a KM cycle (managed by a core KM team), combined with implementation of gateway reviews, this then results in a constant cycle of improvement by ensuring solid criteria is in place for the gateways, and any work (initiative/project/process) that successfully passes through the gateway, is used as best practice guidelines for subsequent work. The gateway process is regularly enhanced via feedback from the communities to the core KM team......agile, but still controlled!

It is important to think about the limitations of certain types of control. Developing a set of steps for "capturing" tacit knowledge is inherently a structured approach to KM, that will be limited in its ability to change rapidly. The advantage of Agile movement is that it stresses speed over perfection, allowing room for many, smaller iterations of a problem solving. Within KM, it seems like it would be more important to build capability for access and adjustment into the people who know (producers and users of knowledge within the organization). The challenges for today’s business is that its community is diverse in many ways - language, culture, geography, technical ability and comfort - among many other issues, you have to constantly promote the knowledge base, and it is not easy to get knowing if it is used, how often, how is it meeting the needs of the community - if change is needed, you have to rapidly design, build, and deploy that change, getting feedback from the community on what they would like to see or need.


Knowledge is the power, and KM agility enables managers and employees to capture the right knowledge timely in order to make the right decision or unleash their growth potential. An effective digital knowledge management shall apply the agile principle to accelerating the speed of knowledge delivery, enforcing cross-functional communication and build an ongoing capability to run a truly smart business.


1 comments:

Thanks for your great post. Your post obviously informative and effective. xnxx

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