Sunday, June 01, 2008

IS 456 Class IX and X, The End

This is the last blog posting for this KM class!!

We had two lectures combined into one this week, owing to some logistical issues. So this will be the last lecture. The theme for today covered: BPM, Barriers of implementation, Metrics for KM and Culture
1) Business process modelling
We defined what a process is and leveraged Swim lane diagrams to model activities to root out inefficiencies. Validation should be automated to eliminate inefficiencies where possible. hand offs is an area that can be scrutinized to improve the process. Duplication of effort is an area of inefficiency by people or by machines. Work that can be done by machines, being done by people, like validation, is a good source of unnecessary effort. Any time task is done by more than one person is a good place to analyze for improvement. Finally always make the modelling diagram easy to understand.

2) Barriers of implementation

Managers overlook four common issues that concern employees."

  • Being known as an expert
    • A mechanism for encouraging/motivating knowledge sharing behavior
      • Track usage, contributions by employees
      • Collect statistics on which documents are accessed, and whether the document was perceived as relevant or useful.
      • Reward those employees whose documents are rated as most valuable.
    • Problems:
      • Being touted as the expert means more work. (?)
      • Being touted as the expert stifles one's career. (?)
  • Requisite knowledge too hard to capture and categorize
    • We've seen this before...
    • Problems/Raising the level of abstraction/The bottom line:
      • Does the cost of capturing insight outweigh the perceived benefits?
      • Can the contextual factors influencing the knowledge be captured?
      • Is a telephone or email address a better solution?
  • Lack of adequate communication and action
    • Are employees, by and large, leaders or followers?
    • Whom do they follow?
    • Problems:
      • Confusion about what the behavior is supposed to be
      • Negativity surrounding "appropriate" behavior
        • Again, what motivates people?
  • Forcing it
    • Now, imagine you are the senior manager.
    • The last point just said to lead, lead, lead.
    • This one says "Do not overmanage or micromanage".
    • What are you supposed to do, exactly?
    • Problems:
      • Is it as simple as 'hire good people, and get out of their way'?
      • Employees prefer their peers telling them to do something rather than a senior executive.

3) Metrics

4) Culture

Culture and Climate fall in the same category but are different. Climate is short term, like before a layoff or during a merger. Culture is long term and require multiple CEO's tenure to see a change.

Parting Shot: Dont waste your time trying to Change the Culture, it is a waste time!!!

No final parting shot is complete without the audience knowing what was learned int he 11 week process, so here goes:

Most of what I have learned in class falls under the following themes
  • Collaboration
    Knowledge management systems
    Personal Knowledge Management
    Problem solving and decision making in in organizations
    KM Technologies
    Knowledge elicitation - Organizational learning and knowledge transfer
The class also provided me better insight into social networking, blogging and microblogging, Problem solving, decision making, organizational learning and knowledge transfer.

The blogging exercise in class has the potential to help me hone my writing skills that will come in handy as I work on my PhD dissertation.

The Wiki collaboration tool, while cumbersome (sharepoint versus media wiki) provides insight into collaborative writing skills.

The best bang for the buck, I got from class is my exposure to twitter and related tools that let you follow conversations of selected genre. I have been able to gain a lot of insight into KM and related technologies by following conversations in twitter and friendfeed and Google Reader. I highly recommend, a feed based approach in augmenting ones reading on specific subjects and microblogging to follow current trends through conversations.

Adieu!! So long!! Farewell!!

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