Monday, May 08, 2006

Helping start KM

On Friday, I made a presentation to the public works department at a local city. I had three hours in which to describe KM, KM tools and to start their dialogue. What surprised me was how quickly they entered into the discussion and got excited about KM. There was no lack of areas where KM could be helpful, the biggest challenge they identified was in finding the time to implement it.

I did ask the question, who's are already doing knowledge management? Not one person said yes. They were a little surprised when I said that they all are managing knowledge, the field of KM is there to help them do it better.

Prior to the session, I spent a lot of time finding examples to put KM into context. During the session, a number of good examples emerged. These included:

- Find "as is" plans - Identifying valves that needed to be shut own in order to work on a pipe. Often the values weren't in the same place as indicated in the plans (causing more of the street to be excavated).
- Converting lab methods into a standard procedure, electronic copy. Previously methods were kept in a "recipe box." The city now has one person who's responsibility it is to document and keep up the methods.
- HR support - A challenge for a supervisors is consistent handling of HR matters. Rules are always changing and recommendations different with each person you talk to.

Some KM tools that I mentioned that immediately got people nodding their heads (in agreement)
- Yellow pages - The idea of developing an expertise based yellow pages for their organization
- Mentoring/ using retired employees - Names immediately began to surface of who they could use.
- Community of practice around HR - The idea of an HR support group.

Following the session, I got a quick chance to talk with the department director. It was obvious that he was thinking about how they could effectively use KM and even mentioned that he has one person in mind to take the lead.

It will be interesting to see what happens here in the next few years.


Post a Comment

<< Home