Tuesday, November 22, 2005

KM World and Intranets 2005: Governance Dos and Don'ts: Three Principles

KM World and Intranets 2005
Governance Do’s and Don’t's: Three Principles
by Mary Lee Kennedy, founder of The Kennedy Group

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

[See the presenter's PowerPoint presentation (approx. 22 pages) including graphics and charts not reproduced below - added Nov. 23/05]

Some organizations do not even use the term “governance”, while others have it on the table at every discussion. How we put it on the table can be controversial. Today she is going to use basic principles.

Key governance questions:
- to govern or not to govern? Not everything may need governance
- And if to govern, what matters most?
- And how will we govern it?

What is governance?
- who is responsible for what, how they will be responsible
- how decisions will be made
- should we assume that all governance is formal and necessary?

Purpose of governance
- in the world of information, to help create a predictable user experience
o does predictability mean pre-determined user experience?
o Does governance of information meet our knowledge needs?

Fundamental principles
1. knowledge can only be volunteered; it cannot be conscripted
2. I only know what I know when I need to know it
3. I always know more than I can say and I will always say more than I can write down

- how can you deliver information predictably when people won’t know what they will need to know? How can you create a predictable user experience in this context?
- Need to create conversations
- Need to help people find who they can contact for those conversations

Governance is really a cultural dilemma
- which type of culture are you trying to govern?
- See chart – from Living on the Fault Line by Moore, 2000 [see also ebook version]
- If I am the best, people will follow me; if I’m not, people won’t – in this environment, hierarchy very important
- Very different governance structure: collaborative environment
- Have to look at the environment you are in to create the collaborative structure

Six Dimensions of Cultural Diversity
- chart by Charles Hampden-Turner and Fons Trompenaars [see also firm Trompenaars Hampden-Turner]
- governance isn’t always an either/or situation; this set of dilemmas in the chart helps you decide what type of governance you need

Governance and Context
- is governance flexible, does it change in your organization dependent on the context?
- May need to create two types of governance or an “hybrid” to deal with two contexts
- Different types of knowledge needed may be at various degrees of complexity
o How to cook a soft-boiled egg
o How to fix an airplane
o How to solve our healthcare challenges
o Tell me everything you know
- Once you have determined the type of knowledge, the context, the complexity, then you need to figure out how to govern it
o A sense making approach :
 Simple (cooking egg)
• Sense
• Analyse
• respond
 Complicated (fix airplane)
• Sense
• Categorise
• respond
 Complex (solve healthcare)
 Chaos
o You don’t govern these in the same way
- In many cases, intranet is created first, and then governance developed over time; intranet created from the bottom up and governance created from the top down

Critical knowledge capture
- have to choose ways to govern to enable information exchanges; enable people to speak to each other when they need to speak to each other
- capture what people know and make it accessible;
o however, if it is very contextual, so need to index, make searchable, somehow make it accessible.
o How do you do this? Do you need to make an audio file rather than text-based file?
o How do you present it?
- Need to find the right method for your organization

Knowing what to govern
- need to know what is “good enough”
- need to determine what pieces need governance

Ritualizing how to govern
- need a definition of what needs governance and what doesn’t
- define roles and responsibilities
- implement decision-making process consistent with your organization
- may need to implement a reward and recognition program esp. consistent with the culture
- implement a realistic workflow for those governing
- how do you address conflict? Determine up front rather than when there is conflict

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