Tuesday, December 06, 2005

KM World and Intranets 2005: Creating a Knowledge-Sharing Culture

KM World and Intranets 2005
Creating a Knowledge-Sharing Culture

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

John Gillies, Knowledge Manager, McCarthy Tetrault, Toronto
Luke Koons, Information & KM, Intel
Lisa Sokol, Technical Director, KM, General Dynamics

John Gillies, Knowledge Manager, McCarthy Tetrault, Toronto

Presentation notes by John S. Gillies - 9 pages PDF, including extensive bibliography and web links

750 lawyers, 8 offices; largest law firm in Canada.

He gave a profile as to how a Canadian law firm is structured, corporate culture, and persona of average lawyer. Notably:
- aging experts
- associates – high attrition rate

Barriers most likely to encounter before KM project "birth":
- lawyers tend to be visual learners; they need to see something in order to understand it; good to provide prototypes for them to look at
- risk aversion
- dominant importance of the billable hour. This is a real roadblock since the billable hour is the primary focus; something like KM is non-billable time and is outside of their focus
- disincentives to using “efficiency tools” as a result – would rather draft something from scratch for 10 hours instead of pulling from KM system and using in 2 hours [need to create an alternative reward system for using KM]
- tend to work in “silos”

Barriers most likely to encounter after "birth":
- need to restructure ways of practice – teams that did not work together before may be working together
- focus on questions that previously did not require resolution
- unrealistic expectations

Questions a law firm needs to answer:
- How do you reward lawyers for using the KM system?
- How do you bill back clients for work that took you 3 minutes? Or that varies from one practice group to another

Barriers likely to be encountered throughout the lifecycle:
- different law practiced in different groups = different needs
- personal insecurity re: having the quality of one’s work product judged by peers
- fear of drop-off in internal referrals
- different knowledge tools are needed for lawyers for different levels of expertise
- ... [I missed a point or two]

Landscape changes – need to adapt to changing paths

From Q & A:

- How do you get lawyers to participate in the KM system?
o They have 7 lawyers dedicated to KM across the firm; they actively go out and interview the partners to obtain their content after they have created it. Associates are sent messages to send out info.

- Any controls looking at quality of content?
o No. That would mean another layer of expertise. They rely on the contributors to ensure the content is correct and complete.

- Rewards given for using and contributing to KM?
o No specific rewards, but it is now affecting associates’ evaluations.

Luke Koons, Director, Information & KM, Intel Corporation (this was his previous title; he has been promoted)

Intel environment:
- more than 124,000 employees & contractors
- 294 intel sites in 70 countries
- 26 intel data centres
- Supply chain management
- Cultural factors
o Intel 2.0: high volume manufacturing, results orientation, meritocracy, business group autonomy)
o Intel 2.0 ended last year
o Intel 3.0: platforms, cross-production collaboration, knowledge sharing, end users
- Their KM initiative started in Intel 2.0, has to adapt to 3.0

Things are changing in Intel 3.0:
- try to optimize things (i.e. optimize their end product the way clients are actually using them)
- groups that didn’t have to collaborate before now need to work with each other
- focus on end users

Fitting KM into existing corporate strategy is how they are focusing, rather than changing the culture

What is the primary barrier to sharing knowledge?
- see his tables – broken down by age group of users; by job function
- people not rewarded for sharing knowledge
- don’t have the right KM tools
- don’t have the right KM processes in place
- people are not rewarded for using best known methods (BKMs)
- existing KM tools are too complicated

Lessons and Opportunities
- management practices that reflect the corporate culture are vital for effective KM sharing
- find ways to lower the “cost” of adopting and using KM tools. E.g.
o dynamic expertise profiling
o user-centred design and embedded training
o intergrated tools
o federated search – needs simple interface
o segment customer base and learn what they want through “grass roots” observation

From Q & A:

- How do you protect your content?
o It is a concern. Early ideas may not be protected in their system, but security is applied at a later stage.

- Rewards given for using the KM system?
o Reduces the hassle factor.

Lisa Sokol, Glenn Yeaw & Stephen Sickels – General Dynamics

Speaker: Lisa Sokol, Technical Director, KM, General Dynamics,

Customers – U.S. military

Do not use KM for everything – there has to be a reason

Most successful at creating a sharing culture is when people don’t sit together; difficult for them to connect otherwise.

A great collaboration system requires these stages:
- Define
- Design
- Integrate
- Adopt
- Sustain

How do you get there?
- Buying the right tools DOES NOT guarantee success
- Buying the wrong tools MAY guarantee failure
- Your organization must support collaboration

Challenges associated with virtual collaboration:
- cultural – who owns data? Who owns knowledge?
- Managerial – moving to a flatter, distributed organization
- …

Used technology to allow people to create their own parts of the KM system from a larger model; allow people to “vote” as to which parts they like or don’t like. They can use this to determine which are the best parts of the model.

From Q & A:

- How do you control versions of models?
o Each person has control over his/her own versions of the models
o On Windows system.

- Rewards given for using KM?:
o Used to take 2 days to get someone injured out of Iraq; now it takes 2 hours using their KM system.


Anonymous said...

Have you considered using a wiki for this?


Connie Crosby said...

Do you mean for my conference notes, or are you responding to something within the notes?

There was a conference wiki for this, which I contributed to, but it wasn't really set up in such a way as to enable me to post such extensive notes. Also, I didn't really want to open it up for editing by others.