To generate reliable evidence about the true state of Knowledge Management (KM) and how it could be improved, organizations need to approach KM Audits thoughtfully. This post provides five keys to conducting successful KM Audits.
1. UNDERSTAND WHY KM AUDITS MATTER
A Knowledge Audit is a dynamic process to identify and assess knowledge, its availability, needs, sources, structure, flow, use, and importance to the organization. A Knowledge Management Audit (KM Audit) examines the KM culture and capabilities of the organization that impact the viability of KM. Carefully-designed Knowledge and KM audits lay a solid foundation for a KM Strategy that improves collaboration, productivity, knowledge accessibility, innovation, and knowledge retention. However, when organizations do not conduct KM audits or approach them superficially they often waste money and undermine the viability of subsequent KM initiatives. Make sure your team and top management understands why KM Audits are important, and invest in their design and execution.
This series of blog posts describes challenges law firms face with regards to researching new opportunities and target clients. We outline an approach that improves the Business Development (BD) opportunity intelligence process and fuels revenue generation. This approach combines Mind-Alliance consulting and the MindPeer Strategic Intelligence Management System.
This first post in the series focuses on the key challenges.
Law firms face a few common, fundamental challenges when it comes to Business Development (BD) research to gain intelligence about opportunities and target clients.
1. NO STRATEGIC VIEW OF BD RESEARCH
BD directors often cannot systematically determine, based on data, whether the firm is adequately supporting BD pursuits with the required research services. At a strategic management level, they have not assessed the maturity of their BD research capabilities – people, process, technology, data, and governance.
Moreover, they don’t know whether they have enough research analysts around the clock to support a growing volume of BD research support requests.
In this blog post, I will outline some of the ways law library directors and their teams can maximize the value of email alerts and newsletters (aka bulletins) sent to attorneys, support staff, and clients.
UNDERSTAND THE CURRENT AWARENESS NEEDS AND PERSPECTIVES OF YOUR PATRONS
Effective alerts and newsletters are often designed to provide “current awareness” and keep busy recipients informed about news and social media related to topics of interest, client development opportunities, industries, regulatory and legislative developments, and competing firms. Naturally, emails with irrelevant news are seen as a distraction and go unopened. Creating meaningful goals and performance metrics for alerts and bulletins requires understanding the interests and perspective of each patron or group. For example, marketing and business development professionals have much higher-expectations than other patrons. They may want alerts to contain actionable intelligence that results in new business leads for a specific practice area.
In Part 1 of the Mind-Alliance blog post series on KM strategy we dealt with diagnosing the “as-is” state of KM and uncovering issues that impede productivity. In Part 2, we presented a process for developing a KM strategy. In Part 3, we discuss pillars of successful KM strategy implementation.
A lot is at stake with KM strategy implementation because if projects fail to yield the expected results, executives, managers, and workers may lose faith in the entire KM enterprise. With that in mind, here are some of the pillars of successful KM strategy implementation:
In Part 1 of “How to Develop a Successful Knowledge Management Strategy” we discussed the goals organizations commonly have to create a KM strategy and the importance of starting with a study that reveals the current state of KM in the organization. This post outlines a process for developing a KM and Collaboration Strategy, a Portfolio of Solution Approaches, and an Implementation Plan.
The first step is to define a vision and set of strategic objectives, informed by the findings from the Phase 1 study of the “as-is” state of KM. This vision often is about why the organization wants to harness the power of better information sharing and collaboration, knowledge management, learning, and innovation. Each organization has a unique perspective about how this will enable it to deliver greater impact through enhanced decision making and organizational performance.
NOTE: This is the first post in a three part series, “How to Develop a Successful Knowledge Management Strategy”
Enterprises are increasingly looking for ways to improve information sharing, collaboration, and knowledge management (KM). While the specific reasons vary from industry to industry, common goals include:
To enhance the efficiency of strategy development, planning, and operational work processes
To streamline the flow of information within the organization and enhance collaboration with external partners
To support decision making with better intelligence
To focus knowledge resources on addressing planning and execution priorities
To retain and reuse institutional knowledge
To create a more adaptable workforce and agile organization
Realizing that technology alone can’t solve situational awareness, Common Operating Picture (COP), and operational coordination problems, some Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) are starting initiatives to build their process management maturity. This is a welcome development. Many Emergency Operations Centers have documented processes, but few have a comprehensive process map and an integrated big-picture understanding of how processes fit together across organizations and between partners.
Many international organizations seeking to contribute solutions to global challenges and policy problems are struggling to disseminate their reports and other “knowledge products.” A recent article in the Washington Post (“The solutions to all our problems may be buried in PDFs that nobody reads”) highlights a situation common to the World Bank. Simply put, it seems like relatively few people are downloading the Bank’s reports.