Leverage Knowledge Through Collaborative Workflow

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Leverage knowledgethrough collaborativeworkflowJanuary 2011

Content2Introduction3Why should companies adopt aknowledge and collaboration strategy?4Bottom line benefits5Our approach6Critical success factors10Service proposal11Contacts12

IntroductionCompanies in all industries arestruggling with similarchallenges around effectivelymanaging and leveragingorganisation talent and expertise.The economic environment, global expansion,corporate mergers, decreasing supply of talent,retiring boomers, increasing organisationalcomplexities and silos, and customer expectationsare all driving the need for organisations to improvetheir ability to deliver more with less whilst increasingproductivity and efficiency.As many organisations experience some of thesechallenges, it is a future certainty that they willall vie with their competitors for an increasinglysmaller supply of talent needed to execute strategy.Organisations can no longer afford to neglect theirmost important asset, their people. Harnessingand leveraging an organisations' knowledge andexpertise is no longer a luxury, it is an absolute gamechanger. Like never before, companies are challenged to meet complex demands from the marketplace and within. Organisations must work smarter,be more productive and make better businessdecisions to remain competitive.Leverage knowledge through collaborative workflow3

Why should companies adopt a knowledgeand collaboration strategy?Engaging and retaining three generationsin the workplace calls for new collaborationtacticsWith multiple generations in the workplace today,organisations must deliberately put in place differentprocesses, motivators and tools to stimulatecollaboration and create a knowledge sharingculture that appeals to all generations. Gen-Yersare irreversibly blurring the relationship betweenwork and life – and redefining what it means tobuild a successful career. Even baby boomersnearing retirement are looking for options to make itattractive for them to stay engaged. To attract andretain generation Y, organisations need to employleading edge, real time collaboration practices toeffectively engage their employees while at thesame time managing the more technology adversebaby boomer generation that prefers face to facecollaboration. Many organisations fail to understandthe collaboration needs and preferences of theircollective workforce and therefore alienate valuableexpertise. Simply put, the workforce has changedwhile the workplace has not.Long-term viability is increasingly dependenton collaborating across cultures and boardersIn today’s economic climate, organisations aretrying to do more with less. As organisationscontinue to grow and expand into new markets,so does the need to share expertise to makebetter business decisions, improve productivityand work more efficiently. This is even truer in theLuxembourg multi-cultural working environment,where employees from different countries, withdifferent background work together servingcustomers who expect a consistent experience ofa similar standard and quality employing the sameapproach regardless of whether they are worldwide.Through effective collaboration, networking andknowledge management, organisations are able totranscend organisational silos. By enabling teamsto work together, there will be fewer cases ofreinventing the wheel, standards and quality will bemore consistent as will the customer experience.4To breakdown organisational silos, companiesneed to put mechanisms and processes in placeto facilitate access to expertise when needed andcreate platforms to share customer and marketdata, leading practices, lessons learned, reusabledeliverables, templates, tools and approaches.Loss of expertise due to employee attritionor retiring baby boomers greatly impactsinstitutional knowledgeTomorrow’s leaders, the knowledge professionalswho will drive business growth through the 21stcentury, are in ever-increasing demand and everdecreasing supply. The younger workforce is morenomadic in its relationship with organisations; theytend to change jobs more frequently and do not seetheir career as a destination, but instead a journey.The recent economy may have slowed attritionrates, but many expect that as soon as the economystarts to improve, companies will suffer a massflight by employees who have become unmotivated,unattached, and disengaged during the recession.As those employees leave, so does years of yourvaluable corporate knowledge and expertise. Thesame goes for the baby boomers. Their impendingretirement and mass exodus from the workforce willcreate a void of institutional knowledge, insightsand experiences as so many of the baby boomersmake up a large portion of senior management. Iforganisations do not have a plan in place to capture,transfer and grow that expertise, it will not only belost, but may cost companies more in the future asthey repeat costly mistakes.

Bottom line benefitsKnowledge management helps to solve some of themost common business problems and at the sametime delivers measurable business benefits by: Improving business decisions by increasing accessto areas of expertise, lessons learned and leadingpractices Increasing efficiency and productivity, by reducingcases of ‘reinventing the wheel’ Improving the rate of innovation through increasedglobal collaboration Reducing the loss of knowledge and expertise dueto employee attrition by capturing their explicitand tacit knowledge Leveraging leading practices and lessons learnedto work smarter and more efficiently Increasing customer satisfaction by delivering valueadded insights and expertise Enhancing overall quality and ability to collaborateby standardising ways of working Enabling continuous quality improvementof products and services through increasedcollaboration of leading experts Identifying the ‘go to’ subject matter expertiseacross the industries and functions to facilitateaccess to a network of global experts Increasing speed to productivity through on-boardtraining and timely access to knowledge andexpertiseLeverage knowledge through collaborative workflow5

Our approachBased on our past experience, we recommenda phased approach, with a first focus on theknowledge available in the organisation. Thisawareness phase enables stake holders buy in andproper knowledge recognition. In this phase, wego through the knowledge life cycle to determineorganisation strengths and weaknesses.In a second stage we address the knowledgemanagement six critical components for successfulimplementation. These components areinterdependent and each plays a critical role increating a sustainable knowledge sharing culture.The six knowledge management components areas follows:Knowledge management process1Buildextraknowledge onimportant topicsand on andknowledge needsto fit theorganisation’sstrategySearch and collectbasic informationfrom various sourcesKnowledgeitemsSharing of knowledgeand insights with othermembers of theorganisation4Share62Useand exploitthe collectedinformation torespond to theclient’s request3Gatheradditionalinformation andenrich the deliverablewith more insightsto increase itsadded valueri ch6En/suBuild5teseUsstain/divCollect

Standard governance modelsAttributesBenefitsChallengesCentralised KM governance modelFederated KM governance modelDecentralised KM governance modelCentralised knowledge office is housed in astrategic leadershipKnowledge initiatives are plannedcollaboratively and favour a wide range ofvariants within the modelKnowledge initiatives are independentlymanaged and works best in organisationswith high change ratesEvidence of senior supportExplicitly addresses both corporate andbusiness riddlesEmphasises business needs while providingvehicles for strategic approachesOften seen as corporate push with unrealistically high levels of expectationCarries risk of inaction or ineffectivenessLeadership changes can create major KMinvestment/focus shiftsKnowledge management maturity modelKnowledge maturity and ime Informal andinconsistent KM At this point KMcapabilities arerepeatable Dependence onindividual skills andabilities Awareness ofimportance of existingknowledge KM Efforts Ad hoc Knowledge sharingupon request,generally only inlimited silos Aware of KM capabilities KM processes documented and consistent Some collaborativeframeworks exist Managementcommitted to KM Some policies andgovernance established Knowledge sharedupon request KM part of corebusiness processes Collaboration tools areconsistently applied KM usable, measurable, dependable Dedicated KMfunctions andorganisation units KM capabilityinstitutionalised Ability to harnesstacit knowledge ofemployees KM quality improvesitself Streamlined processesfor KMLeverage knowledge through collaborative workflow7

Through our past experience, Deloitte has found that successful knowledge management programme includesthese six dimensions. Each of these dimensions are interdependent. You cannot pick and choose one dimensionand not the other. Each dimension plays a critical role in institutionalising knowledge management behaviours thatcreate a sustainable knowledge sharing culture.1People and culture – The behaviours, beliefs,interactions and cultural factors required to supportknowledge management.Aligning key employee behaviours to the businessstrategy is essential to the successful execution ofthe strategy and to creating a culture that supportsit. Employing key change management interventionssuch as performance metrics or reward and recognitionprogrammes are integral to aligning employeeknowledge sharing behaviours to your business strategywhich in turn is essential to the successful execution ofthe strategy and to creating a knowledge sharing culturethat supports it. We are able to shift an organisation'sculture by changing a few critical behaviours at a time, asmore and more of the organisation’s behaviours changeto align with your strategy - your culture will begin toshift to support your strategy.2Technology – The tools and technical resources requiredto support knowledge managementKnowledge management requires tools and technologyto support the knowledge network in automating andexecuting the knowledge management processes. Itis important to understand that technology is only thevehicle for sharing knowledge and expertise. The mostdifficult part of any knowledge management programmeis getting employees to share their knowledge andexpertise and to use the tools effectively.8362Process and organisation – The techniques,activities and infrastructure and resources required tosystematically identify, manage, share and apply ourknowledge and intellectual capital.Processes provide a structure that allows for consistencyand standardisation in the capture, organisation, anddissemination of knowledge. To support an organisationwith using and adhering to a consistent standardapproach to managing organisational knowledge,a support infrastructure, or knowledge network, isrequired. Establishing knowledge management roles andresponsibilities is fundamental to creating and embeddingbehavioural change, continually monitoring knowledgemanagement practices to ensure they are aligned toorganisational goals and achieving business objectives.3415

4Content and context – The knowledge and materials thatneed to be shared to ensure our professionals are successfulin performing their work and adding value to their clientsIdentifying business critical content and expertise andunderstanding the context of the events or situationsin which it is used is imperative to delivering the rightinformation to the right people at the right time. Employeeswill only engage in knowledge sharing practices if they getthe information they need when they need it. To get at theright expertise and to ensure it is kept up to date, you haveto understand your social networks and who owns and canmanage them – you have to engage your experts to play anactive role in sharing their expertise. Each organisation hasits own unique set of expertise and content that needs to beshared and managed.125Creating a governance structure with clearly definedroles and responsibilities is essential to defining, driving,controlling and overseeing the successful implementationof knowledge management. Effective governance translatesexecutive decisions into company-wide behaviours andensures adherence to knowledge management practices.Assigning leadership roles and responsibilities is necessary toembed and support knowledge sharing and organisationallearning and set knowledge management priorities,commitments and resource allocations.364Legend: VisionLevel 4: LeaderLevel 3: CompetitorLevel 2: FollowerLevel 1: BeginnerLeadership and governance – Senior Managementsupport of knowledge management, and the oversight toensure that knowledge management activities are funded,approved, integrated and meet business objectivesStrategic alignment – Close alignment of knowledgemanagement strategies with business strategies, along withvisible leadership support to reinforce the importance ofknowledge management to the success of the firmSuccess requires business strategies to be part of employees’everyday actions and decisions. Establishing a clearvision and link between the company strategy, businessobjectives and knowledge management strategy andpractices is imperative to create a shared understandingamongst leaders and staff alike around the decisions,actions, behaviours and messages required to execute theknowledge management strategy. Aligning behavioursto support the delivery of knowledge intensive businessevents is essential to executing the knowledge managementstrategy and crucial to realising overall business goals.Leverage knowledge through collaborative workflow9

Critical success factorsMost knowledge management programmes failbecause organisations do not