Archive for February, 2011

Info Management Conference

Keith February 28th, 2011

On Tue 15 Mar, I’ll be speaking at the Queensland Joint Information Management Conference for Records and Information Management Professionals Australasia. The topic is a familiar one – Building and managing a knowledge transfer program.

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This will be similar to earlier versions of this presentation, but will have a little more stress on the use of Social Media principles in this work.  The outline is as follows:

How do you encourage technical experts to share their knowledge with others in the organisation that need it to do their jobs? How do you maintain currency and accuracy? This case study presentation will explain how to build a successful knowledge transfer toolkit, covering aspects such as:

  • Encouraging knowledge-sharing behaviours
  • Building a program-managed multimedia toolkit, comprising content, communication, learning and social media
  • Governance – keeping content up to date
  • Engaging the target audience in improving content
  • Using social media principles to build trust and engagement

See you there?

Building and Maintaining a Knowledge Transfer Toolkit

Keith February 23rd, 2011

Many large organisations have subject matter experts with a deep knowledge and understanding of business-critical information. This knowledge needs to be conveyed to a target audience in another area of the organisation, mostly comprised of staff with a lower level of technical expertise. In traditional organisational structures, content management, intranet, communications and training are often located in separate silos. Yet all of these areas provide tools that assist in knowledge transfer – the desired end result is an informed audience.

This splitting of functions can lead to inefficiency, duplication of effort, confused messages and errors. Other critical factors impacting effective knowledge transfer are maintenance of the currency and accuracy of content, as well as the problem of knowledge hoarding.

In this article, a strategy for building a complete knowledge transfer toolkit will be described. This toolkit includes a range of individual elements, comprising content management, communications, learning and multimedia elements, coordinated as a managed program. Approaches to maintaining the currency and accuracy of content, dealing with knowledge hoarding and the relevance of social media principles will also be addressed.

I have written here many times about the “toolkit” approach we used in my work at Telstra (2000-2008). This has been covered in a number of presentations that I have delivered, most recently at the 2010 CPA Congress. I wrote an article about it in 2009, and it was originally documented in a Case Study by Andrew Mitchell, also available on this site.

I have now published a more detailed article on the toolkit, chapter three in the book: TIMAF Information Management Best Practices – Volume 1, issued in November 2010. A copy of my article is now available for free download from this site here.

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Communities and collaboration

Keith February 20th, 2011

We know all about explicit knowledge – it is visible and tactile, and has been recorded in libraries since Sumerian times. Tacit knowledge, however, is somewhat harder to tie down. This is the knowledge inside peoples’ heads. We often attempt – with varying degrees of success – to convert it into an explicit form so we can better measure and account for it. However, one of the best ways to handle tacit knowledge is for people to simply work together with it, and talk about it. This article investigates one of the most effective ways of dealing with tacit knowledge in organisations – Communities of Practice – and why helping them to grow and flourish requires a better understanding of the words “community” and “practice”, as well as an understanding of the place of technology.

So begins the latest version of my thoughts on Communities of Practice – this time, in an article in the Thomson Reuters publication Online Currents. A full copy of this article is now available on this site.

This extends the ideas in my earlier article The theory and practice of communities.