Need for KM at Continental
Available knowledge for everyone: in time, in place, in quality.
The decentralized organization needs a central knowledge management system.
Started in this role because he saw, in his former position, the problems of not having the right information at the right time. An example he gave is that he was in the middle of a study and discovered that another group had done the same study, on the same microcontroller, a month previously. This could have been solved with a better KM system.
ExAS is the name of the program - Excellence Achieved by specialists.
Three main systems:
Corporate Yellow Pages. This is a people page, that is entered by the user.
Communities of practices - controlled by the organization, limited number of communities based on knowledge review of request, similar to our CHS process. This is deliberate because he has seen uncontrolled communities of practice leading to too many communities on a particular subject matter.
Wiki - very new product for them. Having a cultural problem, German company and they are uncomfortable with the open nature of wikis.
None of the content is anonymous - when you upload information your name is attached, thereby helping ensure a good level of professionalism.
Specifics of Corporate Yellow Pages
ExAS contacts - search engine delivers relevant profiles, contact data, specialists profile, experts profile. About 6,000 of 150,000 have completed this so far. Information presented is similar to our planned P2P pages.
Specifics of a community
A community is a group of people with a common interest in a defined subject. Who are working on business relevant topics, exchanging information and knowledge using one common language, providing a set of useful documents, beyond organizational boundaries of time zones, with a motivation to develop best practices and increase core competencies between members.
Every community is closed, you have to apply for membership.
The company uses English as their lingua franca. Even though they are a German company - English is their company language. Functions included within a community include: discussion, announcements, search on community (includes full document search) and a subscription model.
Interestingly, they have a consistent left hand navigation for every community.
~ 100 communities at this time.
- Sharepoint platform.
- 8000 pages so far.
- Links to norms, standards, guidelines, and other documents.
Develop a single overarching environment.
Lessons learned is a tool that gathers the experience from each project within the company. Instituted a structured process to avoid two issues, 1) unstructured data and 2) not generally applicable lessons or too simple lessons.
The process begins when the lesson is entered by the user, it is then forwarded to a expert in that area, only then added to the lessons learned.
The process is similar to our Knowledge review process.
I wonder if we talked to our "knowledge" as lessons learned if it would have more resonance and impact on our users?