All 18 entries tagged Kbam
June 06, 2012
One thing I have noticed in most of our presentation, people set up wonderful plans, which is true, are really well done.
But what about costs and time ? Realistically, can we implement all these changes ?
Some plans would cost millions to implement. In the culture of excellence, we're supposed to focus on the customer needs and create/design plans accordingly to their financial capacities/requirements. Therefore, we should first see how much time we've got - taking into account their own business, their activities and any other types of commitment - and also have a look at their budget.
I assume not every company can afford to spend millions to re organized some aspects of the company. Hence, I firmly believe consultants should find creative and innovative solutions, based upon the constraints imposed by the clients, which makes the work even harder and challenging.
The Management of knowledge is really hard. However, it remains the most important things (along with people) to create excellence organisations.
Through this module, I have developed my understanding in terms of creating value for company and giving practical recommendations. I had something else in mind when I had heard many companies saying "we need something concrete". Often, people/student don't go enough into details and don't provide enough information. Consequently, we stay superficial in the way we approach a problem and miss important aspects.
I guess an organisation makes its clients happy by communicating to them proper ideas, real figures and proofs that the results expected can't be different than the one obtained.
Doing this PMA, I tried to put myself in the shoes of the customer that will read the report. I asked myself "do they have enough information to understand what we intend to do?"
From that point, I also realise that it would be highly beneficial to have a team and share these ideas, to build something all together. Doing so, we could have made sure we had provided a work of quality, having thought of every possible aspect of the problem.
I now this was just a "PMA" but I found it really consistent in terms of research, strategy, structure and client-focus.
Thanks Paul !
June 05, 2012
Another way to document knowledge is to use schema, graphs, table, or anything apart from proper text-based documents. We read everywhere that "document, store and disseminate" are part of the KM system. Often, people link "document" to text-based documents.
However, I believe the way knowledge is documented and/or stored encourages or discourages people from using it. Reading load of documents to "re-use" knowledge is just tedious . This is why, as part of a knowledge management, we should think more in terms of "how do we document", rather than "we need to document". A company has to find an easy way to transfer/disseminate knowledge.
Schema and graphs, tables normally give a very good overview. It makes the information clear to understand, easy to update, and people are more likely to use it for further work.
As students and future employees, we should take this into account and not forget to express our ideas in a efficient and easy way. The concept of Knowledge Management in itself is complex enough, but small things can have big impacts.
We've read many different things about KM and according to other people's blog, there are many ways of implementing KM, but nothing really efficient. We talk about KM, explicit and tacit knowledge. Transforming tacit knowledge into an explicit one to make it usable. However, KM isn't it a tacit knowledge in itself ?
Apparently, no one really knows how to apply it and it seems that companies apply it with no big convictions. So far, I haven't seen a lot of practical implementation apart from things such as:
- whilst creating information, make sure you put a name on it, a subject, the name of the company, the date, the level of confidentiality, etc
- Create a database to organise all this knowledge
- Transform tacit knowledge into explict knowledge
Another and easier way for a company might be to passed tacit knowledge on to other people working in the same department/area. By doing this regularly, the company would ensure the knowledge is shared but also decreases the risk of someone leaving with it. This would mean develop knowledge without necessarily going through the step "transformation into explicit knowledge".
This PMA gives me the opportunity to be in the shoes of a consultant, which I find really interesting since I'd like to start my career as a consultant.
First, I had no clue on how a consultant writes a report for a company. I have developed my knowledge by looking at some reports on the Internet, the way it was structured and what was the main elements. I still have no experience in this field but trying to optimize WaveRiders' organisation is a great way to learn and I enjoy it a lot !
However, I encountered some difficulties in terms of costs and timing when doing the strategic planning. I wasn't sure how much a company (WaveRiders) normally spends when it hires a consulting company. I also found quite hard to realistically evaluate how long a simple change (i.e. create a policy, recruit someone, etc) might take. And this information is essential to schedule everything and be able to give a good overview to its customers.
Then, I realized that every single change that the consulting company recommends needs to be adapted to the daily activites of WaveRiders. Timing is critical and both companies need to reach a compromise.
Finally, does a consulting company give recommendations as a starting point along with some training to make sure the company(client) will be able to implement the changes. Or does it do everything with its own team, and just make sure the client understands to do it by itself later on ?
This report made me wonder many important questions. I find it very healthy because it confirms my will to work as a consultant. I am now better conscious of the work it requires, and how interesting it can be to always work on different projects.
Finally, I like the idea that this PMA and all this research will help me soon for all my interviews with consulting companies. It will provide me a better understanding to characterise this job and its challenges.
June 03, 2012
I have recommended a strategic planning to WaveRiders. As part of the Knowledge Management plan, I recommended the company to classify the information it has according to 3 different levels (e.g. secured, confidential, highly confidential). What I mean by "classify" is to decide who shall get access to what type of information.
Thinking of Coca-Cola for instanse, the company must have highly confidential information (e.g. the recipie of the drink) that remains accessible to a very few persons within the organisation.
As a result, I changed my perception of "efficient communication" by adding this element. Before, "efficient communication" was to make sure everyone has the information he/she needs by sharing everything, etc. However, to a certain extend, sharing and providing a lot of information may drown people into it. By efficient communication, I guess there is also a part of "control".
I trust the hardest part is to find the balance to provide enough, useful and usable information. I had never thought about all that before but we actually create a lot more information than we think.
I'd like to add a new perspective to "efficient communication" called "the control of the information".
May 06, 2012
Another aspect of the PMA ... Knowledge Management.
Through this year and the modules, I have learned what KM is, along with the main steps (e.g. creation, lessons learned, storage, dissemination, etc). In this PMA, I tried to integrate KM to the Asset Management I had chosen. However, it seems logical for me to start deploying a KM plan, before anything else, as a way of life. Therefore, I wanted to implement a KM strategy to the company and then develop a strategic planning on security.
However, for WaveRiders, implementing KM within the organisation is more than a challenge. I understand how WaveRiders creates or expand "new" knowledge from now one. But what about the "old knowledge" and everything the company has been working on for years (when it was not using any KM). Should a company start looking at it again and try to take out some "lessons learned" ? Or it is too late ?
KM facilitates the creation and organisation of knowledge, which will contribute to the development of competitive advantages. However, I realized in the journals and articles that security is not often part of the KM process. Working on both aspects in my PMA, I trust the development and anlysis of knowledge is essential, but knowledge that is not secured is not really valuable, or at least not for long.
Working on this PMA and having done all these modules, I know find new links that were not obivous a few months earlier.
May 03, 2012
How to realistically apply the EFQM model ?
Looking for a solution for WaveRiders, I've chosen to start with a step-by-step approach. I also chose to start improving the organisation by focusing on the security aspect.
Doing so, I am learning how to implement the EFQM model. I also understand the way it works. To me, it seems that the implementation of this framework is done thanks to a combination of knowledge. I guess the order of the enablers we want to improve first doesn't matter. I now understand the fact that focusing on a particular area is enough to start building an excellent and sustainable business.
Indeed, all the enablers are interrelated. Thus, when we start improving one of them, there are many little things that we unintentionally improve in other enablers. Step-by-step, we therefore develop enough knowledge to make the business more and more efficient.
It is like making a cake. We add one ingredient, then a second one. It often doesn't look really good. Then another ingredient and so on. After a while, we finally get a good substance, or material, to do the final step: bake it. It seems an organisation works similarly. It needs many elements to get a good structure and some time to create it. Then, it become easier and easier to manipulate it as we wish.
This knowledge will certainly be helpful in any professional environment in terms of organisation. Understanding the way a business work and what it needs go towards excellence is essential. Moreover, it allows someone contributing efficiently from day one to the work and strategy of an organisation. Finally, it helps to give ouselves some directions in our daily work to be immediately efficient.
May 01, 2012
These past few days, I've had a look at what means security for an organisation.
I found that Security represents one of the most important assets of a company, and remains indispensable.
Most of the companies store information online. Moreover, some companies are Internet-based, which means 90% of their concept is stored somewhere on the web. For these companies, security becomes a sine-qua-none condition for them to develop new ideas & further work.
For "regular" companies, room is given to tangible assets and when documents, reports, data, information, knowledge can be stored virtually, a company often go for this option.
Unlike other assets that can more or less be developed, security can't be neglected. Everything does impact on an organisation and its performance. However, not performing enough in the environmental aspect is not going to make the company go bankrupt. However, if a competitor can gain access to another company's information and highly confidential documents, this could be very harmful and have big repercussions on the business.
Having read all this documents, I better understand the importance of security for a company but also the reasons why any company shall pay attention to it. This is important in a professional but also in a personnel environment. Internet and virtual network are part of our daily activities and we should all pay attention to what we do, and what we store on it. The consequences of a lack of vigilance may appear in a short or long-term perspective, when less expected. Then, in the future, I will probably pay more attention to these details in order to avoid bad surprises.
April 27, 2012
Having done the presentation, I wonder how consultants do their job ?
- Do they make recommendations ? Or do they give proper steps to guide the company and help it to make the changes ?
- Do they need to define and defend their action plan ? Or do they "order" people what to do ?
Today, I have seen 3 presentations + ours ...
- I guess the board of directors wants to know how and how much ?
- They probably also want people to give a proper answer to their problems and not just a general action plan ?
I also realized this morning that there are many ways of improving a company ... but how do we find the right one ?
What I learn on myself, making and doing the presentation:
- I will never be able to communicate slowly
- Stress is contagious !
- I can be impatient and have some difficulties to explain diplomatically things to other ...
- pretty good at picking what would make a good presentation (but unable to convince people that is the right thing to do)
- Make realistic plans
- avoid too many details > people get lost
- Probably do/mention less but better structured, instead of mentioning too many things with no structure
- Make a straight forward presentation
- specific knowledge must be explained - if not, pointless
One thing that I liked was reviewing some things such as the portfolio or the final presentation (that my team and I did). It is at that specific moment that I realize how unperfect things are. This is the reason why I think it is important to step back from our own work for a bit to better assess it afterwards.
Regarding the writing skills, I confirmed that:
- Long sentences are hard to understand. Always write short and consice sentences
- Always use the active form (and not the passive one) - this makes feel the reader that the person suffers from something or go backwards
- We tend to mention things without saying why > we end up with sentences that don't bring anything valuable apart from 10 more (useless) words
- too many details provoke confusion
>> these are small facts but do make a huge difference for the reader - for him to understand the message ...
Today was the last day of the KBAM module
Here are some tips I need to remember for future presentations:
- Have an agenda at the beginning > structure the presentation
- Pay attention to the colours used - needs to be easy to read
- Avoid putting too many information in a slide > confusion
- Do not put everything that is going to be mentioned orally > speaker become useless
- Explicitly explain what the current situation is, where we want to go
- Use graph, scheme, tables better than bullet points & texts
April 24, 2012
I liked this lecture/team work because this is the typical kind of things that we know but never pay attention to ..
I found it interesting the "justification bias" mentioned in the situation awareness error. Indeed, this bias typically shows that:
- sometimes, people gather proper information
- sometimes they just gather what they want/expect to gather
This made me think about the PMAs and the Literature Review. When I look for information, I realise that I often and quickly find in books/journals the information I need or want to find even if it is not really the case. Sometime, I just read something and find a (more or less accurate) interpretation that matches with what I was looking for.
I am not too sure how to avoid this bias. I guess this is much less apparent when we just read for our own culture (scientific magasines, books, etc), without any goals. Because we do not expect anything and are not looking for any specific information. As a matter of fact, we probably don't look for any justification.
After all, isn't it why people always say to search for different sources and point of view ? I believe that people interpret any thing as they want but at some point, a part of truth must be part of their interpretation.
April 21, 2012
The notion of Continuous Improvement is everywhere !
Today, I had a closer look at "maintenance" ... I must admit the subject is broad enough to spend ages on it. However, the subject is interesting and looking back at my internships and companies I worked for ... I am not sure I often heard something about "maintenance", and my question is: Do companies really "care" about it ?
I understood the importance of maintenance going through a few articles and journals. However, it appeared quite complicated to implement because it requires a lot of information as well as measurements.
That's why I came to the conclusion of "What come first ? The knowledge". That's the most critical element before starting implementing anything. But I realize that it is a big problem in most of the companies. The knowledge is used but then, rarely documented, stored or disseminated... welcome to KM world.
I guess the first change that must always be made within a company is the efficient application of knowledge management. It appears to me the most relevant starting point. I am encountering this difficulty in the company I am currently working for, and realize that with no information/data/knowledge, we can unfortunately don't do much. Or what we can achieve is insignificant compared to what we could realistically achieve with proper information.
Through the presentations we have to do, we always have the case of a company where "nothing" goes well. And we need to implement many things but we never start with the most important ones that could be a huge support for further changes.
Hence, I wonder ... Is there a logic somewhere ?
April 19, 2012
How to limit a project/presentation
We've been working on the mini project for a few days now .. but I wonder how can we properly structure it.
We've all been looking at so many information, and going really deep into some of the areas ... but wouldn't it better to structure everthing first ?
The good thing is that I have been through many interesting information but the topics are way too broad, and it becomes hard to limit the research. However, we have a limited time since the presentation is next week and we are supposed to work 40 hours on this and not a hundred ..
This reminds me the dissertation. I am encountering the same problem doing the Literature Review. I realize that when there is not enough structure, is it hard to create an ideal one. The good thing is that I learn a lot but on the other side, I also waste a lot of time looking into things that does not necesarilly makes my work more consistent.
Here is anoher area for improvement .. but where to start ?