Coming from implementing KM in an engineering company, I knew the challenge was rough. IT companies have a differente focus and culture. I had a close look at some APQC selected companies in the field of IT (Accenture, TATA, Infosys, Wipro, IBM, etc) and began to develop a quick benchmark. Some of the best practices I incorporated in the company´s KM roadmap were:
- Identify strategic/critical knowledge and formulate an action plan to develop that knowledge
- Align actions with business objectives.
- Talk to senior leaders in order to incorporate their ideas.
- Make the lessons learned process lean and simple. Oversee the entire structure and responsibilities in order to apply lessons. (generally people avoid getting involved in the application!)
- Create transversal communities
- Communicate a lot and analyze the learning culture.
As a result, the business leaders themselves generated the KM plan and goals were accomplished easier. KM participation incremented almost 65% in comparison to earlier years and by this I refer to the number of people that registered lessons learned, participated in knowledge forums, specialized talks and CoP gatherings. Significant impact was drawn from the upgraded lessons learned strategy and KPIs clearly demonstrated savings on an economic level.
We began with pilots in three business units (roughly about 1300 employees). Along the journey I´ve met very resistant leaders and found different levels of maturity regarding processes and results. What I´ve learned from this is that a single “recipe” for KM does not work. Thus you need to understand the business horizon and jargon. Infiltrate yourself in business and create a custom KM path for success.