Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Knowledge Management Puzzle

What does this picture have to do with knowledge management?

It's a picture of the box cover for a puzzle I'm working on.  I am now going to attempt to use that picture to talk about knowledge management.  I hope you're smiling.  This isn't too serious.

First, knowledge management is a puzzle.  It may not have 1500 pieces like the puzzle in the picture but it has a number of interlocking pieces and like a 1500-piece puzzle, it may seem overwhelming at first to try to tackle it all at once.

Second, if you're like me and you've worked on such puzzles before, you start with the edges and you frantically search in particular for the four corners.  I'm not sure there is a strong advantage to the approach but it ensure some quick wins because the edges are easier to find and then place so that within an hour or less you've accomplished something.  You need the positive feedback, the feeling that you CAN do this. The same can be said of knowledge management initiatives.  Fixing the big picture may seem intimidating but there are quick wins that can be found.

Third, the puzzle represented in the picture is two-dimensional but if you step back, you can pay attention to the picture, what it represents.  It's colorful but it's silent.  What's missing to give you a good sense of that environment, the context for that small village cobblestone street? This is just one angle and it's not even complete.  Our knowledge is never complete.  If we read a lesson learned without the appropriate context, we might miss the bigger point it's trying to make.  In working on a puzzle, if you focus on the mechanics (finding pieces of the same color for example), you might completely fail to pay attention to the picture that is emerging.  Don't lose sight of the big picture, the larger culture change that may need to happen for the organization to become a learning organization.

Fourth, there is a great deal of culture embedded in that piece of technology in the picture; the car.  It's an old "deux-chevaux".  Perhaps its knowledge management equivalent is the continued practice of using email (and attachment) to transfer knowledge.  It's part of the culture.  Don't ignore it.  Of course, that car is now a classic.

Fifth, you can't have a french street without a café. You need a café for conversation and some benches to take time to pause, think, reflect and talk with colleagues.

Sixth, you have flowers and plants flourishing here and there.  They need watering and nurturing on a regular basis.  These are perhaps your communities of practice.  I know it's a stretch but we're almost done.

As a first step, for a very quick win, I would recommend fixing the grammatical error on the puzzle's title:  Rue Français... No, it would have to be "Rue Française."

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Customer Journey Mapping

I've been exploring different types of maps.  The last post introduced a Knowledge Map.  This post will be introducing my first attempt at creating a customer journey map.

For a basic video introduction, see "How to Create a Customer Journey Map" by UX Mastery.

Consultants are often hired to help organizations develop their customer journey map. Do they ever apply the approach to their own services? (Click to Tweet this!)

Below is my initial map.  I suspect this would evolve over time to be more based on real experience than current expectations/wishful thinking.

Click on the image to open the map in a new tab.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

A "Knowledge Map" for Fillip Consulting, LLC

The APQC refers to knowledge maps as "powerful tools to inventory an organization's critical knowledge and pinpoint areas that may be at risk."(APQC)

Here is a draft knowledge map for my own independent consulting (planning) effort.  In my case, I'm not thinking in terms of knowledge "at risk" but rather in terms of strengths and weaknesses, areas I might want to strengthen and areas that help me differentiate myself from the competition.

I identified three broad knowledge areas:
1. Management and business knowledge that is critical to thrive as an independent consultant;
2. Knowledge management knowledge since it is the domain where I am a subject matter expert; and 3. Technical skills that are essential for the successful delivery of the consulting services I want to focus on.

A variation of this could also be used as a taxonomy for my internal lessons learned.  If these are critical knowledge domains, it would make sense to document lessons and/or good practices over time using a consistent scheme. I will want to revisit this map regularly and adjust it.  It's a work-in-progress document.

Such a map is much easier to develop for an organization of one, but it helps to demonstrate some key principles that apply regardless of the size of the organization.  It can be developed at the project or team level, and within individual business units.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Mapping Lessons Learned to Improve Contextual Learning at NASA - APQC's August 2016 Webinar

A special invitation to join Dr. Rogers and I for a presentation on Mapping Lessons Learned at NASA. 

"If you missed APQC's 2016 KM Conference this past April, we've got a treat for you! Join us on Thursday, August 18 at 10:30 a.m. CDT for the August KM webinar, Mapping Lessons Learned to Improve Contextual Learning at NASA.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Chief Knowledge Officer, Dr. Edward Rogers, and Barbara Fillip from Inuteq, will repeat their highly-rated session from the conference on how Goddard has designed a KM program to fit the needs of the organization, focusing on one of the most essential aspects of the program: the process for documenting lessons learned from projects using concept maps.

This presentation will have a very brief intro to concept mapping, followed by an explanation of how and why it is used at NASA. Dr. Fillip and Dr. Rogers have worked on this together for seven years and will jointly address benefits of the approach as well as remaining challenges.
Can't make the webinar? Register anyway and you will receive a copy of the slides and recording, regardless of attendance. "

FOLLOW UP:  We had more than 400 live attendees and the webinar was very well received.  It worked well that we talked for 30 minutes and had 30 minutes of Q&A.