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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Closing the loop on knowledge re-use

Putting a knowledge sharing process in place is only half the challenge to improving knowledge sharing across an organization. You must also ensure that published knowledge is used and replication processes are acknowledged and implemented by business units (BUs) that need them most.

In order for replication and knowledge to be implemented on poor performing BU's it might be necessary to make mandatory requirements of implementation.

For example, if a top performing BU submits a knowledge document, a best practice process for example, it can be mandatory, not optional, for BUs that were not in the top performing band for the relevant business measure to complete replication and report the results.

In a small minority of cases, BUs may report after studying published knowledge submissions that they either have similar practices or cannot replicate due to specific local reasons. Such genuine exceptions should be accepted, but it's should be mandatory for the BU to close-loop (respond to) every single published knowledge submission.

The status of replications and results can be made part of the agenda for the president's review with CEOs and each CEO's review with their functional heads. Particular attention should be paid to BUs in the bottom performing bands for each business measure (over 25 percent variation from the best performing BU) to ensure that they complete replication of best practices in those areas where their current performance is weak.

The knowledge replication process should not end with a BU completing replication of a knowledge submission relevant to them. Make it mandatory to measure the quantified impact of the replication on the relevant business measure.

Adapted from "Establishing KM Processes Part Two" by Arun Hariharan in the current issue of KM Review.

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