Knowledge management has a key role in consulting agencies, as qualified service is based on the knowledge and experience of all.
The project’s aim of this internationally operating medium-sized consulting agency was to implement an already chosen knowledge management system for test purposes, whose methodology is supposed to make a solid knowledge base accessible to selected teams, thus enabling a company-wide transfer of knowledge and experience. At a later stage, it is intended to migrate the knowledge management software company-wide.
The introduction of knowledge management often goes hand in hand with a large-scale organizational change. This project therefore started as a pilot project in two exclusive segments of the client’s company. At the beginning of the initial phase, the project manager discussed the motivation for the implementation of a knowledge management system and the underlying methodology with all stakeholders.
In a collective effort in the subsequent preparation phase, a project landing zone was determined, tasks and team structures of the pilot project organization where defined. From a knowledge management perspective, the project manager, by means of a business process-oriented knowledge management analysis, conducted a study of the current and expected situation of the organization. Following team interviews, an overview of existing fields of knowledge, tasks, accountable personnel, knowledge carriers and requirement to a knowledge management system was compiled. A detailed presentation of the results of the analysis caused a greater willingness and motivation in removing existing deficits. The subsequently gained transparency on knowledge-intensive processes as well as the current shortcomings in knowledge transfer set the stage for the design phase, in which a specific catalogue of countermeasures, of accountabilities and timelines were defined. By means of mutally defined objectives and specific measuring criteria, it was possible to identify which actions to which extent hat to be taken. With regard to knowledge communication, it was necessary to identify needed adjustments to the concept and the tool for a company-wide rollout. Above that, based on the conducted interviews, roles where defined and rights allocated.
Following this, guidelines were developed, and multistage training sessions carried out. The knowledge acquired during the test phase, in addition to an intense exchange with the IT department, lead to an improvement of the tool and all allocated processes.
By appointing a knowledge manager, an accountable and coordinating position was found, that is needed in order to introduce a planned, systematic knowledge management system, that is – by means of methods and tools – supposed to gradually integrate a knowledge management system into existing business processes. Beyond that, an access and identity management concept was compiled and implemented. Through active change management and extensive training, employees were motivated, to actively capture and incorporate their knowledge. A mutually agreed-upon process for the optimization of the solution between client IT and service provider was successfully implemented.