Define KM Program Governance, Part 3

Stan Garfield

Stan Garfield

November 05, 2020

In the two previous posts in this series, roles, job descriptions, organization structure, and meetings were discussed. This final post covers planning, scheduling, reporting, and decision making.

Processes for creating and updating the plan of record and schedules for implementation, new releases, and reporting

The project leaders are responsible for defining, maintaining, and implementing their portion of the plan of record for their assigned areas of responsibility, and reporting regularly on progress. Based on the results of user surveys; inputs from the KM community; and the details in the Top 3 Objectives, the answers to the 9 Questions, and the KM Strategy, each project leader should select three key projects to lead.

Here are three sets of examples of possible selections.

1. Example: Public Sector Organization

  • People

A. Embed KM goals and measurements into the employee review process.

B. Develop and deliver training courses, self-paced modules, user guides, and admin guides.

C. Conduct employee satisfaction surveys to measure progress and identify needed improvements.

  • Process

A. Develop a KM Management of Change plan and help implement it.

B. Define a governance process for repositories and libraries – how content is captured, improved and reused.

C. Implement a collaboration process for project teams.

  • Technology

A. Define an overall information architecture and data model.

B. Make it easy to join all communities by clicking on a single button.

C. Implement a data warehouse for self-service KM indicator reporting.

2. Example: Manufacturing Company

  • People

A. Coordinate a series of regional KM webinars.

B. Develop, pilot, and roll out an incentive program.

C. Publish a monthly newsletter.

  • Process

A. Develop a quality improvement plan for repository content.

B. Implement a process for creating and maintaining a standard taxonomy.

C. Implement a process to identify and designate proven practices.

  • Technology

A. Automate data flows from business systems to repositories to reduce the need for redundant data entry.

B. Provide an offline capability for repository content.

C. Implement a prototype social software tool for personal home pages and social networking.

3. Example: Systems Integration Firm

  • People

A. Improve KM web sites and develop new user interfaces that map to different views.

B. Develop and implement a plan to improve employee satisfaction.

C. Increase participation in communities and threaded discussions.

  • Process

A. Implement a capture process for software source code.

B. Implement a reuse process for proposal management.

C. Define a process for creating and updating sales kits.

  • Technology

A. Integrate repository search with corporate intranet search and add localized search capability.

B. Add external access to collaborative team spaces for customers and partners.

C. Automate archival of content from team spaces and repositories.

In the recurring core team conference calls, include a regular time slot on the agenda for reviewing each project leader’s portion of the plan of record. The plans should be updated prior to the scheduled calls, including implementation schedule details, timing and features of new releases, and reasons for any schedule changes.

The overall plan of record should be maintained on an easily-accessible web site. It should include the implementation schedule, the new release schedule, the reporting schedule, the change management plan, the training and communications plan, the standard employee goals, the organizational measurements, and the standard taxonomy.

The core team should decide on the details for reporting. These should include which metrics to report, the targets for each metric, the format of reports, what level of detail and how granular reports should be, to whom reports will be distributed, where reports will be stored, how frequently reports will be produced, who will produce reports, how and when to revise metrics and targets, and how to produce custom reports.

Process for decision making

The core team should decide on the details for decision making. These should include a change request process, a process for setting priorities, a voting process, when consensus is needed and when it is not needed, and a conflict resolution process.

Here is an example of a decision-making process.

  1. Change request process: KM leaders can submit requests using a form on the team space.
  2. Process for setting priorities: The core team meets once a month and ranks all current and proposed projects.
  3. Voting process: Voting is done using a poll on the team space.
  4. When consensus is needed, and when it is not needed: Major changes to the user interface require consensus of the core team. Minor changes do not.
  5. Conflict resolution process: The organization KM leader resolves all conflicts in any of the virtual teams.

Decisions should be made with as much diversity of opinion, debate, and discussion as is reasonable. Whenever a consensus among the core team can be achieved, that is desirable. But when there is no consensus, after an appropriate amount of discussion, the organization KM leader should make decisions so that progress is not stalled.

How the KM program is governed is critical to success. Without strong leaders, representation from all constituent groups, regular calls and meetings, and effective processes for planning, reporting, and decision making, the implementation plan can’t be properly executed, and thus the Top 3 Objectives won’t be achieved. Pay close attention to getting this right, and it will pay off later.

Stan Garfield

Stan Garfield

Please read Stan’s additional blog posts offering advice and insights drawn from many years as a KM practitioner. You may also want to download a copy of his book, Proven Practices for Implementing a Knowledge Management Program, from Lucidea PressAnd learn about Lucidea’s Inmagic Presto, with KM capabilities to support successful knowledge management programs.

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