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by Jay Fienberg

KMWorld: Creating a Win-Win KM / Websites Platform Strategy

posted: Oct 16, 2003 11:54:11 PM

I am at the KMWorld conference in Santa Clara.

This is the closing keynote, "Creating a Win-Win KM / Websites Platform Strategy", by Jack Borbely, Director of Knowledge Management at Towers Perrin. (He notes that he is currently in IT, though his KM job has been in other divisions in the past.)

He opens with: the doing of this KM / CMS stuff is very messy!

Towers Perrin is global, 8,500+ employees. They work as a knowledge factory with their clients, who are big enterprises. Relationship is their business. Intellectual capital is their deliverable. Leveraging IC is business imperative.

Seven years after selling business case for KM, what now, why and how? Where do you take KM. Strategy is sustaining and evolving services, transitioning to a more integrated platform for leveraging IC.

KM / Websites goal: business solutions. Enhance performance through improved process and tools. Support goals of marketplace and workplace leadership. Develop and support new solutions. Strategy: leverage IC inside and outside the firm.

Support lines of business, employees, and customers.

Make knowledge capture and exchange a natural part of work routine. Community: Learn, win, do. Content, context, capabilities. How do you enable capture at creation as much as you can.

Pep talk they give themselves: focus on business impact, need to embed KM in consulting process. KM means strategic commitment on culture, process and technology fronts. KM / Collaboration owned by the business (communities of practice), all about content, connections, and context; built on a solid KM and collaboration platform.

How they implement: intranet / enterprise portal, plus 30+ communities of practice.

In communities, people request for help from each other on web-based collaboration tool. After answers are given, content managers mine requests / answers for information. Implemented in Lotus Notes, accessible via the web. Employee use in the last year has doubled since release.

How to continue to leverage IC strategy? Integrated web / KM platform. Move content / IC seamlessly from workplace to marketplace.

Integrated enterprise platform: not a monolithic system. Consistent information architecture and content processes. Common technology, CM, search, portal, personalizing, communication and collaboration. Supporting family of environments: intranet, internet and communities of practice.

Trying to uncouple site and assets. Site as hosting environment for online assets. Site as delivery framework, a vehicle. Focus on structure, organization, navigation, access, design. Apply usability methods and processes to site creation.

Leverage services and capabilities in common to all sites. Develop and refine site platform capabilities.

Web based tools matched with web based content.

Invert the model: instead of focusing on sites, focus on content headwaters. Goal: reuse and multi-desitination of content streams. Separate the delivery environment from the assets.

Content integration includes content process integration, which CMS processes can you adapt, adopt, replace. Authoritative sourcing: can't centralize authoring but can leverage primary authoring groups and processes.

Logical places for efforts on consistent enterprise content tagging. Tagging at source for multiple audiences and destinations. Oriented towards flexible output.

Some content streams are very concentrated and produce a lot of content the firm wants to leverage. These are the ones to focus on in terms of getting them adopt standards.

IC leverage strategy means audience segmentation. Consistent metatags and multitiered access. Marketplace, registered users, clients only. Security and access control, but also working with content stream authors and asking them to consider the audience.

How they do it (it's messy): Documentum (content publishing and management), BEA Weblogic (portal), Verity Ultraseek (search), Lotus Notes / Domino (communication and collaboration), TP Datamart (personnel profiles, groups, access control data, all for personalization).

Portal is aggregator and presentation framework. Goal: increase number of assets that integrate with portal. Assets are in other types of systems. Integration and connectors is important. How they maintain personalization across all the systems is also a sticky issue.

He is showing screen shots of their portal (which is their intranet). It pulls data from different systems.

Example of single content stream goes to four different sites, multi-destination via process and Documentum. They have value-added content, and they give different people different levels of access to that content through different sites (for fee, for clients, for public, for in-house).

Operations strategy: joint ownership with business. Clear business sponsor, liaison and operations roles.

Under the hood: KM technology and systems, KM production processes, and site / community processes. This trickles into all the sites.

KM Operations unit works with business mindset. Firm is client: enterprise, lines of business, etc. Track use to show value. Also do an annual survey or users (get 26% response rate): scale 1-5 rating of my community.

Target new hires to do separate survey to see how their tools compare with tools previously used at other firms.

If you have a portal, you don't necessarily have a portal platform strategy. Technology solution, but doesn't mean the same thing to the same people (culturally, in terms of processes, etc.).

Use model-view-controller approach with portal.

Move up the value chain. Information aggregation is interesting, but not as interesting as integration the platforms of content and application. Ultimately, looking to realize business process integration.

At this point, their current applications are moving up the chain towards content and application integration.

Three main thoughts: Evolving e-workspace model: from application silos to content and function just in time, right in process. e-enabled and enhanced process. Content supported by personalization: tools and content blended around role. Asset model: multipurpose, multi-deistination.

Transparency from digitalization / quantum leaps in connectivity. All parts of great digital flow, spanning channels and devices. Network addressable, increasing breadth and granularity. Example blogs having permalinks and identity at the document level.

Horizontal view: not just internal or external.

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April 30, 2003

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