Baseline on 5 Big Companies That Got KM Right
John McCormick at Baseline Magazine provides five case studies from their archives: Knowledge Management: 5 Big Companies That Got It Right. This is in response to the AMR study that says KM spending is going to grow, as I reported earlier.
I've heard several pieces of these stories, but I hadn't seen them put together in one place before. Nice summary of the work. Of course most are focused on the technology, rather than the KM, in my opinion.
World Bank: Behind the I.T. Transformation (August 2007). The World Bank was the source of the stories of Stephen Denning's excellent book on using stories for knowledge sharing, The Springboard. This report goes back into the Denning-ere history of the World Bank, and it talks about the importance of sharing development knowledge across thousands of employees in contact with people in every country on the planet. However, the report doesn't focus on the knowledge-sharing-by-storytelling aspect that Denning has become well-known for. It focuses on the struggles and successes the bank has had in setting up technologies for knowledge management. Nonetheless, this report documents a ten-year history of the Bank in transforming to a knowledge-centric organization.
I.T., Not Just Elbow Grease, Help Utility's Recovery (January 2006) is a report on Southern Co., the U.S. energy utility that was slammed by hurricanes in recent years. Not unlike the World Bank case, Southern Co. had a wide variation in quality and accessibility of information across its many operating units. They went through an extensive effort to make their systems consistent across the company so they could access information more quickly -- and serve their customers better, whether on a daily basis or in emergencies.
Content Management: Dow Jones Makes Headlines (October 2006) talks about the online Wall Street Journal's content management system and does a nice job of describing their history from the earlier days of the web. There isn't much about knowledge management per se, other than the convenience of having a good CMS backing you up when you are trying to publish on paper and electronically. I particularly like the seesaw of vendor-built to in-house and back again for their content management systems since the mid-1990's. I wonder how this technology infrastructure will serve the Wall Street Journal, if they transition to providing content for free, as Rupert Murdoch suggested recently.
Shuffle Master Puts its Money on a Portal (July 2006) describes yet another situation where an integrated IT system enabled a company to have a better view of the company, integrating systems that previously did not talk to one another.
Pratt & Whitney: Help Yourself (June 2004) is a one-page report on the familiar shift to providing more and more data directly to customers, rather than keeping it locked in internal databases and available only via request and complex report generation procedures.
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