24 Mar NJMC’s Institutional Memory Service
NJMC Institutional Memory Service (I.M.S.)
Many business processes are transactional in nature – individuals draw on institutional knowledge to execute recurring tasks with defined outcomes but many organisations have lost institutional knowledge. In the arena of project/programme management this loss can be felt particularly keenly, more so when one considers that permanent Project/Programme Management Offices (PMOs) are often one of the first resources to be removed. This can have consequences that reach forward to impact future work, increasing risks, repeating avoidable errors and increasing costs. Managers have to constantly balance the potential cost impact of decisions where sometimes the immediate savings turn out to have longer terms costs because the loss of institutional memory. Institutional Memory (knowledge management) has to be a pro-active, ongoing process that is focused on human beings who are supported and facilitated by content and knowledge management systems.
The principle reasons for institutional memory loss are:
- Work force reductions and cuts to services seen as overheads.
- An aging workforce with the most experienced now retiring, a situation that will grow for some years to come.
- The knowledge simply residing in the heads, hands, and hearts, not documented.
INSTITUTIONAL MEMORY MATTERS, it has financial value, it should contributes to Business Continuity and it has potential to help an organisation grow. It needs to be seen as an investment, not as the overhead that it is often seen in when the accountants are preparing the next quarterly results. Most of all it is about the human element being recognised, then facilitating and encouraging knowledge transfer between those human elements.
Our Institutional Memory Service (IMS) seeks to close the gap between mere Knowledge Management and Institutional Memory in order to provide opportunities to drive marketing, business continuity, business process & efficiency.
Most organizations today regularly experience these dynamics with the result that the informal, people-based institutional knowledge that is so critical to organizational effectiveness seems to have a shorter and shorter shelf life in the programme and project management arena. No organisation should assume that knowledge transfer and lessons learnt will happen by themselves, it does not. Transfer of knowledge requires active encouragement backed by leadership recognition of its value because if one does not pay attention, the knowledge base of a team or business unit will atrophy and an oarganisation will be doomed to repeating past mistakes..
NJMC exists to give the ability for small and medium sized companies and organisations to have cost effective PMO solutions using it’s project management office service offerings which can be brought on and off line as our clients require, but where does this leave the “institutional memory” of projects and programmes?
NJMC now offers an Institutional Memory Service that reduces ongoing expense when there are:
a) Extended peak/trough periods between projects/programmes resulting in dispersion of institutional project/programme experience.
b) Rapid projects/programme staff churn.
While we recommend our clients build an explicit strategy for maintaining institutional memory within their organisation, we also offer an off-the-peg, four part IM retention solution:
- Off-Boarding: this is the essential human element. We use audio-visual interviews for key or critical staff who are approaching departure from the client company through retirement etc.
- Providing a template Content/Knowledge Management platform using Microsoft SharePoint.
- Provide a Lesson Learnt Database for project managers and other key resources that is indexed, searchable, accessible via mobile devices.
- On-Boarding: Making Knowledge Management and Lesson learnt part of new resource on-boarding to carry knowledge forward.
How It Works?
- Content Management.
- Knowledge Management.
- Off-Boarding Capture
SharePoint can content management storage solutions, but in capturing and capitalizing on their relevancy, SharePoint fails. The more rigorous the definition of Knowledge Management gets, the more gaps there are in SharePoint’s capacity to fulfil the mission – however SharePoint offers an effective repository for information. An organization can obtain truly effective Knowledge Management functionality while continuing to leverage its investment in SharePoint, by adopting a purpose-built Knowledge Management tool while also maintaining a shared content repository in SharePoint.
A Knowledge Management solution goes beyond the limitations of keyword searching, providing natural language search that allows users to express their search criteria in terms that make sense to them – in their own language. Once the organization’s content is indexed, search will improve continuously over time, as the search engine enhances the indexing as the content evolves and documents become associated with actual questions. Software tools developed specifically for Knowledge Management are effective not only at enabling an agent to find relevant solutions, but also allowing the agent to link the solution easily to the incident or question for which it was effective. That linking statistically reinforces the relevancy of that solution when a similar incident occurs, making it easier to find in the next search. More granular search results: Unlike Microsoft’s own enterprise search engine, search using a true Knowledge Management tool can isolate a relevant passage within a large document; the solution then is not the entire document, but the specific, relevant passage. A dedicated Knowledge Management tool also provides full suite of metrics and reports. Knowledge Management reporting goes far beyond page views and audit logs. Reports designed specifically for Knowledge Management allow tracking of the content most widely used to resolve queries, allowing team leadership to reward contributors of the most valued content and incentivize regular contribution.
As staff leave companies for whatever reason essential and key skills, experience and knowledge are often lost, usually forever. NJMC provide an audio/visual off-boarding process that interviews key staff before their departure, this audio/visual content is then meta-tagged with keywords provided by our client company and is then entered into the Knowledge Management system. These interviews can often produce results that have uses beyond immediate operation concerns such as useful stories that can be used by marketing teams. These videos can function as short, easy ways to instruct younger workers. Along with this approach NJMC mentors the departing staff to use the content and knowledge management systems to capture addition experience.
New PM’s must be briefed about the client’s situation and learn as much as possible about the subject matter before the project kicks off. Of course it’s never possible to be 100 percent “ready” but steps can be taken to mitigate some of the negative impacts by using a combination of good content management and lessons learnt of previously company history in the PM on-boarding/induction process. A certain amount of learning will always take place during the project but lesson learnt this way are often expense in time and outcomes, far better to make relatively modest investment ahead of potentially terminally costly project failures and make knowledge management part of the resource on-boarding process.
Want To Know More?
- Web-site: www.njm-consulting.com
- Email: email@example.com
- UK Telephone: 0044 74 75 12 18 28
- NL Telephone: 0031 621 356 041