Friday, August 3, 2012

The 2nd Annual KM conference

The 2nd Annual KM conference organized by the Mumbai chapter of K-community was held on 24th July 2012 at Hotel Four Point Sheraton at Vashi, Navi Mumbai. It was an event hosted by eClerx.

The day kick started with an opening session by multifaceted Dr. Madanmohan Rao. His insights on Knowledge cultures brought out how collaborative behavior can be defined and nurtured in organizations. The two thoughts that caught my attention were conducting Culture audits, defining 5 characteristics of the organization culture and nurturing it. He suggested audits to be prolonged over a period of 1-6 months for getting a proper character of the organization and its culture. He also strengthened the general Knowledge Manager's thought that the ROI can be only on terms of learning for the seeker and recognition for the expert.
The following session by Partho Sengupta from erstwhile Patni which is now merged with iGate, was an interesting case study on Knowledge Management after the merger. Interestingly, while entire Patni workforce was scattered to fit in with iGate for a smooth merger, KM team from the Patni side continued as is. The KM team soon found out that while they came from a Mature process oriented organization that was very hierarchical and old fashioned they were handling KM for an org that was young, dynamic, brash and not so matured in processes.
They were at advantage when it came to platforms, Patni was on MOSS 2007 while iGate on Sharepoint 2010. It helped to have an internal technical team and all platform changes could be done efficiently with quick turnarounds. They created a unified system for the employees, so people came to a single home page from where KM access was also available. It was mandated for project delivery and made auditable. They made "Preparing ecosystem to serve the “Expressed Individual” and integrated org " their motto and vision.
Dr. J.K Suresh of Infosys talked about aligning KM strategy with Business strategy. How crisis of global capitalization is causing major issues with predictability, Derisking, Sustainability etc. How each of these problems has a knowledge issue. He stressed on the fact that KM is not about process maturity or technology and excellence but about people. Temporal influences on KM, he warned can be significant. He highlighted that Employees are knowledge infused resources and not inert and an organization needs to recognize that when building the KM strategy and effectively aligning it to Business strategy.
Rajashree Natrajan from Cognizant shared her insights on KM. Give when there is an appetite should be a rule for KMers. Deliver insights not information, this makes sense else user is lost in the sea of information and not all users can interpret data.
Besides she mentioned that in CTS, “ask George” has become an entity that employees mail to for any query they have on the organization, right from HR to technical issue. People perceive it as an expert person answering there questions when in reality it is only an email id.
The most interesting case study in the conference was of L&T Hydrocarbons. The CEO’s message itself encouraged the employees to share the stories of failure, as much as there are celebrations for success. They even have a competition for sharing a failure story; that is across teams rather than individuals. KM is mandated in the process and no benefit measurement is done. He also stressed on the fact that phone conversations at the time of failure remains the strongest way of Knowledge sharing even though the world has moved on to social media.
Keshavamurthy Rajgopal shared his experience on Transitioning Cap Gemini KM from Repositories to Communities. His observation that we share to connect and connect to share lies underneath the emergence and thriving of communities. Why setting up communities facilitation is required but after that he observes that content is not required to be managed, based on need people manage it. They create and acquire knowledge as required. A Kmer’s role should be of mentoring the community leaders for the required skills. Some of the Challenges that a community faces are
  • Not all deliver at all times
  • Managing the expectations of the non-social generation
  • Comfort of people with open spaces.
The day concluded with a vote of thanks to the sponsors, eClerx and L&T hydrocarbons and eClerx organizers team.

Also adding here the mail I had circulated earlier:

Hi Team
I had the opportunity to attend this conference here in Mumbai, yesterday.
It was refreshing to meet new people, listen to new perspectives and network with fellow KMers. There were some from non-IT background and their stories were very interesting In the next team meeting will share my notes too.
Meanwhile here some sound bites from the conference.
Dr. Madanmohan Rao, as usual live tweeted and then compiled this at the end of the day.
BTW the Rajgopal in the transcript is our ex-teammate Keshavmurthy Rajgopal, who now heads Cap Gemini Finance KM.
I was live updating on Facebook, so those who are in my friends list, got flooded J, those guys can ignore this mail. (Others pl. do not send me requests, I rarely use my FB a/c for work purpose.)
All the slide decks and videos will be updated on the link below by this weekend.
Trust this is useful and interesting.

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