Organizations create value through the successful execution of their core business processes. Business strategy dictates which business processes are key. Some companies choose to compete on cost so they focus on supply chain and operational efficiencies. Others compete on service, so responsive customer care is essential. In all cases, repeatable core business processes is what creates value.
All business processes are composed of a sequence of discrete steps, decisions, and business logic. Companies that have mastered their core business processes have dissected the processes into the smallest tasks and carefully analyzed each step and the decisions and actions made in each step. Most steps require some external information to complete them.
Knowledge-enabled processes are those business processes that have accurate, up-to-date information readily available to support the work being done at every process step.
Knowledge management is an essential ingredient to support knowledge-enabled business processes. In this context, we are referring to the more than 30 technologies that make up the KM tool box. For example, business process management and workflow automation is used to route work to the correct person or team. Content management systems provide access to technical and support documentation for customer service representatives. Faceted search, based on metadata, and browse, based on taxonomies, support all kinds of information look-up across business functions. Expertise location and collaboration tools facilitate rapid communications with subject matter experts.
Iknow helps identify, design, and implement knowledge-enabled business processes. We start by creating rigorous business process maps. The maps reach a very granular level of detail and document every input and output, resource requirement, and control for every task. Next, we catalog every decision and the associated data and information inputs needed to make each decision. Then, we study where that data and information is currently stored and assess the accuracy and timeliness of the data. We identify data and information gaps and develop recommendations on how to address the gaps.
We work with our clients to redesign their core business processes and implement the supporting knowledge-enabling technologies. Iknow also considers all aspects of knowledge governance and organizational change management in all of its process design/redesign projects.
Iknow’s deliverables often include:
- Business process maps and decision logic
- Analysis of process-related data and information sources
- Process redesign recommendations
- Future-state process redesign
- Business process prototypes and pilots
- Design, development, and implementation of supporting knowledge-enabling technologies
- Business process policies, procedures, and related documentation.
Taking a company’s knowledge management processes and rebuilding them from the ground up can create substantial improvements in information sharing, team-building, and business value.