Thursday, 19 February 2009

Better Knowledge Management = Better customer service?

An interesting article here from Fumsi which describes how a Government Call Centre based in Whitehall used Knowledge Management to improve customer service. From the article:

"Information advisers in the call centre or in other teams could access very little of the information held by their drafting colleagues, and information exchange tended to be informal and on a need-to-know basis. Much of the information held centrally was written in a style suitable for briefing but not for answering a telephone call."

"A first step was to pull together all the information we held into a searchable database - the Lines database. This database became the key knowledge resource for the Customer Service Centre"

What's interesting about the article is how the team then looked at Social Tools as a means to collaborate with each other:

"As our project to improve Lines took off, the department introduced two collaborative tools - Sametime (enabling informal ‘chat') and Quickplace (designed to improve collaborative working on policy papers and other documents). My knowledge team (of two) spotted the potential in these features for knowledge sharing across the Customer Service Centre."

One of the other benefits of rolling out this system was the impact it had on staff morale and retention of staff.

"Being able to find the information is a cornerstone in providing a good answer. It boosted morale and made the work seem more achievable. The rest of the changes related to the people aspect of the job"

A really interesting article well worth reading.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Share and share alike!

Another day, another article from KM Legal this time from the pen of Rupert Scheiblauer, Head of Knowledge Management at Wolf Theiss. In the article Rupert looks at his firms use of Sharepoint which include the use of Blogs, Wikis and RSS Feeds.

One of the most interesting points Rupert makes is around the use of Social Networking type functionality within the site..."The ability to create your own profile is a bit step towards getting everyone involved with the firm's KM efforts...furthermore profiling makes it easier to find things or people because they have contributed their own content"

Now I'm not going to say this is crucial to the success of any project involving Sharepoint but enabling your users to edit their own profiles so that other people can see not only who they are, but what they are working on, what Know How they might have submitted, what websites they have bookmarked and who they are "connected" to truly makes Sharepoint a Web 2.0 experience.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Doom and gloom or time to prosper?

Toby Brown of Fulbright & Jaworski has written an interesting article in the latest edition of KM Legal on some of the possibilities that could be exploited by Knowledge Managers during the global economic crisis.

On how Knowledge Management professionals can demonstrate the business value of their work:

"We know that lawyers and firms that embrace KM will be those that best serve clients needs, so we should be taking this opportunity to demonstrate its benefits"

On the benefits of having a fully resources KM team:

"The KM team can help our lawyers to achieve this and enhance our business development efforts, thus creating efficiencies and lowering cost over time"

On how KM Teams can "work smarter"

"...if you want to converse with lawyers about value, talk about value instead of technology. This focuses the dialogue on the benefits to the lawyers and not on the cost of any technology involved"

This is an interesting example of how KM Teams can use Knowledge Management and Knowledge Management tools to exlpoit the current global economic crisis.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Is Knowledge Management just a really expensive overhead?

I for one hope not because Knowledge Management is a considerable part of my work in one form or another. But like most people I cant help but have noticed that 2009 is looking like it is going to be a particularly difficult year for Law Firms.

So "where does Knowledge Management fit into this" is the question asked by Doug Cornelius on the KM Space Blog

As reported by Doug two articles published in the most recent edition of Inside Knowledge Magazine try to answer this question. The articles are:

As Doug says in his blog post, both articles look to some of the challenges and opportunities for developing and improving Knowledge Management in what are difficult time.

Unfortunately you will need a subscription to Inside Knowledge Magazine in order to read these articles.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Twitter for beginners

I recently wrote an article for a professsional association I belong to and thought it might be republish here, albeit condensed slightly.

First of all you're probably thinking, what on earth is Twitter?

Well Twitter began life in 2006 as a research and development project and has now become the most popular microblogging site on the Web. Twitter is part Social Networking site part publishing platform, with the idea behind it that it offers a way for individuals to provide more detailed “status” updates to their friends, family and other contacts.

Think text messages or Facebook status updates and you’re almost there in terms of the concept although with Twitter users can receive updates via the Twitter website, SMS, RSS, email or through applications like Tweetie, TwitterFon, Twitterrific, Feedalizr or Facebook.

A number of other services exist with a similar concept or which combine the micro-blogging functionality with other services, of these Jaiku, Plurk and Tumblr are the best-known microblogging sites. Microblogging is a form of blogging that allows individuals to post brief text updates (usually no more than 140 characters) or other media such as photos, audio clips and websites. Followers, individuals who have chosen to follow these updates, a bit like blog subscribers, then view them.

These updates could be about anything, from what you had for lunch to a new website you’ve seen to something you have just blogged about or are thinking of talking about, your only limit is 140 characters.

Still interested in taking a look at Twitter? then you'll want to have a look some of the excellent guides that have been written on how to use Twitter and why!

And if you're really keen to start using Twitter and are looking for some people to follow then look no further then the following: