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2017 KMWorld Promise and Reality award finalists:
KM Reality Award

This article appears in the issue November/December 2017, [Volume 26, Issue 9]


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Audible—The subsidiary of Amazon that produces audiobooks had 1,500 employees globally managing seven markets. Before the knowledge management program was developed in 2015, common knowledge tasks were lumped under training with no real foundational path for how to evolve support content or to develop and employ KM best practices. Customer care leaders seized the opportunity to create a new knowledge management department and within one year, the KM team developed clear guidelines to create a unified tone of authored content and templates to aid users in content consumption. Audible wanted to empower agents to know exactly where to go to find what they need quickly and easily. Agnostic of the tool, Audible also built out a vision to revamp its self-service portal to create a low-effort experience for customers by conducting a complete overhaul of its user interface and FAQs. 

Bechtel—In 2014, Bechtel launched an enterprisewide, people-centered knowledge management program to facilitate “getting the right information to and from the right people at the right time, for improved business results.” Bechtel’s global footprint and cross-cultural workforce represent considerable depth and breadth of technical knowledge. The KM program provides a standardized model for the ongoing capture of knowledge in real time and across business units, geographies and projects. It allows employees across the globe to have ready access to subject matter experts and peers’ experience wherever they may be so they can leverage technical expertise, learn from others’ experiences and avoid rework or costly mistakes. It flattens traditional hierarchies that have historically limited the effective exchange of knowledge. The core of Bechtel’s KM program is people—those who create knowledge, those who share knowledge and those who will apply knowledge on projects to serve Bechtel’s clients.

BTS USA HQ—Because of inefficiencies in leveraging resources—tools, content and expertise—globally, KM practices and processes became a priority for BTS in 2012. The company launched the KM resource named GlobalX (often referred to as “the library”), which acts as a central repository of content. GlobalX houses information that can be leveraged across the continuum of sales, development and delivery, and makes sharing possible without disrupting or overwhelming consultants. GlobalX is integrated with the company’s ERP, CRM and ESN, making information easier to find and more valuable in context. It offers consistency in sales enablement resources, expertise across the five BTS practice areas, industry insights and credentials, a solution library, best practices to execute projects and a PPT factory featuring best-in-class templates. GlobalX also offers extensive video libraries for internal education such as IT-related tasks, career development tools, client results and organizational updates like quarterly meetings and town halls.

Keolis—The knowledge management department was created in 2012 within the Keolis Group initially to support business development. It began with implementation of a case study database to enrich bid offers and illustrate know-how. To streamline the life cycle of the knowledge gathered and shared, the KM department enabled experience and best-practice sharing between operational experts through an online collaboration platform. Business communities were born and experts now can exchange freely in a secured environment formally (documents) or informally (forums and topics) without any limit of hierarchy or geographical barrier. The KeoShare collaborative platform was launched in December 2014 and was transformed in April 2017 to become a single portal, KeoSphere, gathering both corporate information (news, newsletter and editorial content from the group and its subsidiaries) and online collaboration (in practice, interest or project communities). The KM approach and KeoSphere tool have revolutionized the way the company works collaboratively.

Schneider Electric—In 2011, the KM program organizer found that only 35 percent of the company’s employees successfully cooperated with different departments. Consequently, the company formalized communities to foster collaboration in the flow of work. To legitimize the enterprise community management effort, Schneider Electric’s IT and HR functions established a CoP executive committee, with members reporting to the CEO. In 2014, the company implemented a wiki-encyclopedia as a single portal for employees to quickly find trustworthy definitions, because definitions for business terms and acronyms had been scattered across more than 100 glossaries in Schneider Electric’s intranet. The wiki-encyclopedia, named iSEE, is built on open-source wiki software MediaWiki (mediawiki.org) and hosted on the cloud. iSEE content can be sourced through the platform and the organization’s intranet. Content moderators are experts appointed by each function and then trained by the KM team to moderate and verify iSEE content.

TechnipFMC—When the company launched its first KM initiative in 2010, senior management envisioned a workplace in which employees could continuously deliver additional value through global collaboration and experience sharing and transfer critical knowledge from the soon-to-retire baby boomers. Innovation and even higher levels of collaboration became paramount in 2014 when a collapse of oil prices and a highly competitive environment made it vital for the company to develop new technologies, reduce costs, standardize equipment and processes, disrupt convention and devise new ways to improve the execution of projects. A merger between Technip and FMC in January 2017 further increased the demand for the portfolio of KM services and placed a renewed importance on the program’s underlying mission—to connect people and leverage their collective experience. Also, a new focus on social learning helps infuse KM into the work process, increasing business value from knowledge sharing and providing cost-effective, just-in-time learning. Winner of the 2017 KM Reality Award.


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