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Showing posts from November, 2012

Managing Knowledge

I recently had the opportunity to chat with a practitioner about the importance of knowledge management and had to smile when she declared that ‘knowledge management is back.’ The premise of the comment was that early attempts at knowledge management were unsuccessful as organizations seemed to think that the knowledge was going to ‘magically’ appear. Gartner speaks to the fact that organizations also often focused on collecting knowledge, rather than dispersing it.

It has taken the IT industry a while to understand that there needs to be a strategy for knowledge management that culminates in the right information being delivered to the right place or person at the right time. Doing that successfully requires a process, methods, policies, procedures, tools, and metrics.
Another consideration is the shifting of generations in the workforce. Think about it. How do young – or young at heart – people solve problems today? They Google or Tweet and draw upon the knowledge and expertise of ot…

Pain Management

Picture this: A patient walks into the doctor’s office and says “doc, every time I raise my arm it hurts”.Of course you know the punch line.But can you see the analogy?Fill in the blank:Every time we _____, our customers/services/users hurt (how?)

To identify and improve pain areas, you must analyze the overall performance and capabilities of your services, processes, people, partners and underpinning technology.Do you know how they support desired business outcomes and where they fall short? The first step is to identify the “as-is” state in order to document current performance and justify the need for improvement.Part of this step will involve determining what needs to be measured and who is going to collect, process, analyze and synthesize the data into useable information.Key stakeholders will need to be identified and engaged in order to understand the intensity of their pain, the residual impact and their input into possible opportunities for improvement.

The “as-is” state can …

Unsourcing

I recently read a very interesting article in the June 2, 2012 Technology Quarterly edition of The Economist magazine.  There is a new trend in technical and customer support that relies heavily on the contributions from actual customers,“Unsourcing” involves the use of online communities to enable peer – to – peer support among users.Instead of speaking to a paid internal or outsourced service desk analyst, customers post issues to a central forum and wait for answers from experienced users.   To create unsourced communities, companies are setting up discussion groups on their website or leveraging social networks like Facebook and Twitter.  As you can imagine, the savings can be considerable.

Gartner estimates that user communities can reduce support costs by as much as 50%.When Tom Tom, a maker of satellite navigation systems, switched to social support, members handled 20,000 cases in the first month , saving the firm around $150,000.Best Buy has instituted an online support group …

Institutionalizing Continual Service Improvement

In this age of the global economy we repeatedly hear about how organizations must continually innovate and change to meet the challenges of global competition.Does your organization have a plan of continual service improvement (CSI)?Has the executive level defined how CSI will be part of the overall business strategy?Is there alignment, from IT management?How much time, resources and budget is being allocated towards improvement?Is it a structured corporate program or an ad-hoc initiative with little direction and no defined benefit? 

Institutionalizing CSI is one of the critical success factors for the 21st century.

A well-defined and managed strategy is necessary when confirming that all resources and capabilities of the organization are aligned to achieving business outcomes and that those investments are lined up with the organization's intended development and growth.It also safeguards that all stakeholders are represented in deciding the appropriate direction for the organiz…

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