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Where is the balance in having KDE's do the research and Managers being accountable?

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Question: We have a link rate of 40% and are getting our KDE's to start using the PII. However, managers of the engineers are accountable for the engineers behaviour when it comes to embracing KCS everyday. Where is the balance in having KDE's do the research and Managers being accountable? If KDEs feed the managers feedback; then managers aren't fully self sufficient when it comes to managing engineers and the KDEs own more part of the game than they do. Any thoughts about this? Different way to think about it? - Christie Morin, CA Technologies





- John Custy

13 December 2017


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@John- So we are in a MATRIX environment and we have center managers that own the engineer performance and delivery managers that own process. We aligned our KCS coaches to Center managers as they help coach engineers on quality as they earn publisher rights (or as needed). We aligned our KDE's to high volume products and they work closely with delivery.
The Center managers therefore should own KCS participation (aka linking rate).... but we are at 40% (after 1.5 years) so something is not working. We just rolled out a KCS fundamentals training refresher and held a meeting with managers, coaches and KDE on how to coach engineers behaviors to improve KCS behaviors which can ultimately be reflected in the linking rate. But now with the PII in v6 and KDE's doing that work; how does that balance with what the manager should be doing? We want managers to be accountable for driving the right performance and I'm trying to figure out how to make that happen vs the program office owning it (as I believe it's seen now). Does that help? Would love to hear your thoughts.
Posted 19:26, 19 Dec 2017
@Christie - thanks for the clarification. Remember that managers are critical in creating the environment that enables the engineers to contribute, but they really cannot 'make' someone contribute in the manner you need. Do your managers have the coaching skills needed? Are goals clear? Do the managers understand KCS principles/concepts? Do the managers understand how their role changes in a knowledge environment?
Posted 16:20, 27 Dec 2017
@John- thanks for the reply (again)- if I may ask one more question :-). We just rolled our fundamentals training and I was thinking that the KCS coaches could use the PII and help enforce the behaviors of the engineers and the manager is ultimately responsible that 1) the coaches have the time to do that work (as the coaches report to their mangers) and that 2) the engineers participation and behaviors of KCS improve and sustain the gain through case reviews. In this model, I would look to certify the KCS coaches, not the managers, on v6 practices to help drive the program. Would you think that is sustainable? I came to this conclusion after thinking managers have soooo much to do and the success of peer coaching worked so well in our rollout. We will start to have manager collaboration workshops to help with conducting a case review and working through PII Results and engineers behaviors, but I'm thinking an engineer to help assess the opportunities is key; therefore ask them to do the work and certify them to ensure they understand the whole picture. (PS- you've earned a free drink in Napa!)
Posted 00:45, 30 Dec 2017
@Christine - a few clarifications on your question. Coaches cannot enforce (to be effective), they can help provide the knowledge for the engineers to be successful, but the engineers must be motivated (intrinsically) to share their knowledge. Managers must be responsible for driving the program, and they need to understand the behavior changes needed. Coaches can facilitate much, but managers need to be responsible. Coaches should be v6 certified if they are explaining to the engineers what they need to do. Coaches are expected to understand KCS principles and concepts at a level beyond what the engineers know. While all managers need not understand KCS at this detailed level, the managers need to understand the behaviors needed, as they are responsible for their staff behaviors and outcomes. Too often managers are left out in training, and when this happens they reinforce the old behaviors, not the new behaviors which are needed. I believe in a 'managers' KCS training/education, which need not be KCS v6 Practices certification, but more than Fundamentals. Managers need to understand what behaviors need to change and understand the goals and objectives, and what is expected of them.
Posted 14:41, 30 Dec 2017
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