Assessing the Current State
KCS Opportunity Assessment
The KCS Opportunity Assessment evaluates the current processes, content, and culture. The assessment identifies the extent to which the current practices align with KCS practices and where they don’t. The evaluator uses the results of the assessment to recommend opportunities for improving the current organizational practices and to quantify the benefits. This is important information for the KCS Design Session.
The assessment compares the current organizational processes with the KCS practices in areas including:
- Interaction management
- Problem solving
- Technology and infrastructure
- Knowledge management
- Leadership and culture
The individual doing the assessment, the “evaluator,” is an objective observer exploring opportunities, not a judging party. It is important that the evaluator be an outside resource or someone who is not closely associated with the organization or domain. It is the responsibility of the Executive Sponsor and KCS Program Manager to create an open, non-judgmental environment for the assessment participants.
The assessment begins with data collection. The KCS Program Manager will complete the KCS Opportunity Assessment Survey (see Appendix A) for the current working environment, culture, tools, and metrics. In addition to the data collection, the evaluator conducts a series of interviews with representatives from the management team and knowledge workers.
Assessments are completed for each domain. In large global organizations it is important to include multiple locations to identify variations across geographies. It is also important to include all the levels of the organization involved in the problem solving process. This ensures a complete view of the current state. The results of the assessment will provide background information and highlight areas of focus for the KCS Design Session. A typical KCS Opportunity Assessment for a domain takes 2-3 days of onsite evaluations, observations, and interviews. If multiple locations are involved in the assessment activities, the time allocated must be adjusted accordingly.
To review and validate the assessment findings, the evaluator convenes a session (usually 2-3 hours) with the Executive Sponsor, management representatives, and key knowledge workers from the domain. In addition to validating the current state, the goal of the session is to create an understanding of KCS, how it differs from the current practices, a sizing of the potential benefits, and a high level understanding of the dependencies for a successful KCS adoption.
Supplemental Materials for the KCS Opportunity Assessment
To help facilitate the KCS Opportunity Assessment, the following are helpful:
- KCS Opportunity Assessment Survey (see Appendix A)
- Create an invitation to participate in the interview process that includes some context for the KCS program
- Provide an agenda to participants for site visit
- Provide an agenda to participants for results presentation
If the sponsor of the assessment decides to move forward with KCS, the next step is getting the right people involved.