Knowledge Management Audit Report

COIS20077 Assessment Item: Submission Date: Word Count: 2 26th May, 2011 3600 Knowledge Management Audit Report Student Name Page EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Hewlett Packard (HP) is a leading multinational organization providing products and services in many IT related technologies such as computer hardware and software, printers, scanners, storage devices etc. In 1995, the company decided to introduce knowledge management in its organization that will make its systems, processes, outcomes superior with organized and systematic knowledge handling and storage.

HP faces severe competition and thus has to be ahead of the market using many strategies, one of which is application of Knowledge Management (KM). With over 600 business units located globally in a decentralized structure, the idea was to integrate knowledge within, across all streams of organization and beyond. HP started its KM campaign defining its vision, creating the design for KM and then beginning the transition (Martiny, 1998).

HP has made a concerted effort to keep the KM strategies aligned with The Australian Standard AS5037-2005 that provides guidance on what are the principles of knowledge management and the parameters of implementation that can be adopted using a flexible framework. Knowledge audit case study of HP reveals that KM is conducted through 5 guidelines: share, innovate, reuse, collaborate and learn (Garfield, 2007). Further main components of KM remained people, processes and technologies.

HP makes use of KM tools such as knowledge mapping that creates new actionable information, project snapshots and forms learning communities. At HP, the culture is highly relaxed with open cubicle physical structure that enables information sharing easily. At the same time a learning ambience is maintained through the organization that is also driven with a problem solving mind frame. Leadership at HP has been very successful both during transition and during transaction in order to integrate the new KM system and to facilitate it every day.

Leading and driving knowledge workers are challenging tasks but so far HP managed them quite well. HP knowledge workers dwell in an environment that has technological tools of creating, sharing, and exchanging knowledge using most interactive multimedia and platforms. The KM tools at HP make transferring and retrieving information very efficient. Further the facilitative role of the HP leader, and the open environment gives knowledge workers perfect environment for them to grow and to contribute to the organization.

Technology is a very crucial and important aspect that HP has made full use of; it has created softwares and portals that allows its stakeholders control over KM. Training Trading Post, Connex: A guide to internal experts, and HP Network News: A resource for HP dealers. Further systems like K-Net, number of knowledge sharing technologies are invented and incorporated in HP’s organization, used by every knowledge worker and leader, along with assistance from knowledge advisors on how to best utilize the technology.

In order for the knowledge audit to be successful, a series of questions that need to be asked by the HP management have been quoted regarding the role of leader in maintaining learning culture in the organization, KM integration of new company acquisitions and flexibility in the system to provide leeway for new knowledge, creating core competencies in the market, knowledge integration across business units and across various functions in HP. Finally series of recommendations help guide HP in improving the KM system in its company. Page i Table of Contents

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. i INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 1 Knowledge Management …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1 PURPOSE OF THE ORGANISATION ……………………………………………………………………………………………. THE KNOWLEDGE ENVIRONMENT– EXTERNAL CONTEXT ……………………………………………………………. 2 HP’s Markets and Competitors …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2 INTERNAL KNOWLEDGE CULTURE AND ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE ……………………………………….. 3 HP’s Phased Approach to KM ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3 Phase 1: Create the Foundation ……………………………………………………………………………………….. Phase 2 & 3: Build, Launch and Permeate the Environment …………………………………………………. 3 Organizational Culture ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4 KNOWLEDGE ROLES ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 5 Knowledge Leadership ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Knowledge Workers ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 6 TECHNOLOGY AND KNOWLEDGE SHARING ……………………………………………………………………………….. 6 Training Trading post ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6 Connex ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… HP network News……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6 K-Net ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 7 Knowledge Sharing Technologies …………………………………………………………………………………………. 7 PROPOSED QUESTIONS TO ASK STAFF ………………………………………………………………….. ………………… 7 Topic: Contemporary importance of knowledge management ………………………………………………… 7 Topic: Knowledge culture ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 7 Topic: Knowledge Workers/Roles …………………………………………………………………………………………. 7 Topic: Knowledge Leaders …………………………………………………………………………………………………… Topic: Technology & Knowledge Processes ……………………………………………………………………………. 8 Environment, Tools and Techniques ……………………………………………………………………………………… 9 Sustainable Efforts and Motivation ………………………………………………………………………………………. 9 CONCLUSION……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 0 REFERENCES ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 11 List of Figures Figure 1: Knowledge Flow (Internal and External Environments) …………………………………………………. 2 Figure 2: Phased Approach to KM ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 3 Figure 3: Knowledge Management Process……………………………………………………………………………….. Figure 4: HP-Best Practise Sharing Process………………………………………………………………………………… 4 Figure 5: HP’s Knowledge Leadership Framework………………………………………………………………………. 5 Page ii INTRODUCTION The report will begin by describing Knowledge Management (KM) and related topics. It will then go on to introduce Hewlett Packard, a multinational company, and its stance on the importance and use of KM, its objectives and goals.

An analysis of the external and internal environment, culture, knowledge leaders and workers, and technology will be given, followed by recommendations and conclusion. Knowledge Management Organizations need to value knowledge as an important resource and develop a way to use the employees’ knowledge and intelligence to enhance the organization’s knowledge. Knowledge management is the solution. People tend to think that by understanding the past, they have greater opportunity and experience to make correct decisions in the future.

Companies lost valuable knowledge and needed systems and processes to capture knowledge and skills of their workers, organizing them and making them locally available for the rest of the organization (Gronhaug and Nordhaug, 1992). The need to absorb knowledge, store it and make it available to effectively drive the new technology has enabled global sharing of information (DiMattea and Oder, 1997). This becomes a reusable resource, constantly growing which provides a variety of competitive advantages.

In order to effectively utilize the information, it was necessary to make it easy to input new data, navigate and organize effectively. Just create, store and use information often seen as a problem in the KM. Information is an important aspect of knowledge but that is after it has been processed. “The Australian Standard AS50372005 provides guidance on what are the principles of knowledge management and the parameters of implementation that can be adopted using a flexible framework. KM is a body of understanding and skills that is constructed by people and increased through interaction with other people and with information. (AS 5037-2005 Definition 1. 3. 4) Knowledge management (KM) is a tool to capture knowledge, improve the sharing and use of information within the organization, a tool to build competitiveness by taking advantage of the knowledge that the employees are sitting on (Gronhaug and Nordhaug, 1992). There is not a standard definition of knowledge management that fits in all industries but it should be viewed as a management tool to improve performance, productivity and competitiveness in the organizations. PURPOSE OF THE ORGANISATION

Hewlett Packard Company, also commonly known as HP, is an American originated Multinational Corporation that develops products for computers, data storage, hardware& softwares, and further in delivering computer related services. Some of their specialization is in printers and laptops, home and business desktops, digital cameras, scanners. HP aims to integrate sharing in its business units and after 1995, it tried to achieve this through series of workshops by bringing already present knowledge management practices in the organization together and exchanging best practices (Davenport, 1996).

In their race to become leading company, they believe that knowledge management Page 1 plays a very important role in improving efficiency in current processes and in driving the business altogether (Inside Knowledge, 2011). HP has a decentralized system where knowledge flows, however the real challenge is harnessing the individual flow channels, and establishing a stream of knowledge that can be useful and beneficial to all. THE KNOWLEDGE ENVIRONMENT– EXTERNAL CONTEXT

Knowledge comes both from inside and outside the organization, especially in the context HP, where 112,000 employees are associated from 600 worldwide locations, products and services are being rendered in several different markets, and organization is working independently as well as in the form of forming strategic alliances, acquisitions, providing consultancies with outsourcing research to several other organizations. This brings a variety of sources to the organizational knowledge management system and helps in capitalizing the fleeting opportunities. HP’s Markets and Competitors

HP has dedicated resources established to preserve and transmit organizational knowledge about the strategic alliances. Due to various different markets, external source of knowledge have enormous amount of information for internal knowledge management systems to capture for organizational use. Most importantly, while working in markets like, Personal Computers, Business Services, Consulting, Web Consulting, Staffing, Information Technology Accessories, HP has several market players in direct competition. Their strategies, innovation, initiatives and tactics are important sources of information.

For example, by reducing prices and heavy reliance on online sales of computer systems, Dell Inc. had managed to build a challenging market position for HP. However, as Figure 1: Knowledge Flow (Internal and External Environments) customer’s tastes and preference are increasingly shifting, HP maintained upon their image of reliability and started injecting heavy investments in research and development. This in turn, helped HP in maintaining and harnessing the image of reliable and innovative computing products. IBM, Accenture PLC, Apple, Sony and several other firms are in direct competition with HP.

Customers and suppliers are some other external factors which in turn can seriously affect economic conditions of the businesses. Page 2 INTERNAL KNOWLEDGE STRUCTURE HP’s Phased Approach to KM CULTURE AND ORGANISATIONAL KM transition was done in three phases as explained in the diagram below: Phase 1: Create the Foundation Knowledge mapping has been incorporated in HP’s KM that “identifies knowledge, skills, collateral and tools needed to sell or deliver a solution” (Junnarkar, 2004). K-Map process too has been used that helps to identify the pool of knowledge and skill that is required to sell or deliver a business solution.

Learning communities have been Figure 2: Phased Approach to KM formed that are crossfunctional and cross organizational boundaries that allow new learning experiences and opportunities. It is encouraged for the employees to read, attend, watch and listen (Garfield, 2007). Project snapshots enable processes by which method and deliverable of tasks are captured through the experience of project team (APQC, 2000). Phase 2 & 3: Build, Launch and Permeate the Environment Figure 3: Knowledge Management Process HP drives its KM through five guidelines; share, innovate, reuse, collaborate and learn (Garfield, 2007).

Further three main components that KM revolves around are processes, people, and technologies. Processes In HP, great emphasis has been laid on processes as they are made more easy, efficient and effective through the use of ‘invent, capture and reuse’ mechanism. The idea at HP is that innovation should be activated, the information captured, and then time should not be wasted by reinventing the wheel. Page 3 In the diagram on the right, we see HP’s model of best practice sharing, where knowledge flows through different gates in to the different data sets. This system is what has defined the successful HP KM system.

Further HP development metrics in the performance management process to recognize the best knowledge sharing behaviour among the workers. The matrices used at HP are made of knowledge Figure 4: HP-Best Practise Sharing Process capture, reuse, portal usage an participation, where the rate of usage or rate of development of new projects or employee participation is recorded, maintained and evaluated (Garfield, 2007). Product Processes Organization (PPO) is a corporate group at HP that works to advance product development and introduction. It has some functions such as corporate quality, product marketing, procurement, and organizational change.

PPO has been working on projects such as competitor information, and managing international marketing intelligence (Davenport, 1996). It has also created Knowledge Links that contains information about the product generation process that can be amended by “Knowledge Management group, where group members add value as well” (ITWEB, 2010). However, it appears that these mechanisms appear to be more towards convincing people to share information rather than to align the systems with the employee’s job related activities. Organizational Culture ‘HP way’ is the widely known culture which gives it its uniqueness.

The working culture is known to be relaxed with open cubicles that allow exchange of information and knowledge (Davenport, 1996). Even the HP’s CEO cubicle is open maintaining a modest, easy information sharing environment. The managers walk around and mingle in order to break the barriers of hierarchy. The company is often cited as the “leading exemplar of the shirt-sleeves engineering ethic, well suited to team work and naturally directed towards problem solving” (Knowledge Inside, 2011). Collaborative workspaces create a secure and an open environment for both internal and external project teams to work.

The information at HP is placed in one central location and then ‘pulled’ out rather than managers ‘push-ing’ for generation of information. HP’s own social network site is available that enables a familiar atmosphere where employees can network easily and exchange information. HP has demonstrated itself to be a learning organization as it learns and adapts to the changing environments and needs. For example, “HP found that general seminars for managers on alliances were not enough”. The Managers required information that was H-P specific and provided guideline on the best practices that were developed from H-P alliance experiences.

This led to the establishment of a database of case histories, tools kits, checklists, and in addition, best practices of other companies were also included in the seminars (Harbison & Pekar, 1997). Page 4 KNOWLEDGE ROLES In order to achieve the KM project within HP, the following roles have been established at HP: • Knowledge leader • Knowledge services manager • Solution development knowledge manager • Geographic knowledge managers • Learning community lead • Knowledge consultant End users play a very important role to provide views regarding which KM services provide the most value.

A relationship between junior staff and senior who is not part of the project is encouraged and maintained so that there is no fear or unbiased advice is not given Figure 5: HP’s Knowledge Leadership Framework (Inside Knowledge, 2011). Managers are encouraged to work within the lower staff members in order to be visible and accessible at all times. A walking around culture is established to keep in contact with every day workings. At the same time, managers are provided modest offices so that the barrier between junior and senior ranking is removed (Seiloff, 1999). Knowledge Leadership

The HP KM leader ship framework provides impetus for how the KM process and work will be conducted in the organization. It further helps reinforce the KM objectives in order to define the way work is done in the organization (Junnarkar, 2004). A “Community of Practice Handbook” is created with details of training and skill that assist in forming and maintaining working communities that are available online. HP Knowledge leaders help in creating a learning environment and are skilled at creating, acquiring and modifying knowledge and behaviours to reflect new knowledge and insight.

They also help in creating a supporting culture by developing sensitivity towards these processes (Dubrin, 2010). HP leaders have played an active role in the transitional and transactional phases in order to facilitate the KM system integration nd execution. HP leaders display a significant quality of inspiring workers by defining the vision during the transactional phase and incentivise and reward workers for sharing knowledge during the transactional phase. Knowledge advisors are easily available that provide nformation for using KM tools, where to search for information, and assistance in working and managing KM systems. There is a Knowledge advisory interactive advisors page that allows easy exchange between employees (Garfield, 2007). HP has developed the Innovation Incentive Program where employees are allowed to submit innovative ideas online which are successful could lead to quality patents (Garfield, 2007). This enhances creativity and gives complete flexibility and opportunity for workers to voice their ideas, and if the innovation is accepted, the workers are giving awards that increase the motivation of workers.

Page 5 Knowledge Workers Donovan (2008) argues that it is important in KM to “integrate human capital considerations as the foremost factor driving IT and other technology and socio-technical systems and processes”. Taking this forward HP has provided the knowledge workers with easy to use and interactive technology and platforms that motivate them to share knowledge. Such as Podcasts, virtual rooms, wiki-HPedia, instant messaging, threads discussions etc. Further it has provided variety of KM tools for flexibility and innovation.

There is freedom for expressing or sharing of knowledge in the HP environment; incentive and innovation programs stimulate the workers towards valuable inventions. The social networks allow the workers to engage with the clients, peers and communities in a comfortable, fun environment. Physical workspace in terms of open cubicles and modest environment that break the hierarchal barrier add to the motivation level for the knowledge workers. It has been identified that workers complain that there lacks a mechanism to differentiate the good knowledge workers from the bad knowledge workers.

Further efforts to individual focus on every knowledge worker; seem to be missing in creating social and public platforms. TECHNOLOGY AND KNOWLEDGE SHARING By 1995, all PCs in HP had been provided access to internal and external web environments (Seiloff, 1999). To date, all kinds of technology has been made available to support an interactive atmosphere, instant messaging, visualization, virtual conferencing, etc. (Junnarkar, 2004). The technology architecture at HP is layered into intranet site, community portals and team collaboration spaces as shown in the figure on right.

In order to achieve knowledge management objectives, HP came up with following three main KM systems: 1- Trainers’ Trading Post 2- Connex: A guide to internal experts 3- HP Network News: A resource for HP dealers Training Trading post It is lotus Notes-based forum that aides HP several internal trainers and educators exchange ideas, resources, and processes methodologies. It includes a discussion database on training topic and a collection of training documents (Davenport, 1996). Connex

Connex stands for connection experts and acts as a directory of HP laboratories professionals with their profiles and “It uses a Web browser as an interface to a relational database”. HP network News This is a database of frequently asked questions for the Computer Products Organization by HP’s network of dealers. Because dealers have direct access to it, it has significantly reduced the number of phone calls to HP technical support”. This database has proved extremely successful as it heavily reduced the as the FAQs on a dial-up database reduced the calls coming to dealer support (Davenport, 1996).

Page 6 K-Net K-Net is a structured, interactive electronic portal that is interactive and allows browsing and search for information. ‘This tool helps guide the various groups into one consistent, easily accessible pool of knowledge” (APQC, 2000) Computer systems marketing Organization has placed great efforts in entering huge amounts of marketing information into a World Wide Web-based system that can be accessed around the world. This system contains information such as competitive knowledge, white papers, presentations, product information.

Knowledge Sharing Technologies Further it uses technologies that enable knowledge sharing across the organization using the most unique and leading technologies (Garfield, 2006): • • • • • • • • Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) SharePoint Portal Server (SPS) UBB. threads (threaded discussions) HP Virtual Rooms (webinars) HP portal (intranet) Roller (HP blogs) MediaWiki (HPedia) Specialized applications PROPOSED QUESTIONS TO ASK STAFF Topic: Contemporary importance of knowledge management Question-1: How KM can foster the core competence of HP in competitive markets?

Why: In addition to the structure school’s emphasis on competitive advantage (Porter 1980, 1985), competence school has required organizations to build core competence on the basis of collective learning inside the organization (Hamel & Heene, 1994). This collective learning needs management support to implement KM practices, and this answer will help in mapping the management response to the actual implementation of collective learning process. It will also help in identifying any strategic gaps in the existing practices. Topic: Knowledge culture

Question-2: How HP maintains its own culture during, acquisitions (Compaq (2002), Printelligent (2011)) or strategic alliances and how flexible this culture is to adopt new dimensions? Why: Weak organizational culture becomes prone to disruptions and often loses its identity while amalgamating into other cultures during strategic alliances, mergers or acquisitions. This answer will unearth management view of the strength of their existing organizational culture, specifically the learning organization aspect. It will also highlight the inbuilt flexibility for future improvement.

With historical perspective of Compaq (2002), this answer has potential to share valuable insights to the culture shift for Compaq employees and how HP dealt with that. Topic: Knowledge Workers/Roles Question-3: How empowered HP’s knowledge gatekeepers are in monitoring and evaluating the contents, and what technologies are being used in this regard? Page 7 Why: Apart from other important roles of knowledge leaders and workers, gatekeepers pose a unique importance to the whole system where they are required to maintain consistency, increase reliability, ensure accuracy and report on the performance logs of different KM systems.

This answer will dig into the existing power structure, showing how empowered knowledge gatekeepers are and what technologies they use to perform this important role in the KM implementation. Topic: Knowledge Leaders Question-4: How have Knowledge Leaders used different leadership approaches to harness learning organizational culture? Why: This question creates an opportunity to see how HP’s Knowledge Leadership have contributed to make HP as a learning organization.

Discussion on different leaders and their leadership styles like transformational, transactional or charismatic will show how HP’s leaders have paved their way to meet organizational excellence. A detail response to this question will share the valuable experiences of how leaders have influenced their followers to adopt new culture, or how workers are being motivated with reward system. Topic: Technology & Knowledge Processes Question-5: How do you ensure proper integration between different business units (horizontal integration), levels of management (vertical integration) and project teams (cross functional integration)?

Moreover, to see its delivery what technology systems to do use? Why: As HP has a decentralized system of operation and has various business units in different regions for different markets. It requires a great deal of efforts to disseminate and collect valuable knowledge from all these ends and ensuring integration of these vast knowledge sources can be very challenging. This answer will help in identifying what technologies and process are being used to ensure this integration. Page 8 RECOMMENDATIONS

Following are some of the recommendations which will help management in fostering and establishing sustainable knowledge management culture and these have potential to meet long term organizational objectives. Environment, Tools and Techniques • The KM-specific metrics mostly are focused on how many resources were added and accessed. The focus can also be shifted on the KM project outcomes and benefits (Jannarkar, 2004). Different matrices have been used to see the performance and delivery of knowledge sharing platforms in HP, however, matrices are too much focused on quantitative aspect (e. g. ow many users have used it) rather qualitative aspect (e. g. how many users founds it useful). There should be clarity and equal attention given to both tangible and intangible results. Most of the results mentioned in progress reports show subjective outcomes. Further in information repositories, not all information is relevant; the main challenge is to identify the valuable information from irrelevant. The physical setting is very important in order to create knowledge and further sharing. Cubicle setting is a good idea; however the partitions must not be of reasonable height with low or no partitions with ample space.

In some cases employees like to maintain the personal element of getting information that computers or portals may not generate. This has to be balanced between on screen information and personal information sharing (KSR, 2006). It is near to impossible to get each and every bit of information from a knowledge worker into knowledge management systems. HP should have some expert systems to mine user’s tacit knowledge which is hard for traditional systems to get access to. • • • • Sustainable Efforts and Motivation The model heavily relies on leadership framework where leadership commitment is very crucial. However lack of it can lead to serious consequences. One possibility could be that credits for every exercise must be given to each leader and member who is responsible. This will enable more support next time (Martiny, 1998) If it is felt that workers are not willing to disclose information saying “what is in it for them”, even though initial workshops took place that briefed the employees of the advantages of knowledge sharing. They could be incentivized to fully cooperate (Martiny, 1998).

Perhaps the more knowledge an employ shares, they can be given points that add to their appraisal at the end of the year (Lin et al. , 2006). The KM activities must be sustainable in the long run (Jannarkar, 2004). This is notable that in an organization where knowledge management is implemented, people should be rewarded for what they share instead of what they know. So existing practices of incentives to promote knowledge to be made sustainable and knowledge sharing should become one of the important elements in the performance appraisal system.

Another important consideration is about the knowledge management tasks, which should be included in routine job tasks rather peripheral to business operations. This amalgamation can submerge into organizational culture and ensures sustainability, else would remain a castle in the air. Page 9 • • • • CONCLUSION HP is known as one of the leading companies in the KM field that has invented and incorporated innovative and ground breaking systems and technologies