Knowledge management at Accenture Richard Ivey School of Business 20090770
•2. Accenture A well known global firm that became a public company with a successful initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in July 2001. Great revenue increment in 2001, 2004(two digit increment) Embarked upon a new strategy ”High Performance Delivered” Substantially increase company’s focus on outsourcing Oriented to improving shareholder value for its clients Emphasizing the creation and application of intellectual and technological assets to apply in work with clients organizational structure also evolved 5 operating groups
18 industry groups which made up the five operating groups, eight capability groups •3. Knowledge Management In 90s Adopted a knowledge-oriented strategy: build a knowledge management organization under the chief information officer By the mid-1990s, the firm built thousands of knowledge repositories on the Lotus Notes platform: Knowledge Exchange From 2000 to 2002 Responsibility for KM was shifted from CIO to the training and learning organization at Accenture Learning & knowledge management were combined into a single new group called capability development in 2001 In 2002, the toughening fiscal conditions, training budgets had been cut substantially for Accenture employees
•4. Knowledge Management Substantial budget pressures on both the training and knowledge management groups Several of the most senior knowledge managers left Accenture 30% of all the knowledge managers left or were laid off Cost reduction by moving knowledge management functions “offshore” Capability Development organization had developed a KM staffing model in which decentralized groups would employ a few “ onshore” knowledge managers with high domain expertise and a high need for contact with their internal client; the rest would move offshore Although the learning and KM activities remained largely separate and decentralized within Accenture’s business units, there were some joint initiatives.
Developed a personalized learning management system called “myLearning” As the content of KM proliferate, information finding problems happened Accenture employees dedicated to developing new content often remarked that they found it more and more difficult to get the attention of partners and employees .
KNOLEDGE MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY
The problems for managing existing KM system The KM system was being replaced or augmented with Web-based portals Most major Accenture groups had their own portals Despite one central “Accenture Portal” that contained links to many decentralized portals, it could be confusing to find the information one needed Duplication of documents throughout the organization was very high The local optimization done by each local company, didn’t seem to work well It was very important that there be a clear governance structure for the new Knowledge Exchange to improve the consistency of the experience Target for the new KM system Barfield who was in charge of KM strategy, decided to develop a governance structure that incorporated senior representatives from each part of the organization
•6. The new knowledge exchange Accenture changed the foundation of the Knowledge Exchange, from Lotus Notes to Microsoft’s Sharepoint Design of the new Knowledge Exchange were to leverage existing and packaged software to extend SharePoint only to support critical requirements The solution was designed to be simple, cost efficient and effective without an attempt to recreate all existing Lotus Notes functionality to contain all high-value content Opposed to trying to get everything working from the beginning from an end-user perspective user Internal Content Accenture Portal:
Knowledge & Resources Search (find.accenture.com) Job Aid / Topic page/ Community of Practice Collaboration: Submit question to experts/CoP’s Direct link via browser favorite Contributions/Accenture developed content Accenture purchased content(Research) Browse to other topic pages/COP myLearning courses method Answer from Accenture experts Accenture Discussions
•7. The new knowledge exchange(cont’d) The strategy identified key insights that drove the overall design: Search quality is the most important aspect of the infrastructure Topic pages are very important for providing context to users who do not immediately find what they need or who are seeking a broader range of content about a subject While collaboration capabilities are not as widely used, this is a required capability for those who can’t find what they need or are working in an area that requires expertise •8. LEARNING AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Training is an investment, not a cost: Vanthourrnout(later Chief Learning Officer)
Training function at Accenture was revitalized Accenture employees were again rating training as one of the areas that most drove their satisfaction on the company’s annual employee satisfaction survey •9. STRATEGY SESSION 20 people critical to the delivery of Accenture’s KM capability came together to meet and discuss the future direction of KM There was a general feeling that the new Knowledge Exchange would provide a strong technical foundation for a renewed contribution from KM to Accenture’s corporate goals Knowledge Management Mission Drive value from knowledge to enhance revenue, reduce cost and foster innovation Knowledge Management Vision To create a world class knowledge-sharing culture and environment that contributes to Accenture’s success
•10. Issues The way in which content was added to the system had to be designed Using SharePoint templates An initial typology for documents had been developed Focused on business processes, so that it was easy for people to find relevant documents Users be represented properly in the management and future development of the Knowledge Exchange KM would support, as completely as possible, the entire business cycle within Accenture from initial sales proposal to final client delivery Document obsolescence How can integrate learning and knowledge management? Too tightly integrating them might focus knowledge management on reuse and training and reduce its impact on innovation and collaboration
11. Knowledge Management Vision(cont’d) Five critical goals for KM Fostering and sustaining a knowledge sharing culture Improving the time to competency for new hires Enabling and enhancing Accenture’s sales capability Ensuring and improving the ROI for KM Improving margins and delivered quality on client engagements such as outsourcing and large consulting commitments through speed to capability, use of best practices, etc. •12. Five forces Making the knowledge available to the employees Accenture can make entrance barriers high Can analyze customers based on the customer information in KM system Can acquire the experts’ techniques to customers Can help delivery(finding the information of suppliers can be a help) There are plenty of information of substitution of products/services