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Knowledge Management Report

Essay by   •  October 11, 2015  •  Research Paper  •  9,487 Words (38 Pages)  •  1,386 Views

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Table of Contents


1. Introduction

2. Pentagonal Framework:

a. Strategy

b. Process

c. People

d. Culture

e. Technology

3. Assessment

a. Evaluation Criteria

b. Recommendation

4. Conclusion

6. Appendix

Interviews

First meeting

First volley of questions by mail

Second volley of questions by mail

1. Introduction

Q1-What is the source/origin of the KM initiative/project/program/system in the company/department? Describe briefly the context, the project and its stage (in design, in development, in use, in maintenance). Describe the key question you would like to address in your analysis.

Our analysis is conducted to study how knowledge of architectural projects is organized and transferred within the company Jim Clemes, a small architectural firm located in Luxembourg. Their main activity is to provide architectural services both to the private and public sector. With around 53 collaborators they are not considered a big corporation, however their activities are knowledge-oriented and interesting given their area of work. As a result, Jim Clemes was a strategic selection for the subject of our case study.

Since we face a rather small company, it’s not surprising they do not have any explicit strategy. Though they do have a mission/vision (see the box below) and long term objectives. Their vision is to mix the creative aspect of architecture (the art) and the norms and rules they have to respect (economical/political view). They also think they have to build a strong connection between the architect and the client. They create value by achieving this “double” symbiosis. By talking with our contacts, we felt this mission was really embedded in their culture.

To put in appendix (Mission/vision of the company):

Depuis ses débuts en 1984 (3 personnes) jusqu’à ce jour (53 employés), l’Atelier d’Architecture et de Design Jim Clemes a su développer une philosophie de travail qui lui est propre.

“L’architecture une philosophie ?”

En effet, l’architecte maîtrise “l’art de construire”. Cette juxtaposition de deux termes à première vue opposés peut sembler suspecte. L’art évoque la liberté, l’absence de contrainte, la notion d’esthétique touchant à l’immatériel, le divin…

Construire représente la notion de réglementation, de normes, d’organisation, étant en étroite relation avec la réalité économique et politique.

Concilier l’inconciliable, tel est la philosophie formant la force et la richesse de notre profession.

Construire à l’écoute du client, de ses préoccupations et de son programme est notre premier objectif.

Notre plus-value est d’intégrer « l’art » à cette réalité et non l’inverse, à travers la valorisation des sites, la logique des structures, la vérité des matériaux et la création…

… C’est dans le dialogue entre l’architecte et son client que naît l’architecture. L’objectif est d’arriver à une symbiose entre les deux partenaires pour créer une association durable et réciproquement profitable, où chacun apporte ses compétences dans une confiance mutuelle. L’architecture dépend de la réussite de cette collaboration où chacun est maître, d’ouvrage et d’oeuvre.

We can also mention that their long term goal is to expand on an international level for public offers. It is a true challenge for them since you literally have to win each contract: to be a part of a public project in European countries, you have to win some kind of competition (“concours” in french). Many architect offices will submit their own project and the public office will select the one which is most fitted to their requirements. Winning such international competition is harder when you are not so well-known in the area. Thus, they have to find some bypasses to be selected. An example of solution they found is to make partnership with local offices.

In our study, we will explore how knowledge management can help this company to achieve their corporate strategy. To do so, we will observe the alignment between this strategy, their knowledge strategy and their knowledge management strategy. We will then detail how they manage knowledge through the pentagonal framework. And finally, we will summarize our recommendations to improve their knowledge management.

2. Pentagonal Framework:

a. Strategy

Q2-Is this KM project aligned with the knowledge strategy of the company and with the knowledge management strategy of the company? Describe shortly the Knowledge strategy and KM strategy of the company if any and show how the project fit with them or could fit with them.

        

When exploring the knowledge strategy, it is interesting to have a look at the way knowledge is created and transferred in the organization.

“In the new economy, conversations are the most important form of work. Conversations are the way knowledge workers discover what they know, share it with their colleagues and, in the process, create new knowledge for the organization” - Alan M. Webster, 1993

At Jim Clemes, knowledge sharing and creation is mostly based on face to face interactions: people talk and bring help to each other on their projects. This sharing is highly embedded in their culture. But, by applying some theoretical models, we will see that some improvements can be done.

First, we will use the Organizational Learning model. Learning is defined as the ability to solve problems combined with a reflective attitude. In other words, you learn by fixing issues and thinking about why it happened. The “learner” tries to avoid this problem to happen again by changing the way he thinks or he behaves. This is what the authors call the “double loop learning”. The learner can be an individual or a whole organization. Of course, it must all start from the individual. If somebody faces a problem and start to think about it, he will discuss of the issue with his colleagues (the group) to have a better understanding, find new solutions. Once he finds something, he can transfer it to his groups. If the rethinks process is actually better, people will adopt it and it will become a part of their routines. The main challenges remains however to transfer it to the organization level.

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