Re: Productization of services #jobs #consulting

Seth Earley

Thanks Stephen.  As I say, we do have the methodologies.  We staff projects with senior people (send a note if folks are interested in freelance opportunities) and use approaches that have been built over the years.  So we don’t need to go spelunking into our repositories.  Yes, we have a standard taxonomy and content model that is used to classify and organize content.  For this project we are taking an end to end view – from messaging through delivery.  It is packaging the various components.




Cell: 781-820-8080


From: <> On Behalf Of Stephen Bounds via
Sent: Wednesday, October 13, 2021 11:06 AM
Subject: Re: [SIKM] Productization of services


Hi Seth,

If I may venture an opinion, it seems that your biggest gap is really robust knowledge about your knowledge.

Do you have a standardised taxonomy that describes your IP? Off the top of my head I can think of a few facets that might be useful:

  • Basics
    • Internal method name (unique)
    • Client-facing terms used
    • Summary description
    • Creation date (if known)
    • Last utilised date (if known)
  • Strategic fit (text, possibly keyworded)
    • Utility (attainable objectives)
    • Typical goals and success metrics from past usage
    • Recommended or required technologies
    • Required role participants & skills
    • Indications and contraindications for use (ie culture, norms and values likely to lead to success or failure)
  • Challenge of implementation (star rating?)
    • Consulting budget
    • Staff time investment
    • Complexity of methods
    • Minimum maturity level
    • Trust requirements
  • History
    • Document / artefact repository links
    • List of past projects using the IP
    • Staff involved in creation, refinement, or use
    • Links to other versions / variants
    • Commentary, FAQs, lessons learned, etc

Presumably you don't have the resources to manually review and classify all 20+ years of resources, of course! Depending on volume and value, it might be worth using an auto-classifier AI as a starting point.

Even without any automated system, just cataloguing your highest value IP would be a valuable starting point for gaining better insights, control, and refinement over effective use and reuse of your IP. Over time, you could build in processes that would progressively gradually improve the quality of your IP catalogue as a wrap up step for each engagement.


Stephen Bounds
Executive, Information Management
E: stephen.bounds@...
M: 0401 829 096

On 13/10/2021 11:27 pm, Seth Earley wrote:

Thanks for your thoughts Robert.  We have gone through many iterations of methodology development, harvesting of best practices, building out templates and reusable deliverables.  The challenge is that as people come and go, there is still a great deal of tacit knowledge about these artefacts and IP that make it difficult to socialize effectively with new people coming on board. Approaches evolve, teams have their specific take on the approaches and client needs change or vary from engagement to engagement. 


Over 25+ years of delivering projects and programs, there is a significant amount of IP “in the archives” and without a function to specifically manage the IP, (responsibility has been with delivery operations but immediate staffing and client priorities have left this lower on the list), it can be a challenge to continually refresh.


My current remit is to package services in a few areas to make it easier to sell and deliver engagements in order to scale.  Much of my work in prior years has been focused on new and emerging areas.  But this work of productization is about our high ROI engagements that solve the problems that most organizations find intractable or evergreen.  It’s the blocking and tackling to reduce friction around information flows, install governance and metrics and improve data quality, resulting in greater efficiency and effectiveness whether for an external customer experience or internal supporting processes.  (All “motherhood and apple pie” as they say <smile>)   


For the folks who responded off line, if you have not heard from me, feel free to ping me again.  I am trying to respond to all and set up conversations as appropriate but may have missed some responses. (You can copy my assistant Carolyn.Southwick@... if you send me a note. That way she will help make sure these don’t fall through the cracks)





Cell: 781-820-8080


From: <> On Behalf Of Robert M. Taylor via
Sent: Wednesday, October 13, 2021 4:31 AM
Subject: Re: [SIKM] Productization of services


Beyond his appeal for people ... Seth's question is very, very interesting. I find it's a really common case that in an 'unimproved' organisation (pre-KM!) it's the norm that there have been many instances of different classes of activity (e.g. similar projects), but that each one exists separately - almost from start-to-finish in a bubble. It's very much what we want to do to look across that experience and distil the 'best' for sharing and re-use - - and that's building organisational capability.

I find what often happens is that someone makes a stab at it based on very few examples - maybe just their own experience or perhaps with one or two colleagues who join in. Then you have a target for people to fire at - and people find it far easier to point out the flaws and improvements in something rather than create it. At that point there needs to be the impetus both to try out the proposal in practice and at the same time keep it open for revision from all the feedback. Doing both together is tough because usually either the power structure just presses fwd with what it has come up with, bullet-proof, or else there is eternal inertia and theorising with nobody willing to try anything practically until it is all agreed (which may never come).

The essential problem is that the case history is highly unlikely to be in any form sufficiently structured to enable very much extraction from it at a data level - - you're going to have to deal with it symbolically, socially and practically.

Well, I find that very interesting.

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