Formalizing an SME Network #CoP #expertise-location


David Graffagna
 

Hello All,


I would be very interested in hearing this group's insight, perspective and suggestions around effective ways to develop and establish a formalized SME network in an environment of disparate and informal expertise identification and networking. 


In my current (and evolving) new role, my organization has many long-tenured employees with deep knowledge and expertise. Some of the challenges are: not everyone knows who those experts are or how to connect with them (it's all about who you know); specific, critical topics/areas for expertise are not identified; relating specific, key skills and competencies to individual SMEs is not part of broader development plan; and acting/contributing as an SME is not a formally acknowledged or encouraged activity. 


I'm in the very early stages of this process, and in the current environment even a small win would demonstrate real value.


Would love to hear your thoughts! 


Best,


David


Chris Riemer
 

Greetings, David –

 

When I was leading the corporate KM program for an international consulting company, our most successful project was building a global telephone directory in Lotus Notes. You could view the data in various ways (right down to individual office locations) and there was also a “Yellow Pages” view that highlighted people’s expertise.

One of our design parameters was to give individual consultants the right to edit their own “PeopleFinder” record, which was itself controversial. And we also learned that people looking for an expert in (say) C++ would find that category in our Yellow Pages view and then contact the first person on the list. So the folks who were sorted to the top alphabetically had an incentive to deny their expertise. An unexpected consequence.

We had the same problem you mention with the lack of recognition afforded SMEs for their mentoring and knowledge sharing work. That’s a battle we were still fighting when the program was discontinued. A lot of our thinking on the project came from Thomas A. Stewart’s “Intellectual Capital,” which I would still recommend all these years later.

 

Hope that helps. Happy to share more details if you like.

 

Regards,

 

Chris

Chris Riemer
Principal
Knowledge Street LLC

www.knowledgestreet.com

 

 

From: sikmleaders@... <sikmleaders@...>
Sent: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 12:44 PM
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: [sikmleaders] Formalizing an SME Network

 

 

Hello All,

 

I would be very interested in hearing this group's insight, perspective and suggestions around effective ways to develop and establish a formalized SME network in an environment of disparate and informal expertise identification and networking. 

 

In my current (and evolving) new role, my organization has many long-tenured employees with deep knowledge and expertise. Some of the challenges are: not everyone knows who those experts are or how to connect with them (it's all about who you know); specific, critical topics/areas for expertise are not identified; relating specific, key skills and competencies to individual SMEs is not part of broader development plan; and acting/contributing as an SME is not a formally acknowledged or encouraged activity. 

 

I'm in the very early stages of this process, and in the current environment even a small win would demonstrate real value.

 

Would love to hear your thoughts! 

 

Best,

 

David


Fred Nickols
 

David:

 

I would reframe the effort.  Position it as an exercise in mapping the expertise of the organization.  Take it function by function.  The SMEs you want to identify will surface in that effort but without them being the focal point.  For the execs, the aim of expertise mapping is to first of all identify the key/core expertise of the organization and its functions so as to be able to ensure its continuation, further development and transfer.  An expertise map of the organization is a key element in ensuring the organization’s sustainability.  That’s what I would do.

 

Regards,

 

Fred Nickols

Managing Partner

Distance Consulting LLC

“My Objective is to Help You Achieve Yours”

 

 

 

From: sikmleaders@... <sikmleaders@...>
Sent: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 12:44 PM
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: [sikmleaders] Formalizing an SME Network

 

 

Hello All,

 

I would be very interested in hearing this group's insight, perspective and suggestions around effective ways to develop and establish a formalized SME network in an environment of disparate and informal expertise identification and networking. 

 

In my current (and evolving) new role, my organization has many long-tenured employees with deep knowledge and expertise. Some of the challenges are: not everyone knows who those experts are or how to connect with them (it's all about who you know); specific, critical topics/areas for expertise are not identified; relating specific, key skills and competencies to individual SMEs is not part of broader development plan; and acting/contributing as an SME is not a formally acknowledged or encouraged activity. 

 

I'm in the very early stages of this process, and in the current environment even a small win would demonstrate real value.

 

Would love to hear your thoughts! 

 

Best,

 

David


Katrina Pugh
 

Hello, David et al
I think you have heard some great suggestions. To take it from a different angle, the tacit or emergent knowledge comes out best when you form a knowledge network(s) (or Community of Practice). This is an area of research for me, most recently looking at knowledge networks/CoPs of project managers. The trick is to have a specific goal for the network (e.g., members’ learning with each other’s help, or co-creating of usable references/methodologies, or pooling funds or power). Then, design the operating model, tone, participation, etc., accordingly. 

Larry Prusak and I published our findings from some Gates Foundation-funded work on this topic in the MIT Sloan Management Review. MIT SMR conveniently, is free today through tomorrow. “Designing Effective Knowledge Networks” https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/designing-effective-knowledge-networks/ You can also always get this free article from Huffington Post. “How to create social impact through thoughtful networks.” https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-to-create-social-impa_b_4986848

Kate

Katrina Pugh
AlignConsulting | Collaboration, Analytics and Strategy
Columbia University | Information and Knowledge Strategy Master of Science Program
Mobile: 617-967-3910

On Oct 9, 2019, at 1:10 PM, 'Fred Nickols' fred@... [sikmleaders] <sikmleaders@...> wrote:

 

David:

 

I would reframe the effort.  Position it as an exercise in mapping the expertise of the organization.  Take it function by function.  The SMEs you want to identify will surface in that effort but without them being the focal point.  For the execs, the aim of expertise mapping is to first of all identify the key/core expertise of the organization and its functions so as to be able to ensure its continuation, further development and transfer.  An expertise map of the organization is a key element in ensuring the organization’s sustainability.  That’s what I would do.

 

Regards,

 

Fred Nickols

Managing Partner

Distance Consulting LLC

“My Objective is to Help You Achieve Yours”

 

 

 

From: sikmleaders@... <sikmleaders@...>
Sent: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 12:44 PM
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: [sikmleaders] Formalizing an SME Network

 

 

Hello All,

 

I would be very interested in hearing this group's insight, perspective and suggestions around effective ways to develop and establish a formalized SME network in an environment of disparate and informal expertise identification and networking. 

 

In my current (and evolving) new role, my organization has many long-tenured employees with deep knowledge and expertise. Some of the challenges are: not everyone knows who those experts are or how to connect with them (it's all about who you know); specific, critical topics/areas for expertise are not identified; relating specific, key skills and competencies to individual SMEs is not part of broader development plan; and acting/contributing as an SME is not a formally acknowledged or encouraged activity. 

 

I'm in the very early stages of this process, and in the current environment even a small win would demonstrate real value.

 

Would love to hear your thoughts! 

 

Best,

 

David


 

Hi David

 

A critical consideration necessary to sustain your efforts is the “Concept if Shared Value” in the creation of your networks or communities.

 

Have a read here. Your thoughts appreciated.

 

 

Best

 

Bill

 

  

 

Learn more about the solutions and value we provide at www.workingknowledge-csp.com

 

 

 

From: sikmleaders@... <sikmleaders@...>
Sent: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 11:39
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: Re: [sikmleaders] Formalizing an SME Network

 

 

Hello, David et al

I think you have heard some great suggestions. To take it from a different angle, the tacit or emergent knowledge comes out best when you form a knowledge network(s) (or Community of Practice). This is an area of research for me, most recently looking at knowledge networks/CoPs of project managers. The trick is to have a specific goal for the network (e.g., members’ learning with each other’s help, or co-creating of usable references/methodologies, or pooling funds or power). Then, design the operating model, tone, participation, etc., accordingly. 

 

Larry Prusak and I published our findings from some Gates Foundation-funded work on this topic in the MIT Sloan Management Review. MIT SMR conveniently, is free today through tomorrow. “Designing Effective Knowledge Networks” https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/designing-effective-knowledge-networks/ You can also always get this free article from Huffington Post. “How to create social impact through thoughtful networks.” https://www.huffpost..com/entry/how-to-create-social-impa_b_4986848

 

Kate

Katrina Pugh

AlignConsulting | Collaboration, Analytics and Strategy

Columbia University | Information and Knowledge Strategy Master of Science Program

Mobile: 617-967-3910


On Oct 9, 2019, at 1:10 PM, 'Fred Nickols' fred@nickols..us [sikmleaders] <sikmleaders@...> wrote:

 

David:

 

I would reframe the effort.  Position it as an exercise in mapping the expertise of the organization.  Take it function by function.  The SMEs you want to identify will surface in that effort but without them being the focal point.  For the execs, the aim of expertise mapping is to first of all identify the key/core expertise of the organization and its functions so as to be able to ensure its continuation, further development and transfer.  An expertise map of the organization is a key element in ensuring the organization’s sustainability.  That’s what I would do.

 

Regards,

 

Fred Nickols

Managing Partner

Distance Consulting LLC

“My Objective is to Help You Achieve Yours”

 

 

 

From: sikmleaders@... <sikmleaders@...>
Sent: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 12:44 PM
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: [sikmleaders] Formalizing an SME Network

 

 

Hello All,

 

I would be very interested in hearing this group's insight, perspective and suggestions around effective ways to develop and establish a formalized SME network in an environment of disparate and informal expertise identification and networking. 

 

In my current (and evolving) new role, my organization has many long-tenured employees with deep knowledge and expertise. Some of the challenges are: not everyone knows who those experts are or how to connect with them (it's all about who you know); specific, critical topics/areas for expertise are not identified; relating specific, key skills and competencies to individual SMEs is not part of broader development plan; and acting/contributing as an SME is not a formally acknowledged or encouraged activity. 

 

I'm in the very early stages of this process, and in the current environment even a small win would demonstrate real value.

 

Would love to hear your thoughts! 

 

Best,

 

David


Stan Garfield
 


Sahar Khanloo
 

Hi David,
There are lot of good ideas here and as I have also been going through the same thing within our organization, I understand your challenges.

What I would add on the cultural part and SME being recognized:
These are the key points from my view to empower the role of expert, and it is important that the right expert profile and attitude to be in the organization. Lets say you have a SME which is not open or willing to share. Even with the best expert locator tool you will not be able to encourage the SME to share, or to be open to learn. On the other hand Lot of SME s are open to share but do not see the value, clarify the WHY s on different layers of the organization. From Senior sponsors, to the management and SME s themselves. Understand their need, show stoppers and what encourages them. It is a long road to achieve this and persistence, right sponsorship will for sure support your journey.

I would as well suggest like others locate which ones are the most critical expertise, make a pilot based on strategy you build around SME s, share the successes, learn from mistakes and expand.

Good luck and if any questions feel free to reach out.

Kind Regards
Sahar

On Wed, Oct 9, 2019 at 11:34 PM stangarfield@... [sikmleaders] <sikmleaders@...> wrote:


--
Leo lady.


Paul McDowall
 

Hi David,
I've launched and coordinated many CoPs and done it very differently depending on the context and situation.  Since, as you say, a small win would demonstrate value, I might suggest a couple of approaches to start simply and get an early 'win'.  Here are some thoughts:
. Is there a (one) specific business need (e.g. new project, process/equipment problems, merger, changes in org policies or direction, imminent SME departure in a specific unit, etc) that you are aware of, with which a CoP would help?  If so, there's your starting point.  If not, talk to some business managers and see if they identify one.  Identifying a specific business issue that's important to the organization is a critical first step.  Too many people have simply tried to implement a solution in search of a problem and ended up pushing on the end of a string.  If you have one manager who identifies a key issue for his/her group, then work with that manager on their particular issue. 
. Have conversations (or surveys) with a variety of people in a couple of units to identify a few SMEs and ask the SMEs what they think are critical business issues in their unit with respect to their area of expertise.  Their insight can give you a good starting direction and be the formation of a good relationship with them, including engaging them in co-developing a 'solution' (e.g. CoP) to the issue/problem that they have identified.
. If you have a little seed money in your budget, use it to hold some informal training/learning sessions for people who are interested in some important topics.  (You don't have to identify a lot of topics, just pick one key one)  Organize the session so attendees can share their knowledge and expertise, preferably on a key question to be addressed through the learning session.  The people who want to attend could be an important part of a CoP.
. If you cannot identify any specific business issues, you don't have to give up just yet.  If you haven't already done so, work with business-support groups (e.g. HR, QA, Comms, IT, etc) to identify some key issues and areas of learning for the organization.  Coordinating your efforts with those of these groups can be a good starting point to show value for the organization and garner strong allies, which will be critical for you as you continue along this path.
Hope it helps
Paul


David Graffagna
 

Thanks to all of you who continue to provide your thoughts. There are some valuable insights here that reflect some of the challenges (and opportunities) in our environment. 

While we have just begun the process of mapping expertise, skills and critical knowledge, we have already identified a few specific business needs we can target with SME Networking / Communities of Practice (CoP). And I can use a lot of the advise and experience shared here to get us off on the right foot.

For those of you still following along, I have a related question on setting goals for CoP ... should a CoP have a stated goal (or goals)?  In my KM experience I have seen CoP success with clearly defined goals and I have seen CoP success where goals were specifically not established (e.g., to allow a free-flow and diversity of thinking). 

In my current environment I've heard some very frank feedback that the existing CoPs are not valuable because they don't have goals or stated purpose so the conversations meander too much and don't keep the discussions focused.

So what do you think ... set clear goals or not?

Best,

David Graffagna


Chris Riemer
 

I think setting some expectations is always better than not doing so. But those expectations could be somewhat amorphous. We were charged with building CoPs in several areas, and started by appointing someone to lead each one who had acknowledged expertise in that area. One of them asked me what the heck this new responsibility involved, and I gave him some ideas. I saw it as a matter of identifying possible members, helping them to connect to each other and acting as a cheerleader for the process. Like being the host at a party, it’s a function of both what you do and how you do it.

 

Chris

 

From: sikmleaders@...
Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2019 10:30 AM
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: [sikmleaders] Re: Formalizing an SME Network

 

 

Thanks to all of you who continue to provide your thoughts. There are some valuable insights here that reflect some of the challenges (and opportunities) in our environment. 

 

While we have just begun the process of mapping expertise, skills and critical knowledge, we have already identified a few specific business needs we can target with SME Networking / Communities of Practice (CoP). And I can use a lot of the advise and experience shared here to get us off on the right foot.

 

For those of you still following along, I have a related question on setting goals for CoP ... should a CoP have a stated goal (or goals)?  In my KM experience I have seen CoP success with clearly defined goals and I have seen CoP success where goals were specifically not established (e.g., to allow a free-flow and diversity of thinking). 

 

In my current environment I've heard some very frank feedback that the existing CoPs are not valuable because they don't have goals or stated purpose so the conversations meander too much and don't keep the discussions focused.

 

So what do you think ... set clear goals or not?

 

Best,

 

David Graffagna

 


Fred Nickols
 

David: 

 

The answer to your question is “It depends.”  I’m not being facetious.  There are different kinds of CoPs and if what you are talking about is a sponsored or engineered CoP, one set up at the organization’s initiative, clear goals are probably in order.  On the other hand, if the CoP is a natural or emergent CoP, started at the members’ initiative, stay away from imposing goals and objectives.

 

Regards,

 

Fred Nickols

Managing Partner

Distance Consulting LLC

“My Objective is to Help You Achieve Yours”

 

 

 

From: sikmleaders@...
Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2019 10:30 AM
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: [sikmleaders] Re: Formalizing an SME Network

 

 

Thanks to all of you who continue to provide your thoughts. There are some valuable insights here that reflect some of the challenges (and opportunities) in our environment. 

 

While we have just begun the process of mapping expertise, skills and critical knowledge, we have already identified a few specific business needs we can target with SME Networking / Communities of Practice (CoP). And I can use a lot of the advise and experience shared here to get us off on the right foot.

 

For those of you still following along, I have a related question on setting goals for CoP ... should a CoP have a stated goal (or goals)?  In my KM experience I have seen CoP success with clearly defined goals and I have seen CoP success where goals were specifically not established (e.g., to allow a free-flow and diversity of thinking). 

 

In my current environment I've heard some very frank feedback that the existing CoPs are not valuable because they don't have goals or stated purpose so the conversations meander too much and don't keep the discussions focused.

 

So what do you think ... set clear goals or not?

 

Best,

 

David Graffagna

 


 

David

 

Yes—this will align with the charter for your CoP that you also need.

 

From: sikmleaders@... <sikmleaders@...>
Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2019 07:30
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: [sikmleaders] Re: Formalizing an SME Network

 

 

Thanks to all of you who continue to provide your thoughts. There are some valuable insights here that reflect some of the challenges (and opportunities) in our environment. 

 

While we have just begun the process of mapping expertise, skills and critical knowledge, we have already identified a few specific business needs we can target with SME Networking / Communities of Practice (CoP). And I can use a lot of the advise and experience shared here to get us off on the right foot.

 

For those of you still following along, I have a related question on setting goals for CoP ... should a CoP have a stated goal (or goals)?  In my KM experience I have seen CoP success with clearly defined goals and I have seen CoP success where goals were specifically not established (e.g., to allow a free-flow and diversity of thinking). 

 

In my current environment I've heard some very frank feedback that the existing CoPs are not valuable because they don't have goals or stated purpose so the conversations meander too much and don't keep the discussions focused.

 

So what do you think ... set clear goals or not?

 

Best,

 

David Graffagna

 


Jeff Stemke
 

Dave

I had a similar challenge at Chevron, especially during several mergers. In 2000 we merged with Texaco. They had developed a People directory and had begun to ask employees to fill out profiles. While our SME disciplines were identical (engineering, drilling, marketing, IT, etc.), we struggled to agree on a taxonomy of competencies.

We liked the concept but there were two fatal flaws. We never did agree on skills at a corporate level. But the biggest problem was we could not get people to keep their profiles up-to-date.

What worked better for us was to create a set of knowledge networks each focused on one of our SME disciplines. We had created similar best practice networks in our refining organization about a decade earlier. They were a terrific success. A core set of 10 networks grew to almost 50 in a short time. Everyone wanted to participate (even managers). We had to cut way back, but the core group delivered extraordinary value.

By the time I retired we had over 200 active knowledge networks. Each developed their own skills taxonomy. It is much easier to get a set of practitioners to agree on what is most important to them.

The networks did exactly what we needed -- developing a meaningful body of documented practices as well as a robust Q&A feature that helped people quickly solve problems. This enabled us to capture critical expertise quickly and helped new practitioners reduce time to competency by 50%.

I have incorporated many of these successful practices into a next-gen SharePoint Knowledge Network template. Each network defines their own taxonomy, which is organized as an expert’s mental model and displayed as a clickable knowledge map. Each member has a profile with selected skills that define their expertise. This automatically links them to the knowledge map so colleagues can quickly find someone to call for help.

These skills are also automatically updated in their “About Me” profile so they can be also found at a global level with a People search by folks outside their network. This helps solve the problem of keeping skill profiles updated.

The network also provides a way for members to recognize peers who have helped them. Reciprocity is a powerful motivator. Good Knowledge Managers can publicize the success stories with management as well.

Best,

 

Jeff Stemke

Transferknowhow.com


Paul McDowall
 

Hi David,
I'm a bit confused, do you have CoPs running or are you thinking of starting some?  The feedback you mentioned should not be taken lightly.  If you want a 'win' from the CoPs then you must focus them on a specific business issue.  That does not have to entail a full charter or business plan or anything else that's terribly official.  Mangers get a bit antsy when their experienced people are involved in activities that are ill-focused, and a full-blown charter can be off-putting when they have to commit their senior people to an ongoing involvement.  My advice is to keep it simple and clear at this early stage with one clear objective.  The key is focus - focus the dialogue of the group, focus the efforts and activities, focus the result and outcome - and show a concrete result early.  Success will breed more commitment from both the organization and the SME's managers. 
Best
Paul


 

Hi,

My suggestion is much more complex, but has the benefit of being more organic in identifying SMEs within an overall KM system. I led the implementation of this at GE Healthcare during our KMS redevelopment.

I called the approach "pollen", because knowledge sticks. The idea is that a KM portal should return search results at three levels:

1. Appropriate people based on search terms
2. Appropriate projects
3. Source data / reports, etc

The idea being that most people would rather talk to another human being first, then find a project doing the thing of interest, before only as a last resort turning to the source material to figure it out themselves. The way you organically derive this is as follows:

- Search history within your KM portal sticks to a user; i.e. the terms/metadata of what they regularly search for and download builds up;
- If there are projects, i.e. if your KM system supports aggregation of information and primary research into a project, then the project derives metadata from the information associated with it, and users associated with a project build up metadata terms derived from that project.

Essentially, this means that no user needs to manage their own knowledge profile, and it can be assumed that the metadata is self-reinforcing. It also means that, as people and projects change over time, the metadata can change as well (deliberately deprioritising / prioritising metadata based on date/age).

This has to be built into the knowledge management system. It is not particularly complex from a software perspective, but it does require buy-in of the entire organisation, and - obviously - a budget to implement it.

If anyone is interested, I'm happy to discuss further how this is done and how you apply it to your specific software stack.

Regards

Gavin



On Fri, Oct 11, 2019 at 3:53 PM paul_mcdowall@... [sikmleaders] <sikmleaders@...> wrote:
 

Hi David,
I'm a bit confused, do you have CoPs running or are you thinking of starting some?  The feedback you mentioned should not be taken lightly.  If you want a 'win' from the CoPs then you must focus them on a specific business issue.  That does not have to entail a full charter or business plan or anything else that's terribly official.  Mangers get a bit antsy when their experienced people are involved in activities that are ill-focused, and a full-blown charter can be off-putting when they have to commit their senior people to an ongoing involvement.  My advice is to keep it simple and clear at this early stage with one clear objective.  The key is focus - focus the dialogue of the group, focus the efforts and activities, focus the result and outcome - and show a concrete result early.  Success will breed more commitment from both the organization and the SME's managers. 
Best
Paul


Miguel Cornejo
 

I agree with Katrina. While other initiatives may generate more work than impact in the short term, getting some practice-centered conversations started would be useful to visibilize the network and its value for members.


El mié., 9 oct. 2019 a las 21:12, Katrina Pugh katrinabpugh@... [sikmleaders] (<sikmleaders@...>) escribió:
 

Hello, David et al
I think you have heard some great suggestions. To take it from a different angle, the tacit or emergent knowledge comes out best when you form a knowledge network(s) (or Community of Practice). This is an area of research for me, most recently looking at knowledge networks/CoPs of project managers. The trick is to have a specific goal for the network (e.g., members’ learning with each other’s help, or co-creating of usable references/methodologies, or pooling funds or power). Then, design the operating model, tone, participation, etc., accordingly. 

Larry Prusak and I published our findings from some Gates Foundation-funded work on this topic in the MIT Sloan Management Review. MIT SMR conveniently, is free today through tomorrow. “Designing Effective Knowledge Networks” https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/designing-effective-knowledge-networks/ You can also always get this free article from Huffington Post. “How to create social impact through thoughtful networks.” https://www.huffpost..com/entry/how-to-create-social-impa_b_4986848

Kate

Katrina Pugh
AlignConsulting | Collaboration, Analytics and Strategy
Columbia University | Information and Knowledge Strategy Master of Science Program
Mobile: 617-967-3910

On Oct 9, 2019, at 1:10 PM, 'Fred Nickols' fred@nickols..us [sikmleaders] <sikmleaders@...> wrote:

 

David:

 

I would reframe the effort.  Position it as an exercise in mapping the expertise of the organization.  Take it function by function.  The SMEs you want to identify will surface in that effort but without them being the focal point.  For the execs, the aim of expertise mapping is to first of all identify the key/core expertise of the organization and its functions so as to be able to ensure its continuation, further development and transfer.  An expertise map of the organization is a key element in ensuring the organization’s sustainability.  That’s what I would do.

 

Regards,

 

Fred Nickols

Managing Partner

Distance Consulting LLC

“My Objective is to Help You Achieve Yours”

 

 

 

From: sikmleaders@... <sikmleaders@...>
Sent: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 12:44 PM
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: [sikmleaders] Formalizing an SME Network

 

 

Hello All,

 

I would be very interested in hearing this group's insight, perspective and suggestions around effective ways to develop and establish a formalized SME network in an environment of disparate and informal expertise identification and networking. 

 

In my current (and evolving) new role, my organization has many long-tenured employees with deep knowledge and expertise. Some of the challenges are: not everyone knows who those experts are or how to connect with them (it's all about who you know); specific, critical topics/areas for expertise are not identified; relating specific, key skills and competencies to individual SMEs is not part of broader development plan; and acting/contributing as an SME is not a formally acknowledged or encouraged activity. 

 

I'm in the very early stages of this process, and in the current environment even a small win would demonstrate real value.

 

Would love to hear your thoughts! 

 

Best,

 

David



--
Un saludo / Best regards / 敬具

Miguel


Valdis Krebs
 

Here is an article on IBM discovering a CoP that “survived” re-orgs and re-engineering.  They then map and measure the network of knowledge exchange.

http://orgnet.com/IBMCOPSNA.pdf

Enjoy!

Valdis

Valdis Krebs
valdis@...
http://orgnet.com/about.html


Arthur Shelley
 

Hello David,

Creating knowledge networks is a terrific way to stimulate knowledge flows and create value. We set up a three tier structure of “Networks”, Communities and Projects in the early 2000’s at Cadbury and much of this is still running today, despite several mergers and significant changeover of community manages and employees.

There are many different ways of achieving these, but the culture of the organisation and the passion of the community facilitators/leaders are in my experience the most significant success factor for sustainability of value creation. The key thing is to facilitate vibrant engagement between the members around real initiatives that add value and are directly relevant to the members work.

I can provide more details if you would like to discuss further, but it is great that others are also providing examples as there is no one right way forward.

Arthur Shelley
Founder, Intelligent Answers
Producer Creative Melbourne
www.OrganizationalZoo.com
@Metaphorage
+61 413 047 408
https://au.linkedin.com/pub/arthur-shelley/1/4bb/528 

On 10 Oct 2019, at 04:04, davidgraffagna@... [sikmleaders] wrote:

  

Hello All,


I would be very interested in hearing this group's insight, perspective and suggestions around effective ways to develop and establish a formalized SME network in an environment of disparate and informal expertise identification and networking. 


In my current (and evolving) new role, my organization has many long-tenured employees with deep knowledge and expertise. Some of the challenges are: not everyone knows who those experts are or how to connect with them (it's all about who you know); specific, critical topics/areas for expertise are not identified; relating specific, key skills and competencies to individual SMEs is not part of broader development plan; and acting/contributing as an SME is not a formally acknowledged or encouraged activity. 


I'm in the very early stages of this process, and in the current environment even a small win would demonstrate real value.


Would love to hear your thoughts! 


Best,


David


 
Edited

So @David G - how are you doing with this effort? Have you drafted an approach? Would love to see the direction you end up taking with this - it’s always an interesting challenge.
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David Graffagna
 

All,

Quick follow-up for those of you interested in this original exchange. Obviously we're at the very early stages so nothing is final. But, having said that I'm working with my business group leaders and HR on articulating critical knowledge areas and core SME competencies. That has us heading toward identifying gaps to be addressed, as well as crafting and putting in place an SME talent development and succession planning. At the same time, I discovered another area of our business already working on providing guidance around CoP processes, mechanisms, deployment and participation ... so I'm going to leverage that effort with my other audiences. 

Thanks again for everyone's thoughts and insights.

David