KMS Design: Now in module 3 we are looking at how to systemise knowledge in an organisation to improve the creation, flow and use of intellectual capital
KMS Design: Now in module 3 we are looking at how to systemise knowledge in an organisation to improve the creation, flow and use of intellectual capital.
Assignment 3 tasks:
To design an intervention to improve the situation described in the case study for Assessment 2 using KM principles, practices and tools and describe an approach to implementing the solution. This assignment builds on the analysis undertaken in assignment 2 and should describe the architectural model/approach used for the design and the reasons for that selection. Students in an appropriate work situation may alternatively examine the prospects for (or of) a KMS in their workplace with approval from the Lecturer. Case studies on organisations you do not have first-hand experience of or were not used in Assignment 2, will not be accepted.
(Design a knowledge management system to improve the management of human and/or social intellectual capital within an organisation for a case study to address the knowledge needs and issues. It may or may not include information technology to support the system.)
Questions you should seek to answer:
1. How would the knowledge flow through your designed solution?
2. Are there any existing knowledge assets or solutions that may be part of the system?
3. What are the candidate techniques that can be used?
4. What is the proposed KMS? – give it a name.
5. What functions or processes are required to enable the system?
6. Who would manage the KMS?
7. What infrastructure, tools, equipment or techniques are required to address the problem?
8. What are changes required to policy, procedures, attitudes, organisational structure or physical location to be made to improve the way the organisation operates?
9. How would the organisation know if the intervention produced benefits and what they were?
(nb. this list is not a contents page for your assignment!)
Assessment Criteria: We are looking for your ability to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the models and techniques of KMS and how they interrelate
2. Demonstrate an understanding the case study situation
3. Describe how the organisation will work in a different (better) way
4. Show how the Knowledge in the organisation could be systemised
5. Justify your analysis by what you’ve researched
6. Articulate your proposal in a cogent and presentable report.
Video: Knowledge Analysis Example: The AusVit System
Video: Knowledge Design Example: The AusVit system 2
KMS Case Study
Australian Customs and Border Protection
While the agency is recognised as being operationally agile, sustainability is an increasing concern and there is general recognition that the agency cannot continue to operate in its current form given present resource constraints. The agency is not in a unique position in this respect.
The agency’s project management framework is aligned to its standard project management practice (for example, Prince2), but adherence to the framework is mixed. It is seen by many as overly complex and process driven rather than as a discipline that can help the agency be more efficient and effective in project delivery. Varying project management skills also hinder the ability of the agency to deliver projects on time and within budget.
Past outsourcing of system development and related project management has also contributed to inhibiting the accumulation of organisational knowledge and project management experience, and missed opportunities to optimise systems across the agency. Within the agency 70% of projects have overruns in time and money, demonstrating that project management is not effective. This is particularly so with IT projects. In recognition of this, following internal and external audit findings, the agency is taking steps to improve its project management and project assurance and is encouraged to continue to do so.
The agency’s IT capability has moved through different models, from complete outsourcing in 2003 to rebuilding internal capability in 2007–08. Many IT staff are therefore new to the agency’s IT area. Also, funding has been tight, which limits permanent recruitment.
Improvements to IT governance have recently occurred following several reviews, with an IT Steering Committee recently being established. However, a capability gap remains in the agency’s ability to determine priorities given the lack of progress in developing and finalising a business enterprise architecture that is owned and driven by the Executive. There is evidence to suggest that a lack of holistic understanding of business needs with IT capabilities has led to unsatisfactory delivery of IT projects and systems.
Integrated Cargo System and the Customs Managing People and Self Service (COMPASS) were cited as two significant examples of poor management of large projects where delivery was problematic and business expectations were not fully met.
The agency’s governance arrangements and related committee structure do not form a suitable framework for good decision making. While the agency has the appropriate governance frameworks in place—Audit Committee, annual plans, a Financial Risk Management Framework and a Fraud Prevention Framework—these are not necessarily effective.
Project Management Processes are seen as overly complex and too administratively time consuming. A complex committee structure further adds to inefficiency. The volume of papers for consideration is excessive with little distillation of complex issues. This consumes senior leaders in process.
Several committees also have similar memberships and report to each other, with the same people considering the same issues. Many committees are described as ‘information sharing forums’ as opposed to entities helping to prioritise and enable decision making. Improved governance will be vital for the agency going forward and the agency would benefit from giving this area greater prominence in its organisational design and operations.
The business delivery model provides the agency with an improved national picture of its business lines than was available under its previous regional operating model. This has also addressed the previous ‘fiefdoms’ that developed under the former regional model and provides greater consistency across the regions. The national model has, however, resulted in functional silos, making it difficult to form an agency-wide view of activity in individual regions. Also, this approach does not support the networked inter-agency approach that is vital to conducting operations in the border space.
The above issues and the arrival of new staff have provided a gap in the ability of project managers to manage projects in a consistent manner that is in accordance with the Customs PM Methodology. Staff are not fully aware of the mandated methodology and the various project boards are not providing effective governance and direction.
APSC, (2014) CAPABILITY REVIEW, Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. Australian Government