In a recent post I argued that IT and Knowledge Management (KM) should merge into a combined TechKnowledgy department that would, in addition to the traditional responsibilities for managing the financial, HR and sales systems and technical hardware of the organization, take on these two important new responsibilities focused on the individual ‘knowledge worker’:1. Social Software Applications: Development of new social software applications for front-line employees, including:
- Expertise locators – to help people find other people inside and outside the organization they need to talk with to do their job more effectively.
- Personal content management tools – simple, weblog-type tools that organize, access and selectively publish each individual’s ‘filing cabinet‘, as a replacement for failed centralized content management systems.
- Personal collaboration tools – wireless, portable videoconferencing and networking tools that save travel costs and allow people to participate virtually in events where they cannot afford to participate in person.
- Personal researching and reporting tools – technologies and templates that enable effective do-it-yourself business research and analysis and facilitate the preparation of professional reports and presentations.
2. Personal Productivity Improvement: Hands-on assistance to front-line employees — helping them make effective use of technology and knowledge, including the above tools, one-on-one, in the context of their individual roles. Not training, not wait-for-the-phone-to-ring help desk service — face to face, scheduled sessions where individuals can show what they do and what they know, and experts can show them how to do it better, faster, and take the intelligence of what else is needed back to HO so developers can improve effectiveness even more.
I’ve written before about social software applications, and noted that Business 2.0 has named these applications the Best New Technology of 2003.
Now I’ve put together, in Word format, a downloadable Business Case for Personal Productivity Improvement. I’ve written this so that it can be used by both:
- IT/KM professions inside the organization, to get executive buy-in and resources for it, and
- external IT/KM consultants who want to sell this service to organizations that prefer to outsource it.
I hope you find it useful and I would welcome comments on it. I am looking to organize a virtual collaborative enterprise of IT/KM professionals interested in providing this service, so I may also post it on Ryze/LinkedIn.
What do you think — could people make a living doing this?
More spot on insight from Dave Pollard. This ties in nicely with several lines of thought I’ve been exploring. Take a look at Is Knowledge Work Improvable? for example.
The key challenge here is that success depends more on leadership than on management.