In partnership with the Design Manufacturing and Engineering department at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, we embarked on a project to develop our knowledge management approach.
What is Knowledge Management?
As an organisation we can define knowledge management as sharing the knowledge that helps us solve problems ensuring we get the right information and knowledge to the right person at the right time in as efficient a way as possible. We recognised within our organisation individuals manage their own knowledge, and recognise when something that they have learned in another sector, or from another individual, can be applied to solve a new problem. We wanted to do this collectively as a company, making the knowledge we have in our heads available for others to use. With a workforce working collaboratively across all our sites in the UK our knowledge management system gives us a strong competitive advantage.
What does Knowledge Management mean for our employees?
- Better communication with peers.
- Access to quality information and knowledge that has been validated by internal experts.
- Best practice.
What does Knowledge Management mean for our customer?
- Potential cost savings by implementing lessons learned on previous projects at earlier stages of the design.
- Greater exposure to the knowledge and expertise of 130 engineers across 8 regional locations.
- More efficient delivery of our design.
What does Knowledge Management mean for our project partners?
- Exposure to rationale, lessons learned and local knowledge across our organisation.
- Potential cost savings due to better quality information at all project and design stages.
In developing our knowledge management approach as an organisation we undertook the creation of a Knowledge Management system that would build upon our existing IT systems and enable our employees to share, store, search and exploit our knowledge and information in a secure and manageable system environment. During this journey we learned a number of lessons in knowledge management strategy and system design sharing these and trading information with organisations such as NASA and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.