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Knowledge Management Technologies

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To: CEO, Boston Advertising

From: Group 6

Date: April 2, 2008

Re: Knowledge Management System Recommendations

Boston Advertising (BA) has grown significantly over the past few years. One of the competitive advantages of the firm is the ability to acquire, create, and share relevant information both externally (client-specific knowledge) and internally (project-team knowledge). Below are our recommendations for how BA can take advantage of new knowledge management technologies to help continue its growth. We have provided an overview of each resource, benefits for BA, possible challenges in implementation, and recommendations on how to promote employee adoption.

Recommendations

1. Enterprise Portal

 Description: A portal is one or more Web pages that are an aggregate of information. The portal may vary from static HTML and internal content to dynamic pages and applications, as well as external harvested information. A portal generally allows a user to modify the look, arrangement, and types of content from the selection.

 Benefits:

o Allows for all the aggregated knowledge to be combined into one portal on the internal website that can be accessed by all consultants.

o Web based format is easy to use and learn. It’s also a format employees are already familiar with.

o The front view of the format may be modified for each user’s personal preferences. It’s also possible to set restrictions so only certain users can see specific information such as financial.

 Metrics to Measure Benefits:

o Track how many hits the internal portal and linking sites are receiving through the developers of the internal website.

o Track project discovery or completion timeframes and compare to numbers before Portal development.

2. Wikis (with Rating System)

 Description: Wikis provide information on a topic that a group of individuals co-authored. Individuals are allowed to make posts, and others can add/edit, augment, or delete these posts. It serves as a form of community authoring.

 Benefits:

o Fast way of collaborating and sharing new information on “hot” topics, client industry, consumer products and customer preferences.

o Senior experts can spend time authoring documents on more “unstructured” topics.

o All consultants can participate, no matter their office location or tenure.

o A rating system would help identify the most common and popular topics.

 Metrics to Measure Benefits:

o Track the number of new wikis developed after the initial rollout.

o Track the number of users participating in conversations.

o Use survey tools to find out if users are taking advantage of the new technology.

o Track project discovery or completion timeframes and compare to numbers before Wiki development.

3. Blogs / Discussion Board (with Ratings)

 Description: Blogs and discussion boards allow people to contribute to knowledge through individual posts. Each additional person can build onto the initial post allowing everyone to see the full “virtual conversation”. By creating a rating system, users will know which posts were the most helpful for their particular project.

 Benefits:

o Easy way for employees to discuss and compare notes on past projects and proposals.

o Even if someone is not the designated “expert”, they can contribute any knowledge they have. This would provide support for the more structured and frequently asked questions consultants are faced with.

o All consultants can participate, no matter their office location or tenure.

o Could also add on an email post option for those that travel and have only handheld access, as well as potentially pair with e-mail list servers.

 Metrics to Measure Benefits:

o Number of posts and users

o Number of views per post, which can be tracked by developers.

o Use survey tools to find out if users are taking advantage of the new technology.

o Track project discovery or completion timeframes and compare to numbers before development.

4. Tagging System for Searching (with ratings)

 Descriptions: Tags are simple one-word descriptions that help with the cataloging and categorization of content. Tags can help with rating systems by keeping track of platforms visited by knowledge workers.

 Benefits:

o Improvement on current search system. Tags help searches become less generic and allow users to find what they are looking for, based on file content, client use, principal authors, etc.

 Metrics to Measure Benefits:

o Ability to track who is using which files.

o Measure percentage of accurate searches

o Informally poll employees if their searches are faster or more productive.

5. Expert Locator

 Description: This tool will help find the experts/specialists in the organization for a particular topic. It will allow an employee to search through employee profiles by keywords, such as skill types or previous client projects.

 Benefits:

o This would facilitate employees locating experts in other offices enabling more cross-office collaboration, and reduce wasted time.

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