ICT 505 Knowledge Management Assignment

Posted on June 30, 2023 by Cheapest Assignment

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Accounting Theory and Current Issues

Assessment weighting: 20% of the total unit

Due Date: week 13 (see LMS)

Length: 2000 – 3000 words

Late penalty : -5% per calendar day

Submit: as a Word document, to the submission site on Moodle

Please note that this is an INDIVIDUAL assignment. It must be your OWN work. You should NOT work on it in a group. Urkund would be used to detect plagiarism.

This assignment addresses the following Unit Learning Outcome:

  • Critically discuss the role and importance of knowledge management in today’s organisations
  • Critically evaluate relevant literature in the field of knowledge management
  • Explain how the approach to knowledge management practice is influenced by the predominant source discipline
  • Describe the main features of several different approaches to knowledge management theory and practice

Report: A proposed solution to a knowledge management problem

We have now covered many different concepts relating to knowledge management over the course of this unit, from individual methods and techniques to organisation-wide strategies and practices.

Assignment 1 was about a small organisation trying to implement a KM system. With a small number of employees and one-person departments, the task of collecting knowledge and setting up the KM system was simpler. You explored the barriers faced by KM worker (Mary) in collecting the information yet, with the effort of only one person (Mary), the company doubled its value.

Assignment 2 will give you the opportunity to explore what issues can a large organisation face in scaling up that KM system and how can these be managed on an organisational scale. The purpose of this assignment is for you to apply what you have learnt, on the case study
that picks up the story from Assignment 1.

WHAT TO DO:
STRUCTURE OF REPORT:

Your report should include at least the following sections:

Cover page and table of contents

1. Introduction (10 marks)
Here you should briefly introduce the report and the problem it will address.

2. The case study organisation (10 marks)
In this section you should describe the organisation in order to provide the context for the work: for example, what field it is in, its size, structure, and the particular department/area that is the subject of the report.

3. The KM problem faced by the organisation (30 marks)
Explain what are the issues that your report will address. Be as specific as possible: explain what the problem is, why it has arisen (if known) and what the consequences to the organisation are. You may classify them under these areas:
▪ Issues faced regarding the use of technology
▪ Issues associated with identifying and evaluating potential KM solutions
▪ Issues in rationalizing continued investment in KM

4. Solution (10 marks)
In this section you will state the solution the CKO has implemented in the case study and discuss if they were effective. Be very critical and explore negative outcomes of these solutions.

5. Discussion on alternative solutions (20 marks)
In this section, state the solutions you recommend for addressing the problems and create a good justification for it. Discuss what benefits the organisation might expect from your proposed solutions.
You should also discuss any potential challenges or problems that might arise with the solution and how they could be averted or addressed. Some problems may be technical while others may be social in nature.

6. Conclusion (10 marks)
In the conclusion you should briefly summarise what has been covered in the report, and any general conclusions that you have been able to reach.

7. References (10 marks)
Here you should present your list of cited references, using APA referencing style. Your report should be about 2000-3000 words, not including the table of contents or reference list.

YOU WILL BE MARKED ON:

  • Description and justification of problem to be addressed
  • Demonstrated understanding of KM principles in your identification of the problem and potential solution
  • Application of KM approaches in the solutions
  • Creativity in identifying effective solutions and justifying their impact.
  • Use of appropriate literature to support your discussion
  • Quality of research and referencing
  • Structure, quality of writing and presentation of report

CASE STUDY:

The owners of Medical Multimedia had decided to sell the company while it’s at the top of the market. Since they know that the market value of the company is greater than what the books suggest, they have the consultant arrange for an independent knowledge audit. After assessing the intangible assets in the company, the valuation is double the company’s original book value, compared to previous
assessments based on tangible assets alone. A biotech firm, Custom Gene Factory, acquires the company. Custom Gene Factory’s CEO, who is impressed by the usefulness and value of the knowledge audit, hires a chief knowledge officer (CKO) who reports directly to the chief information officer (CIO).

Like most other firms, Custom Gene Factory (CGF) is challenged with delivering an economically viable service to its customers in a highly competitive industry while investing heavily in new product development. As a result, the research and development department (R&D) is under pressure to develop new processes and communicate these to production staff so that they can quickly move the
most promising developments out of the laboratory and into trials with pharmaceutical firms.

As such, the knowledge workers in the R&D department spend a great deal of time in ad hoc brainstorming sessions, where everyone associated with a project, in any department, comes up with as many unusual solutions as possible to move a product or process forward. However, because CGF’s campus is spread out over six buildings and some of the pharmaceutical firm partners that are part of
the community of practice are located in other cities, an unacceptably high overhead is associated with bringing the stakeholders together for regular meetings.

To facilitate the brainstorming sessions in a way that fits everyone’s schedules, the chief knowledge officer (CKO) attends several of the meetings as an unobtrusive observer to determine the real needs of the members. He discovers that the group relies heavily on the whiteboard, with the requisite note-taker who attempts to copy the contents of the board every few minutes. The meetings include multiple verbal exchanges, printed handouts, and the personal, face-to-face interchanges. Furthermore, at the start of every meeting, the group leader has to bring those who couldn’t attend the previous meeting up to speed by reviewing the ideas offered and decisions made in their absence. Because of the scheduling problems, it’s rare to have every stakeholder in the meeting at once, and some issues have to be discussed privately, further adding to the communications and time overhead for those involved in the meeting.

The CKO floats the idea of a computer-based collaborative system to the group. The ideal system would provide real-time video, voice, an electronic whiteboard, and text interchange with every member of the group. It also would keep a record of the exchanges arranged by date and topic. The group members agree to consider the options at the next meeting. In the interim, the CKO consults with the chief information officer (CIO) to identify three software packages that are compatible with the corporate intranet, the pharmaceutical firms’ networks, and the corporate hardware, and presents the options to the group. After a lengthy discussion, the group picks a solution. It’s another month before the software and hardware upgrades—including desktop digital cameras— are installed and six weeks more for everyone to go through training. The first few meetings are less than ideal for those who enjoy the face-to-face interaction, but for everyone else, the system is a significant time-saver. With the collaborative system in place, everyone in the brainstorming group
can attend the virtual meetings. Furthermore, everyone with access privileges can read through and add to the discussion asynchronously.

Up to now, most of the Knowledge Management activities in the Custom Gene Factory (CGF) have been tactical and focused on specific tasks. There is a company-wide collaborative system in place, for example, that provides an electronic whiteboard and text interchange to support virtual, impromptu meetings for communities of practice. However, there is no corporate-wide strategy for indexing, archiving, and disseminating the information recorded by the system and no integration of the collaborative system with other information systems in the corporation.

Working closely with a team of senior managers, middle managers, and representatives from various communities of practice, the CKO crafts a request for proposal (RFP) that reflects a consensus on what types of technologies are needed to move KM practices in the corporation to the next level. The CKO then mails the RFP describing the ideal content management system to the top content management vendors based on published rankings and magazine advertisements. The CKO also posts notices of the RFP on the company’s web site and on several of the online KM newsgroups.

About three months later, at the proposal deadline, the CKO and other team members who contributed to the RFP read the dozen proposals in hand. They create a short list of developers and vendors that seem most likely to succeed in the field, based on reputation, client base, and references. Products from the selected vendors and developers are evaluated in terms of the potential synergies
between the current KM process and their fit with CGF’s culture. Since CGF’s culture is relatively open and unconstrained, proposals that describe content management systems that impose a strict control hierarchy over the KM processes are avoided in favor of solutions that allow flexibility in control.

Vendors and developers also are evaluated from a business perspective, on issues such as price, functionality, likely ROI, and compatibility with the current information system infrastructure. An overall risk score is assigned to the top three solutions, and the composite analysis of each solution is graphed to highlight the relative strengths and weaknesses of each vendor’s proposal.

As a result of the comparative analysis, including the risk to CGF in the event of vendor failure, investing in the wrong hardware and/or software standards, or investing in a solution that proves to be unworkable, senior management decides that the risk is too great to implement a company-wide KM system in one step. Instead, management elects to run a limited pilot program with the top
vendor. A contract is negotiated. Within three months, the pilot content management suite is installed in the company’s research and development (R&D) division. The challenge before the CKO, management of the R&D division, and the vendor is applying the technology in a way that demonstrates a measurable ROI.

Defending the Investment Nine months into the pilot program to index, archive, and disseminate the information collected in the electronic whiteboard sessions in CGF’s research and development (R&D) department, the chief knowledge office (CKO) is pressed by senior management to determine if the pilot program should be expanded to other departments or dropped. With the start of the fiscal year only three months away, the CKO is under pressure to show a return for the resources invested thus far.

The CKO is convinced that the program is making a positive contribution to the corporation. During the pilot period, he has observed an increased use of the content management system, and the corporate archive has grown from nothing to tens of megabytes. In addition, based on informal interviews, the CKO has noted an increase in overall job satisfaction in knowledge workers in the R&D department. However, neither of these measures affects the ROI calculation that could help make a case for expanding the KM initiative to include other departments.

Before making a case to senior management, the CKO explores a benchmarking approach, comparing the pilot program with other R&D departments in similar industries experimenting with Knowledge Management. However, in searching for best practices in other biotech firms, the CKO runs into confidentiality and privacy issues, given the competitiveness of the industry. As a result, the best he
can do is compare practices in the R&D department with those in other departments in the corporation. Although he runs into political resistance in several departments, he manages to collect information on relative numbers of knowledge workers who regularly take part in community of practice meetings.

Unsatisfied with the positive but unconvincing results of the benchmarking effort, the CKO decides to use a balanced scorecard technique to organize the information that he will present to senior management. The advantage of the balanced scorecard approach is that, like formulating an RFP, a scorecard serves to crystallize management’s expectations of vendors, of the CKO, and of the corporate vision. After senior management spends several weeks adjusting the indicators, metrics, and objectives so that they agree with the project trajectory they opt to expand the KM initiative to include sales, marketing, production, and customer support.

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