2Know Magazine: Sharing KM Knowledge
2Know: Sharing KM Knowledge
July 2021 - Magazine No. 262
July 2021 - Magazine No. 262
Edition:

Many have believed, for quite a while, that an OK graphic artist is the equivalent of an excellent document planner. Today, however, we know better; the field has since greatly advanced as has the concept of User Experiences. Interface planning has become a profession, involving quite a lot of graphics and aesthetics, but hardly as central components.

One of the central phases of any UX analysis process for a digital product (website or application) is the research phase which involves an in-depth analysis preceding the concept formulation. This process includes learning the organization and product’s relevant world of content as well as defining an objective and demarcation.

Some aspects to consider during the research process:

  • Target audience, and consumer and user types.
  • The product’s strategic objectives.
  • Limitation and constraints the organization may face.
  • Digital platforms, including limitation and constraints.

An in-depth research will examine various data sources regarding the following:

  • The organization’s world of content and area of operation
  • Organization’s marketing and business information
  • Relevant business processes in organizational systems
  • The website and app’s current functionality
  • Interviews with organization functionaries, such as management, marketing, sales, service, business development, digital mangers, and computation personnel
  • Target audience Interviews and surveys
  • Listening in and reviewing call centres (to chart FAQs)
  • Analyzing current gaps (both quantitative and qualitative)
  • Analyzing global and local competition (benchmarking)

Research should consider the concept, the various personas and main usage scenarios the product will focus on. When analysing a project management system, for example, one should define the scenarios in which project managers would be required to use the system: Does it include task management? Will project managers be required to prepare flow charts using the system? Etc.

Remember: concept formulation will refer to objectives, needs, obstacles, user habits, current work scenarios, potential effective calls for action or reusage. Research should collect data accordingly to understand not only functionality and scenarios but also their feelings and challenges they may experience as much as possible.

User Experience concept formulation regards psychological, emotional, and technological aspects, as well as human habit. Optimal research will address these aspects and serve as the basis for an optimal UX.







 

 

Knowledge Management consultants can serve as a meaningful asset to any organizational project. They do everything from Identifying needs, analyzing needs, and developing new knowledge to knowledge retrieval processes or lessons learned. The consultant serves as an external professional consultant, evaluating the plan and its execution, offering advice, and making meaningful complementary knowledge accessible. Furthermore, consultants may also serve as a meaningful and professionally advancing figure due to acting as a director regarding interpersonal aspects. I therefore recommend adapting some elements from the world of dynamic group direction to optimally handle this process.

The discipline of group dynamics usually appoints the group’s director with the responsibility not for supplying the group with content but for creating setting that enable group members to express themselves, including all feelings, thoughts, and skills.

The group director is therefore responsible for the four following areas:

  • Emotional stimulation: a directing strategy which highlights and encourages the frequent expression of opinions, emotions, values, beliefs, and overall sharing by group members. The director conducts dialogue with group members and challenges the presuppositions they presuppose regarding themselves since disbalance is considered an essential component of learning and development.
  • Caring and compassion: a direction style that offers protection, compassion, and an invitation for all group members to search and provide insight, feedback, support, and encouragement. These are all key for developing trust and are the basis for providing meaningful, relevant content.
  • Assigning meaning: direction which highlights knowledge-enhancing conduct. Discussing the interpretation of the content provided by both director and group members thus attaining a better understanding an individual worker or group’s behavior.
  • Managerial-executive functions: suggesting rules and norms and adhering to them, setting goals, time management.

A Knowledge Management consultant interested in promoting meaningful work, leading their group to attaining organizational goals, growing, and developing as a unit must be acquainted with these four roles and execute them.

Emotional stimulation may be very relevant to processes in which the director senses that the organizational unit and the consultees are wasting time repeating the same themes already handled and wishes to encourage creative thinking to promote new unexpressed content and needs. Sometimes, shattering the familiar conversation paradigm may be a catalyst for emotional stimulation and discuss new opinions, thoughts, and ideas. For example, ordering the unit to chart their work process and its challenges or great advantages. You can suggest they create a collage from newspaper clippings describing the worlds of content they focus on or request them to write a recipe for a dish that is the desired product.

Caring and Compassion must be manifested in KM consultancy processes. At the end of the day, the workers feeling that voicing their opinions and experiences would not risk their future but actually be commended will determine whether they will active contributors or complacent participators that will assist in identifying real needs and required solutions.

 

Assigning meaning is the heart of the consulting process and advancing Knowledge Management in the organization. The consultant’s contribution will occasionally be lauded not for the solutions they import to the organization but the processes, dynamics and relationships that are played out in the organizations day to day routine’ that are seldom discussed and usually not apparent to most, that they identify.  For example, an organization in which not all workers feel comfortable to share lessons learned and insights based on past experiences, fearing this will lead to anger or accusation. Exposing this dynamic is the first step in enabling and promoting a learning organization.

Managerial-executive Functions are also critical for a good Knowledge Management consultant. For example, maintaining a schedule and the project’s boundaries ensures the budget and objectives are kept in mind and ensures that perfectionism does not lead us to not completing the project and producing an actual project.

 

In conclusion, you can see that there is much to be adapted from the field of dynamic or therapeutic group direction to be implemented in the world of KM consultancy and organizational consultancy at large. Mutual learning by both worlds of content will enable professional excellency and support the effectiveness of KM projects in the different organizations.

References:

 

Lieberman, M. A., Yalom, I. d., and Miles, M. B. (1973), Encounter Groups: First Facts, New York, Basic Books

Written By Sarah Karsenti

Efficient time management. How many times a day can one hears that this is the key to success? If only I could discover the perfect recipe, my life would be totally different. I would be less stressed, more in control rather then controlled, and would suddenly have time for all the things I usually simply do not get to.

However, that is but a dream. I wake up in the morning, drink my coffee, sit in front of my computer and stare at the screen. 105 new emails have entered my inbox since yesterday. My direct manager has requested me to finish the presentation (today!) so he can review it before the meeting in two days. One of our most loyal clients has asked to book an important meeting, preferably today. The content editor with whom I am working on a joint project just asked me to review his comments and provide some feedback so that he can get on with it. I, obviously, don’t want to be the one to slow him down, but where do I start? These are only some examples of unplanned tasks added to my ongoing daily work.

So, if what I described sounds familiar, if your inbox is similarly overflowing and if you are likewise being assigned tasks by multiple parties yet are unsure how to rate their importance, here are some tips that might help you organize your schedule and tasks:

1: Take some time to set a daily schedule- at the beginning of each day, spend fifteen minutes organizing and managing your day in advance.

  • 7 minutes should be spent quickly scanning the chart of projects in your responsibility and selecting the two most urgent tasks to advance one or more of these projects.
  • Then, 8 minutes should be spent quickly scanning the email inbox and selecting two emails moderately urgent that must be answered.
  • The rest of the day should be dedicated to meetings, unplanned tasks, and ongoing routine.

What do we gain from this? This method allows us to prioritize our tasks and catalogue them by different tasks. We thus know what awaits us and don’t forget tasks, and therefore handle all types of tasks and not only a certain type.

What should we prepare in advance? A chart of projects currently on your hands (yes, now. Go prepare one!).

2: The important/urgent formula- examine each task on your chart according to the following criteria:  important/not important/urgent/not urgent.

  • The ‘important’ criteria advance us towards attaining our goals, affecting us for the long run and forces us to act proactively
  • The urgent criteria: limited by a short amount of time, regardless of our objectives, demanding short-term results.

For example:

 

Urgent

Not Urgent

Important

Important (to be planned)

Important and urgent 1 (to be immediately handled)

Example:

A task my manager assigned me, a task with a schedule

Example:

Setting goals for next year, planning

Not Important

Not important yet urgent (check- can you assign it to another party?)

Neither important nor urgent (backlog/a cumulative list of unimportant tasks, no date assigned)

Example:

Ongoing work, calls, meetings with clients

Example:

Garbage mail

 

What do we gain from this? We examine each task individually and assign it to its relevant category. This clarifies what task when we should be handling each task and its importance compared to the other ongoing tasks.

What should be prepared in advance? A table similar to the one above as well as a list of tasks to be examined using the table per task.

3: The Pareto principle (20/80)- this principle is quite simple: 20% of our tasks are manifest in 80% of our results.  This rule allows us to tell between the main components (Which are 20% of all components) and the additional adjunct 80%.

What does this mean? It means that if ten tasks await our handling, two of them might revealed to be equally important, or even more important, than all eight tasks put together. These tasks are obviously the most valuable and are usually the most complex and difficult ones. However, before you begin working on these tasks: is this task in the top 29% or in the bottom 80%? Make it a habit to work on those 80% tasks only after completing the top 20%.

How can you implement this principle? Use the golden rule: don’t be tempted to first work on the less important issues, pushing off the more important 10 or 20 top percent. They may work more hours, but their output is low.

 

Useful technological utilities: luckily, we don’t need to reinvent the wheel since others have already invented it for us! All you need to do is select from an ever-growing list of useful applications and software that should absolutely be utilized to organize your tasks/schedule clearly according to your personal preferences and settings.

Here are some examples for such apps:

Microsoft Planner

Description: add tabs for every project you are assigned and view the full list of projects on your board. You can generate multiple boards and add more friends. Furthermore, each tab can be added a color, tag, label, status, task description, etc. Transfer the task to the appropriate space before moving on to its next stage.

 

Advantages:  very user friendly, clear, and efficient. Provides a clear and comprehensive concept of all assigned projects.

  • Another app, quite like Planner’s functionality and structure I’ve used as well is Trello.

 

Outlook Task

Description: open a tab/note for every task you need to be available. You can add this task to your schedule or request to be notified on a specific date or time. Furthermore, you can color tasks and thus file them under a specific category.

Advantages: very simple and does not require much effort or installing specific software since it is part of Microsoft Outlook.

Disadvantages: since it is an extremely simple technology, it doesn’t suit more complex tasks or documenting more than a single task. It consists of manually filing in a couple of sentences and is more suitable for jotting down some notes during a meeting (instead of using a pen and paper). Also, the tasks aren’t synchronized and don’t provide an overall view of the other tasks.

 




Confluence

 

 

Description: a sharing tool that connects the workers to the organization. The system enables sharing and organizing knowledge, tasks and projects while focusing on the use of intra-organizational social networks. The system encourages creativity, and the sharing of idea, files, documents, arrays, mockups, diagrams, and projects.  It features a savvy editing feature with a complete interface with office and Jira software.

Advantages: a comfortable interface encouraging the use and creation of content.

 

Description: Jira was designed especially for work in an organizational environment. The platform enables you to set up multiple various boards, synchronizing between them and allowing you to follow resource utilization and each team’s progress.

Advantages/disadvantages: the software is mainly designed for development teams or sprinting teams. That said, I found it to be an Agile solution for basic project management needs. It is comfortable and user friendly.

 

In conclusion, and on a more personal note: I learned these insights from my own personal experience. I realized that I wanted to work on correctly and manage my time. I realized I want to be less stressed out and balance my family and work. I realized how important it is to have free time not only for leisure but for planning. I want to think about my projects and consider their planning method, be more active and involved in my organization’s decisions. I want to consider my professional progress and future plans.

To do all this, you have to invest some thought. You must plan and know the various variables in advance as well as the resources at hand, while also preparing an orderly plan (complete with backup) so to always be ready.

Written by Rom Knowledgeware
Fax 077-5020772 * Tel 077-5020771/3 * Bar Kochva 23 st., Bnei Brak Postal: 67135