KM for Project Development, Management, and Execution - Dan Nerison

Next speaker, Dan Nerison, Fluor Corporation.  Dan oversees performance of all knowledge communities at Fluor.

KM at Fluor: Connecting people, delivering value.

Sharing the Fluor Story.

KM QUOTE: If it wasn't for the people, knowledge management would be easy...  It's ALL about the people. - Dan Nerison

Business environment at Fluor: Global and multi-party project execution,  Need to communicate & coordinate engineering. (e.g. supply chain).

Business cycles shifting from up and down to more up.

KM requires a vision. It's not a system. Fluor's vision: "At Fluor, the passion to build careers and knowledge is at the heart of our business."

Fluor's "Knowledge On-line" is their knowledge-sharing system, where you can collaborate with colleagues anywhere in the world.

Principles of Knowledge Sharing

90% connecting people, 10% about the tool.

Knowledge must be sustained through stewardship

(missed slides)

Increasing knowledge performance is about increasing the performance of people - it's not about the tool.

Each Knowledge community is a reflection of the People Community it supports.

Knowledge management is about the people

44 Knowledge communities
> 28,000 active members dispersed globally

Knowledge submits: 34,400
Knowledge Read: 2,190,000
Knowledge Download: 144,000
Forum Submit: 12,700
Forum Read 479,000

(are we confusing knowledge with information?) No matter, it shows activity.

Each community of practice begins with a charter:
    What are business objectives, strategies, and knowledge community objectives?
    THEN, ask, "how can the tool assist the people in accomplishing their objectives?" See slide
    Performance plan - evaluate effectiveness; makes evaluation and justification (e.g. budget) easier.

Process:  Charter >> Launch >> Deployment >> Performance

Remember, it's about the people. KM is a process that needs to be managed. Otherwise, risk check off the box and move on.

Community Audit Process is helpful.

Functional networks are required to meet at least quarterly -

Recognizing that leaders transition in and out of the knowledge community. They use this as an opportunity to do an community audit for the outgoing and incoming leaders.  APQC states Fluor is only organization that uses user accountability to manage the community process.

Community Performance Teams

Subject mater experts are required to get formal training.

On-line communities must be built around the people communities they support.

Work Process Innovation - Project activity Model; creating knowledge packs for various business processes.  Fluor routinely creates new knowledge communities to help achieve business strategies.

Connecting People to People
> Hot links to user profiles, automatic.
> Basic and advanced searching
> Subject matter expert teams formally identified within each community
> subscriptions
> community forums

A shift from navigation to search (Search is the new UI?)

Subject Matter Experts - each knowledge community designates their subject matter experts.

Participation was initially voluntary, now it's more "coordinated"  - we "pull" them in by showing them the value of participation.

Don;t try to push anyone into KM, pull them in by showing them the value.

Kiho:  To be a fellow in engineering , you are required to self-identify.

Fluor, everyone on the organization is required to have their profiles filled (words, photos, resume, bio,) in their entirety


Recognizing and developing expertise. Does this in two ways:  Identify Subject Matter Expert and a Protege (identified by the SME). Proteges hep moderate the forums and assist as interface to SME. In the process, they acquire knowledge  from the transfer process.

Expectation setting and formal KM training provided at each level.!

Q. SME designation is it linked to HR? No, it's part of the on-line application.

Expert answers in forums are flagged as such - so that folks will know this is the "authority"

They are not worried about lost knowledge because of their protege system - knowledge is always being transferred across people across generations.

Protege partnership provides opportunity for retirees to stay connected, to leave a legacy. - this becomes a motivator for knowledge sharing. People love the idea of leaving a legacy.

Annual knowledge campaign "Knowvember"  to promote knowledge sharing and to recognize contributors. (e.g. recognizing first-time k-contributors. Any employee can recognize any employee).

Four different dimensions
> The global enterprise of Fluor
> Our projects teams and work groups
> Our knowledge communities we participate in
> the communities where we live and work

Recognition is BIG and it is a big part of reinforcing knowledge sharing behavior. Other see it and the behavior is repeated by others.

Bringing value to projects

Gave example of how KM applied to problem solving to cut problem solving from 25 days in one example to 1 day.

New hires receive a knowledge orientation as part of their intake. It promotes the knowledge sharing culture

(as time permits, I'll try to come back and paste in the details)

TELL STORIES of success, tell them often. Be on the look out for success and then make sure  people know about it.

"We don;t get hung up on web 2,0 Wikis, blogs, etc. Our system is not sophisticated. We use forums. But we manage them well and they work well for us..." (paraphrased)

Has 44 communities. These are managed. No emphasis to create new ones. All employees have access to all forums.

Lots of discussion about tools. I guess a key takeaway for me is the fact that they are accomplishing all of this with a simple tool (forum) and a powerful KM process. This means you can apply this to any tool, even Notes.

Update: Someone just asked. Fluor currently uses Lotus Notes (40,000 people) but they are moving these discussions to a .Net environment.

Updated 03/17/09: Corrected typo in company name throughout and added speaker-supplied information below:

Social Networking
Our current KM tools put great emphasis on enabling people-to-people connections (member profiles, links to profiles throughout, member spotlight, etc.). We are looking at ways of extending this through online awareness (who else is online right now?) and the ability to identify my connections to other people at Fluor (reflected in your profile). These connections can be both formal connections (of the org chart sort) as well as informal connections. Further down the road, we are building the ability to incorporate additional users from outside of Fluor. Clients, JV partners, suppliers, retirees, and others may be available to connect with and provided access to our KM system (with restrictions).
Our knowledge communities currently have this capability, sans commenting. We currently have subscription capability, but not via RSS. We chose to focus on news reporting as opposed to personal journal style blogging, and are adding commenting (as an available option per post) and RSS functionality.
Wiki-style collaborative editing is currently not included in our KM system. We do encourage comments on knowledge and leverage the discusson forums for asynchronous collaboration (i.e. for practice updates). This is an area where we will likely create a hybrid solution that utilizes wiki concepts (group editing, revision history), but retains the familiar editing paradigm currently used throughout our existing KM system.
Ultimately the published knowledge will be controlled by the owning community. Collaborative editing will be used during knowledge development and updates.
From the beginning of our KM efforts, we've supported community-defined tags (vocabulary). This is being redefined and expanded to allow user-defined tags (Flickr-style).

KM at Fluor - It's all about helping the people communities

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