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Interested in PM Lessons Learned, Knowledge Management; Risk & Opportunity Management; Project Management; Systems (systemic) Thinking; Antiques and Collectables

Application of the Syllk model wiring an organisation for the capability of an online Community of Practice

VINE JIKMS – 2016

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems
Application of the Syllk model wiring an organisation for the capability of an online Community of Practice

Stephen Mark Duffield , (2016),”Application of the Syllk model wiring an organisation for the capability of an online Community of Practice”, VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, Vol. 46 Iss 2 pp. –

dx.doi.org/10.1108/VJIKMS-09-2015-0052

Structured Abstract:
Purpose – To demonstrate how to apply the Systemic Lessons Learned knowledge (Syllk) model to enable the organisation for the capability of an online Community of Practice (CoP).
Design/methodology/approach – The research method consisted of multiple spiral ‘action research’ cycles (plan, action, observe and reflect) within a government organisation. The initial planning stage consisted of interviews followed by two focus groups to identify the facilitators and barriers that impact the initial design of the Syllk model within the organisation. Established knowledge management practices were aligned with each of the Syllk elements to address the identified barriers and facilitate learning as the action cycles progressed. Online CoP initiatives were implemented with two action research cycles completed. Actions were observed, monitored, evaluated and reflected on using an after action review process.
Findings – The results from this research shows how the capability of a CoP can be ‘wired’ (distributed) across organisational systems, and how the Syllk model can be used to conceptually facilitate this. The research highlights the importance in understanding organisational knowledge facilitators and barriers and the associated practices to reflect and learn from past experiences.
Research limitations/implications – The paper demonstrates an application of the Syllk model, and that action research can benefit project and knowledge management researchers and practitioners.
Practical implications – This study contributes to practice by highlighting how to use the Syllk model to ‘wire’ an organisation for some know-how capability.
Originality/value – This study applies a conceptual model enabling management to understand how organisational know-how is distributed (wired) across various systems of an organisation for an online CoP.
Keywords: Knowledge management; Communities of Practice; Lessons learned; Organisational learning; Project learning; Swiss cheese model; Action research

Article Classification: Research paper

Learning from Failure

A new addition to “Lessons learned in the public domain” provides an interesting reflection on Government learning lessons…

In December 2013 the Australian Government established the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program led by Mr Ian Hanger AM QC, which reported to the Government in September 2014. The Government asked Professor Peter Shergold AC to lead an independent review of Government processes for the development and implementation of large public programmes and projects. Professor Shergold’s report, Learning from Failure: Why large government policy initiatives have gone so badly wrong in the past and how the chances of success in the future can be improved, was presented to Government in August 2015.

Learning from Failure: why large government policy initiatives have gone so badly wrong in the past and how the chances of success in the future can be improved

Download this publication

 

How to apply the Systemic Lessons Learned Knowledge model to wire an organisation for the capability of storytelling

How to apply the Systemic Lessons Learned Knowledge model to wire an organisation for the capability of storytelling

Abstract

This study is an application of the Systemic Lessons Learned Knowledge (Syllk) model that enables management to conceptualise how organisational know-how for storytelling is wired (distributed) across various elements of an organisation. The research method consisted of action research cycles within a large division of a government organisation. Storytelling interventions and initiatives were implemented with two action research cycles completed. Actions and changes were observed, monitored, evaluated, and reflected on using an after action review process. This study has established that the alignment of the people and system elements (learning, culture, social, technology, process and infrastructure) can positively influence an organisation’s capability for storytelling, and therefore learn lessons from stories of past project experiences.

Keywords – Project Management; Knowledge Management; Storytelling; Lessons Learned; Organisational Learning; Action Research

syllk st

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S026378631500188X

Enjoy…If you don’t have access to IJPM, please contact me for an earlier proof version that can be shared.

Until next time, Stephen

How to apply the Systemic Lessons Learned Knowledge model to wire an organisation for the capability of storytelling

Paper recently accepted in the International Journal for Project Management.

Abstract

This study is an application of the Systemic Lessons Learned Knowledge (Syllk) model that enables management to conceptualise how organisational know-how for storytelling is wired (distributed) across various elements of an organisation. The research method consisted of action research cycles within a large division of a government organisation. Storytelling interventions and initiatives were implemented with two action research cycles completed. Actions and changes were observed, monitored, evaluated, and reflected on using an after action review process. This study has established that the alignment of the people and system elements (learning, culture, social, technology, process and infrastructure) can positively influence an organisation’s capability for storytelling, and therefore learn lessons from stories of past project experiences.

Keywords – Project Management; Knowledge Management; Storytelling; Lessons Learned; Organisational Learning; Action Research

syllk st

A link will be provided when the proof is available.

Stephen Duffield
Jon Whitty

Powering up your capability with the Syllk model

To make a great cup of coffee, there are six elements that must all be in balance;
learning (staff skills and expertise)
culture (values and beliefs)
social (relationships between staff and other)
technology (artefacts, tools, equipment and IT systems)
process (routines, practices and tasks)
infrastructure (physical facilities and spaces).

If just one of these elements is out of balance, the capability of the café to make a consistently great cup of coffee will be compromised. Just think what would happen if the café didn’t have the right sort of coffee machine (technology) or what if the Barista didn’t particularly like coffee or care how it tastes (culture)?
We can we use this simple lesson in coffee making to improve the capabilities of our whole organisation.

Enjoy the clip, until next time… Stephen

The Syllk model can assist an organization meet the revised ISO 9001:2015(E) QMS requirements

Up until now knowledge management and lessons learned have typically been highlighted in project management bodies of knowledge (PMBoK, APM Knowledge, PRINCE2, ISO21500 etc).

With the 15 September 2015 release of ISO 9001 the world’s leading quality management standard’. There is a new requirement clause on organizational knowledge:

7.1.6 Organizational knowledge

The organization shall determine the knowledge necessary for the operation of its processes and to achieve conformity of products and services.
This knowledge shall be maintained and be made available to the extent necessary.
When addressing changing needs and trends, the organization shall consider its current knowledge and determine how to acquire or access the necessary additional knowledge and required updates.
NOTE 1: Organizational knowledge is knowledge specific to the organization; it is generally gained by experience. It is information that is used and shared to achieve the organization’s objectives.
NOTE 2: Organizational knowledge can be based on:
a) internal sources (e.g. intellectual property; knowledge gained from experience; lessons learned from failures and successful projects; capturing and sharing undocumented knowledge and experience; the results of improvements, products and services);
b) external sources (e.g., standards, academia, conferences, gathering knowledge from customers or external providers).

[A.7] 7.1.6 of the ISO standard addresses the need to determine and manage the knowledge maintained by the organization, to ensure the operation of its processes and that it can achieve conformity of products and services.
Requirements regarding organizational knowledge were introduced for the purpose of:
a) safeguarding the organization from loss of knowledge, e.g.
– through staff turnover;
– failure to capture and share information;
b) encouraging the organization to acquire knowledge, e.g.
– learning from experience;
– mentoring;
– bench marking.

With the release of the revised ISO 9001:2015 standard, there is an opportunity for organizations to be wired for knowledge using the #Syllk model. The Syllk model elements are aligned with ISO 9001:2015 Quality management systems (QMS) requirements.

sylk and iso9001 v2The Syllk model highlights the importance in understanding organizational knowledge facilitators and barriers and the associated knowledge management practices to understand how well they support or hinder learning lessons. By reconceptualising knowledge and lessons learned the Syllk model can influence organization learning. The Syllk model enables management to conceptualize how organizational know-how is wired (distributed) across various people and system elements of an organization. Research associated with the Syllk model has established that the alignment of the people and system elements (learning, culture, social, technology, process and infrastructure) can positively influence organization learning.

Duffield_GraphicalAbstract_V0.01syllk stUntil next time…

Stephen

… a sneak preview of the upcoming #AIPM2015 presentation outcomes

Application of a Systemic Lessons Learned Knowledge Model for Organisational Learning through Projects

Abstract

A significant challenge for organisations is to ensure that lessons are learned and that mistakes of the past are not repeated. Both the knowledge and project management literature suggests that the lessons learned process in practice rarely happens, and when it does it is usually concerned with lessons identification rather than organisational learning taking place. It appears that there are limited models for management to use to conceptualise what organisational learning is and therefore how to enable it. This paper describes how a Systemic Lessons Learned Knowledge (Syllk) model (a variation of the Swiss cheese model) can enable project organisations to conceptualise how they can learn from past project experiences and distribute successful project know-how across an organisational network of elements such as learning, culture, social, technology, process and infrastructure.

Wiring an organisation with knowledge/lessons learned

It has been shown by the action research cycles and highlighted during the reflection stages, that the identified Syllk model facilitators and barriers need to be well understood and managed for effective wiring of an organisation. Understanding organisational facilitators/barriers and the associated KM practices and tools offers an opportunity to reflect and learn from past experiences (Kotnour and Vergopia, 2005).

The findings from the action research provide evidence that an organisation can be wired for knowledge/lessons learned. Figure 3 is an example of how the Syllk model works enabling the executive and senior management to conceptualise how organisational know-how is wired across various systems of an organisation for knowledge/lessons learned. The highlighted knowledge variables of the Syllk model elements shown in Figure 3 were found to be the most dynamic for the organisation participating in the action research. The action research outcomes showed that an organisation is not a simple structure but a complex interweaving (through the Syllk elements) of people and systems.

fig syllk variablesThe knowledge/lessons learned know-how commences with learning where storytelling and storytelling skills come together. The knowledge or skill of telling a good story is in the heads and gestures of employees and those who have the skill should be acknowledged and identified and those that need the skill should be provided with a learning and development toolkit and training courses. To be good at storytelling, we need an effective organisation culture. A storytelling culture needs to be seen and felt across the organisation. This comes through in the conversations (and actions) from senior management as they demonstrate that they believe sharing stories, exchanging ideas, building relationships and communities is important and they fund (within reason) activities that enable it. Having a strong link to organisational objectives as part of a cultural renewal strategy to improve communications by creating more opportunities for leaders to connect with their teams, strengthen communication networks and increase employee consultation. The cultural message is, we think there is significant value in sharing stories and anecdotes about our experiences, and we are going to make time for that activity. Social is where the organisation invests in social structures that enable knowledge and lessons learned to take place. These might be regular or periodical communities of practice meetings, storytelling forums, special interest groups and social media (yammer) sub-groups. There might be other structures such as lunch and learn sessions (lunch box talks) or team meetings. A technical x-change forum is not going to just happen, it requires all the other elements to align and work together.

Technology is needed to help facilitate the knowledge/lessons learned know-how and in this organisation a web intranet portal and Yammer platform met the needs. Technology provides a knowledge library home, a communication medium, links to process/templates, links to where knowledge can be found in the organisation and learning development tools. The process helps to embed knowledge/lessons learned through strategic initiatives and the provision of a framework, process and templates. The use of best practice directories, lessons learned reviews and building performance evaluation forums works well in this organisation. Identifying that learning happens before, during and after and that reflection activities have a major impact on learning. Having the infrastructure in place enables and facilitates open and frank knowledge sharing. Without the physical space for valued and open (remember our cultural values and beliefs) to take place, all the other activities will go to waste. Without high-quality intranet accessibility and availability, the knowledge/lessons learned sharing medium will be affected. There is a need for management support, experts and leaders to enable the learning, culture and social elements.

KMAus presentation feedback

Thanks for the KMAus feedback

• Took a bit of ideas away from this
• Stephen presented engaging material and was very amiable.
• Swiss cheese model was good – would also be good for a workshop
• Good luck with your PhD. It’s nice to see someone cracking open the lessons learned myth.
• Hadn’t heard of Syllk model – so great to learn of it
• Loved the content. Well thought through and made me want to research more about Syllk
• No doubt that Stephen is really intelligent – would have been good to see the theoretical link to practical
• Need to read more about his concept – very interesting
• Will follow up with presentation provided – interested in content, presentation slides were a bit small to read due to small fonts
• It was difficult to hear him at times but was very interesting
• Great passion for topic – would have liked more practical examples
• Great references and clearly a huge amount of subject matter expertise. I would be interested in more information of the KM practices
• Great information!
• Learned a lot about a different evoking LL framework