KM Case Studies

In 2007-2008, I led a team of nine Asian KM experts to produce 22 KM case studies for the Asian Productivity Organization. I edited the resulting book entitled “Knowledge Management in Asia: Experiences and Lessons” and wrote the Overview chapter as well as the Concluding Observations chapter.

You can download the e-book for free here:

KM in Asia

KM in Asia (22 case studies)

The Overview chapter of this ebook is a good introduction to Knowledge Management. The Concluding Observations chapter is a good summary of the 22 KM case studies — a convenience for people too busy to read 22 case studies. Click here to download these selected chapters.

Here is a descriptive list of the 22 KM case studies.

Dabbawalas (India):

  • Non-technical but precise (Six Sigma certified) business process
  • Informal but effective KM among 5,000+ illiterate dabbawalas

Airtel (India):

  • Procedures and templates for best practice sharing, knowledge sharing sessions (KSS) between source and replicator, best practice approval and best practice replication
  • Best practice replication funnel
  • Incentive scheme: the Knowledge Dollar (K$) and Joint President’s and CEO’s Knowledge Management Awards

Infosys (India):

  • Broad range of IT-based KM solutions and tools
  • Multi-dimensional corporate knowledge taxonomy
  • KM integrated into corporate information systems

Bank Indonesia (Indonesia):

  • IMOVATION: competition in innovations to business processes
  • Leisure Talk: informal, relaxed discussions and storytelling within CoP framework
  • Begawanship: system where retiring senior experts designated as begawans (or “sage”) share their skills
  • Dr. Know: functionality whereby any employee can ask a question

Unilever (Indonesia):

  • Senior managers as coaches
  • Retrospect: retrieving tacit knowledge from projects and disseminating them in the Knowledge Club website
  • 3C’s: listening to consumers, customers and community for product improvement insights
  • Various CoPs: K-Club shows (business sharing), GLAD (group learning and development), Book Club, SOLAR (sharing of learning and discussions), video café session, Cinemania
  • Internal expertise locator
  • Enterprise award: for innovative ideas that are tested or implemented

Wika (Indonesia):

  • Wika Scorecard: modified Balanced Scorecard
  • Various awards: Innovation award, Adi Komersial Award (contributing to the company’s incremental profits), Knowledge Award (for knowledge sharing), Inspirator Award (for making an inspiring breakthrough)
  • Managing tacit knowledge by: cMc program (coaching, mentoring, counseling), Begawans (well-seasoned executives or staff), externalization (documenting innovations), sharing sessions

Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (Korea):

  • Integration of KM with Six Sigma applied to work processes
  • Over 140 CoPs: internal, across Samsung Group, and with outside
  • Patent Expo: cross-disciplinal synergy of expertise to improve R&D ideas
  • Cyber Research Center
  • Praise Ground: informal recognition of valued KM behaviors

SK Energy (Korea):

  • Three-Tier Knowledge Process: filtering and refining of tacit knowledge and experiences into proven “solution packs” or Core Knowledge Packages for operational excellence or new business creation
  • “Working Room” (first tier): physical as well as virtual space where CoP members can propose, discuss and screen initial ideas

Bank Negara Malaysia (Malaysia):

  • Corporate knowledge taxonomy
  • Redesigning office spaces to encourage interaction
  • KM Fair

Tun Abdul Razak Library, UiTM (Malaysia):

  • KM Roadmap: aligning KM to organizational strategy, KM audit, KM Team, design of KM system, implementation and measurements
  • Managing change, culture and reward structures

Department of Health (Philippines):

  • Harnessing potential in-house KM champions into a KM Team
  • Measures to develop “buy-in” across a big organization
  • Demand-driven KM audit
  • Development of web-based KM toolkits for productivity by the KM Team: ‘Learning KM by doing KM’

Malampaya Multipartite Monitoring Team (Philippines):

  • K-Loop: development of a Learning-Oriented Systems Manual
  • Team learning processes: intrapersonal learning and interpersonal learning tools
  • Lessons-learned meeting to capture tacit knowledge of staff in a high-turnover organization

Philippine TQM Foundation (Philippines):

  • Knowledge-sharing mechanisms across small and medium-scale industries (SMEs): documentation of best practices, manualization of procedures, training, knowledge-sharing website, development of local certification system
  • KM assessment of SME members

Qian Hu (Singapore):

  • Variety of communication platforms: among employees, and with customers, suppliers and investors
  • Enabling HRM practices: employee involvement, teamwork and intrapreneurship, awards
  • CoPs (communities of practice) for R&D (research and development)

JTC Corporation (Singapore):

  • Corporate-wide taxonomy and metadatabase
  • Common contribution template to standardize knowledge capturing
  • CoPs and online forums for specific issues
  • Various ‘Knowledge Activist’ awards
  • Dynamic Workspace: thematic repository of lessons and knowledge generated from previous projects, communication medium among staff experienced or performing similar projects, ‘Knowledge Discovery Points’ to focus attention on areas where further learning is needed

Sunon (Taiwan):

  • Product Data Management: KM for managing R&D covering project document management, better patent and other knowledge search
  • Apprenticeship and mentoring
  • e-Learning

CAPCO (Taiwan):

  • Initiation through a KM Promotions Committee
  • PTA Knowledge Hall, followed by Share Knowledge Portal
  • Multimedia Cyber College: e-learning program
  • Promoting KM through: Business Unit Performance Review Meeting, Certification Program and Motion Award

ASE (Taiwan):

  • KM Center
  • Instructive history of evolutionary growth of KM: policy, systems, organization, and people

SCG Paper (Thailand):

  • Training modules and corresponding ‘knowledge owners’ in eleven knowledge areas across four key business processes
  • PPB Knowledge System: intranet for knowledge repository and sharing, KM working groups, module teams, champions and mentors in module teams, CoPs
  • Technology management thru Technology Roadmap, R&D program, and Intellectual Property Center

Siriraj Hospital (Thailand):

  • CoPs (communities of practice) for continuous clinical quality improvement: best practice identification and sharing in patient care
  • KM Committee, Chief Knowledge Officer and CoP Roadmap
  • R2R program (routine-to-research): systematic research of daily work routines to generate quality improvement, best practices and innovations
  • IT support system

Techcombank (Vietnam):

  • Integration of KM with other business excellence initiatives
  • Development and sharing of knowledge products

Goldsun (Vietnam):

  • KM system design and plan aligned with business goals, and selection of three pilot projects based on priorities and feasibilities
  • Internal KM Team
  • Click-2-K (or click to knowledge): the internal knowledge portal

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