V Mary Abraham makes some fabulous observations on her blog about over-extending Knowledge-Management resources by solving process problems using people alone.
I thoroughly agree. This is a trap I’ve seen in my two decades in technology: starting in software development, then enterprise IT deployments, to business consulting. Positive feedback for heroic last-minute efforts, when better process planning could have avoided the crisis.
Being the hero is definitely alluring, especially the praise for rescuing a situation at the last minute. Leaders can help tilt the scales in the other direction: praise ‘boring’ success that delivers as planned WITHOUT strenuous and flashy exertion.
Stop the wrecks
Many problems – especially when abetted by technology – are the business-process equivalent of repeated car crashes in the centre of an uncontrolled street intersection.
Everyone agrees that this is a problem, yet throwing people at it is never the best long-term resolution.
Just Directing Traffic?
Your hero would leap to the middle of the cross-roads and rescue the situation by hand-directing streams of traffic. First them, then them, then the turning cars, back to the first group. Ad infinitum.
Myself, I’ve always preferred the idea of establishing simple laws of the road and then installing some stop signs. The problem is solved equally well, regulates itself with far less intervention, and I can then move on to contribute to the next discussion.
Go read the full article at Is Your KM Department Human Middleware? or see what else Cersys has to say about Knowledge Management.