Knowledge Contact Moments- map: What are the benefits?

What’s a Knowledge Contact Moments- map? It’s a tool that lets your organisation chart where knowledge is contained in your organisation and when it’s relevant to (an employee of) a specific department. The concept stems from Customer Journey Mapping, where an organisation charts what contact moments a (potential) customer has before buying, being serviced, reaching a goal related to that organisation, etc.

Why make a Knowledge Contact Moments Map?

Knowledge has the notorious reputation to be captured in different kind of formats: documents, loose files/ electronic sheets of paper, websites, intranets, e-mail, Twitter, in conversations and, the format most difficult to organize, employees heads. In order to pinpoint that information, a map comes in handy.

Why is it a ‘contact moment’ map?

The KCCM is based on the principle that knowledge is only chartable when we know where it is. We usually only find out where it is when we ask for it. That sounds like an open door, but the problem of content recreation because organisations simply don’t keep an inventory of their knowledge is well known and wide spread.

And when do we ask for it?

Knowledge is relevant when we don’t have it ourselves and there’s an urgency for it, meaning we need it within a short time frame. Sometimes that’s up to a month (e.g. getting certified for a next assignment) but usually it’s shorter: within a week. After that, the situation the employee is in has changed and the urgency disappears.

For example: employee Lindsey needs have some background information about Scrum. She kinda knows what it is, but some more details would be nice. Lindsey knows George of the other department has worked on a presentation, but he isn’t available on Fridays. She does a ‘shout-out’ on her company’s forum, but she knows it might take some time before someone responds so she decides to check their Sharepoint environment. She finds an entire PDF book but that’s a little too much. Other documents she finds actually treat the implementation strategies of Scrum in their own organisation and when she hits the year “2014” she figures that whatever pops up now, is no longer relevant.

Another, more ambiguous example. Frank is project manager at a big client. The relationship is good but certainly has potential to expand and is worth investing in. Frank knows the contractor of the company is a big fan of wine, though Frank doesn’t know that much about wine himself. He goes to store, and picks what the sales person advises. If only he’d know Melanie’s parents are French, she runs an import web-store exclusively for the best home mad wines and that Melanie actually works on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday right across the hall.

Think wine expertise isn’t really one of your core company’s assets? Try First Aid: hire an external company a €2.000 a day or ask Lennard down the hall who’s a certified trainer and regularly host voluntary trainings. Or try implementing a new password security API. Hire that consultancy firm or ask Jonathan, who now works in Marketing but implemented a similar thing at his other company before switching from IT Help to Customer Service to Online Marketing. Yep.

Remember Lindsey’s attempt to find out about Scrum? There goes 2 hours a day. An another 1.5 in meetings. Did we mention the planning of schedules, at 1 hour a day. That leaves of 3.5 ‘production’ hours a day on average. Your employee costs €4.000 a month?  €2250 of that are money thrown away. The Society for Human Resource Management , indicates a range of 18-52% of payroll cost per company. Say your turnover a year is €300.000 and your payroll expenses are a most 25% or €750.000. That’s over €420.000 wasted. Almost half million of company capital thrown in the dumpster.

Of course, it’s arguable that e.g. scheduling are very necessary to make employees work efficiently and it’s obvious that some meetings are relevant. And if you want to find information you’ll always have to do a little bit of searching. That’s part of the job. But should it be 2 hours a day because people can’t find information when they need it the most? Nope. Hence, the Knowledge Contact Moments Map.