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Knowledge Management at Bain. Most executives are not happy with KM. “How Good is Each Management Tool at Getting Financial Results?. “How Satisfied Are You with Each Management Tool?”. Source: Bain Management Tools & Techniques Survey (2001). Why KM Often Fails.

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most executives are not happy with km
Most executives are not happy with KM

“How Good is Each Management Tool at Getting Financial Results?

“How Satisfied Are You withEach Management Tool?”

Source: Bain Management Tools & Techniques Survey (2001)

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why km often fails
Why KM Often Fails
  • Not properly defining KM for the organization
  • Viewing KM as a separate function, versus just a part of business strategy
  • Not enough thought before technology
  • Misguided focus on people and process

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bain has created a leading km capability
Bain has created a leading KM capability
  • A good strategy for content creation and capture
    • Focused, high value investments in intellectual capital
    • Deep mining of ongoing learnings from projects
  • The GXC - a great KM system
    • Classification/taxonomies
    • Integration of internal and external content
    • Integration of learning and knowledge
    • Powerful search
  • A lean, value-added KM team that
    • makes the process work
    • fits into existing company structures
  • A culture of sharing, not hoarding
    • Tacit
    • Codified

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why km matters to consulting firms

Nature:

  • Two core assets: people and reputation
  • Our “product” is intangible
  • Global business, but with local differences
  • Partnerships, not hierarchies

Trends:

  • Generic frameworks and data are commoditizing
  • Industry life cycles shrinking
  • More MBAs, low entry barriers  competition!
  • Global service is required

“Knowledge” is a critical capability for consulting firms

Why KM matters to consulting firms

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knowledge example in consulting

You’re working in the PC Industry

Knowledge

Data

  • The best way to segment the consumer market
  • How to streamline the supply chain
  • Impact of supplier consolidation on OEMs
  • Market size
  • Market share
  • Competitor prices

A commodity

A differentiator

World class KM programs manage & share both

Knowledge example in consulting

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overview of bain and company
Overview of Bain and Company

Stockholm

Brussels

«

Moscow

«

London

«

«

Zurich

«

Toronto

Paris

«

Chicago

«

«

Munich

Milan

Boston

Beijing

Seoul

«

«

«

«

«

San Francisco

«

Madrid

«

«

New York

«

Dallas

Rome

«

«

Atlanta

Los Angeles

«

«

Tokyo

«

Mexico City

«

Hong Kong

«

Singapore

«

Sao Paulo

Sydney

«

«

Johannesburg

  • 26 offices, working in 9 languages
  • Over 2,500 consulting staff, “generalist” model
  • Strict conflict and sharing standards

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many km failures over our first 26 years
Many KM failures over our first 26 years

(1973-83)

“Word of Mouth”

(1983-93)

“Experience Center”

(1993-99)

“BRAVA”

  • Many attempts at KM over our first 25 years
  • But none worked. Examples of our everyday pain…
    • Proposals still kept by each partner – requiring email and fax
    • Research tools weren’t sufficient to do the job
    • Our “best” work was still in file cabinets
    • We still depended on word of mouth to find experts
    • We redid the same work multiple times each year

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bain s approach for getting it right

Use

Create

KM Objectives

Businessstrategy

Transfer

Capture

Organize

Bain’s approach for getting it right

Key elements of KM:

  • Define KM for the company
  • Define your content strategy, and what needs to be created to support your strategy
  • Determine how to capture (e.g., format, timing)
  • Organize and classify knowledge based on the business’ “view of the world”
  • Determine best modes for Transferring and sharing knowledge
  • Ensure formats and access (e.g., IT) make use as easy as possible

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the objectives of km for bain

What It’s Not

What It Is

  • Advance the science
  • Become famous authors
  • Fancy portals
  • Document management
  • Provide our staff with the tools and skills to develop
  • Enable our consulting staff to work better and faster - selling to new clients - starting up work - “cracking the case”
  • Apply Bain’s best global insights and approaches - No “re-inventing the wheel”

Drive client results

The objectives of KM for Bain

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bain s knowledge is centered around our case teams

Client Development

Case Start-up

In-Depth Work & Recommendations

Implementation

(Partner)

(Partner, Manager and team)

(1-3 weeks)

(1-2 weeks)

(1-6 months)

(6 months +)

Knowledge “Needs”

  • Bain’s point of view on the industry and case topic
  • Great examples and approaches
  • Access to internal experts
  • External Research

Knowledge “Outputs”

  • New industry insights
  • Update to Bain’s point of view
  • New approaches (and solutions) to problems
  • Insights on managing the case and client
Bain’s knowledge is centered around our case teams

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our content strategy

Major research databases

  • Top external data sources

External content

  • Sanitized summaries of every client project
  • Staff profiles & expertise
  • For “tacit” sharing

Bain’s case & people experience

  • Bain’s critical IP
    • Industry verticals
    • Capability areas
  • “Reusable” formats
  • Short shelf life

Codified Baininsights

Tools and skills

  • Bain’s core global toolkit
  • Embedded in our staff training programs
  • Long shelf life
Our content strategy

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the bvu and gxc

External content

GXC 1.0

launched 2000

Bain’s case & people experience

GXC 2.0

BVU 2.0

Launched

October 2002

Codified Baininsights

Tools and skills

BVU 1.0

Launched 1999

The BVU and GXC

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gxc 2 0 home page
GXC 2.0 home page

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slide16

10 industry pages on the GXC

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slide18

Bain Virtual University

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bvu video modules
BVU video modules

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the gxc has changed the way bain works
The GXC has changed the way Bain works

“Thanks to the GXC, I was able to pull together a preez on the impact of a proposed merger in the internet space here in Australia in just 24 hours. The deadline would normally have been impossible to meet with any quality, but we got it done. I love this tool!”

Manager, Sydney

“We pulled a case example on Asset Management in the Financial Services Page to create a presentation for the client in only 1 day. It was fantastic!”

VP, Munich

“GXC is fantastic, I am saving hours already!”

AC, Dallas

“Your KM system is one of the most intuitive and sophisticated that I have ever seen. You could do alot to help us out in this area.”

Bain Client

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bain knowledge creation and capture
Bain knowledge creation and capture

IP

Development

Sellingprocess

CaseStart-up

Case-end

Output:

  • Focused investments
  • Create new Bain points of view
  • Proposals
  • Case summaries
  • In-depth codified modules
  • Top external sources

Minimum Goal:

  • Driven by Industry & Capability Practices
  • Capture on 50% of cases
  • 100% compliance
  • Accurate case tagging
  • One good module on 50% of cases
  • New data sources from every case

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many roles make this process work
Many roles make this process work
  • Dedicated facilitators for knowledge capture and sharing

Knowledge Broker

Case Team

  • Partners who oversee Bain’s global Capability and Industry practices
  • Office-based GXC evangelist
  • Runs office incentive programs

Practice Areas

Knowledge Officer

  • Contribute best work to share across Bain

Info Services

  • Best external data sources
  • Research databases

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knowledge brokers at bain
Knowledge Brokers at Bain

Regional Knowledge Broker

Knowledge Specialist

“Global topic specialists”

“Office generalists”

  • Assigned by Industry or Capability Practice Area
  • Manages the GXC content and web site in their areas
  • Coordinates IP development and capture with Practice Area VPs
  • Supports Practice Area on communications, projects and incentives
  • Assigned by office
  • Generalist KM support to teams in their offices
    • Assist finding content/people
    • Ensures accurate case tagging
    • Helps write case summaries
  • Probes case teams to find potential team insights to codify
    • Case end manager interview
    • Interfaces with relevant Knowledge Specialists
  • Runs office incentive programs with Knowledge Officer
metrics and incentives
Metrics and incentives

Individual

Practice Area

Office

  • Practice Scorecard
    • Measures KM progress in PA
    • Sent quarterly to PA heads and MD
  • KM is a core factor of performance and comp for PA heads
  • Office KM Scorecard
    • Measures all office KM contributions
    • Normalizes for size
    • Sent quarterly to office heads and MD
  • KM factored in Office Head performance
  • Annual Office Knowledge Award
    • 1 large, 1 small office
    • For all KM efforts
  • Annual VP ratings
    • Assess KM contributions by each VP
    • Factored into annual comp
  • Office-based “sticks and carrots”

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so what s the impact
So what’s the impact?
  • We can’t and won’t measure ROI
    • Most of the costs are “soft” and can’t be measured
    • Our product is intangible
    • KM is only one of many inputs
  • Today we capture many key success indicators
    • Usage
    • Satisfaction (annual surveys)
    • Online quality ratings
    • Informal “feel”
  • But, this is not sufficient

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our framework for km impact
Our framework for KM impact

Drive

client

results

Decrease

costs

Build

Relationships/

Increase

revenues

Improve

Staff

Productivity

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what we know so far

Teams deliver better quality and results, in less time

    • More time to “crack the case”
    • Access to the “best” insights
    • Better client collaboration
  • Our client work is globally consistent
  • Partners build proposals in 30% less time
  • The case team process runs 30%+ faster
  • Contact within the Bain network has increased
  • Client leads have increased
  • Win rates at “bakeoffs” have grown
  • Classroom training costs cut by $1M
    • Shorter programs
    • No paper
  • Caseteam expenses have decreased
    • Research
    • Telecom costs
What we know so far

Drive

client

results

Decrease

costs

Build

Relationships/

Increase

revenues

Improve

Staff

Productivity

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our next steps
Our next steps

Drive

client

results

Decrease

costs

Build

Relationships/

Increase

revenues

Improve

Staff

Productivity

  • Institutionalize regular customer research on the impact of KM on our jobs
    • Partners
    • Other consulting staff levels
  • Structured interviews and surveys, built around this impact framework
  • Use results to direct
    • Changes to content strategy and priorities
    • Addition investments in the GXC
    • Further process improvements

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our key learnings
Our key learnings
  • Content and thought first, before the technology
  • Build around how people really work and what they need
  • Quality over quantity
  • Internal and external knowledge together
  • Massive focus on people and process
    • Knowledge Brokers
    • Practice Area VPs
  • Commitment from top management

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