Peeriosity Insights: Recent Research Findings Summarized insights. To view detailed research results, contact us to inquire about membership.

Knowledge Management and Shared Services – A Perfect Match

Shared Services organizations are always on the lookout for value-adding additions to their service catalog. Knowledge Management services provide the perfect link between enterprise optimization efforts and the user community, and Shared Services is perfectly positioned to deliver results.

Knowledge Management evolved from traditional training services that were usually positioned as part of the Human Resources function. While not necessarily a replacement for traditional training (although in some organizations it is), Knowledge Management is closely linked to the constant changes occurring in technology and processes and the people in the organizations who perform related roles. As evolution continues to accelerate, Knowledge Management services ensure that impacted users are not only aware of the changes, but are skilled to exploit them for competitive advantage.

Too often, there is a large gap between teams working on process and technology changes through BPM or Process Management initiatives and the ultimate people in the organization who are impacted by those changes. Additionally, as activities change or become automated, roles within the organization change. Knowledge Management services not only track, communicate, and train as a result, but also evaluate the impact on individual roles within the organization and identify opportunities for consolidation of those roles into new positions. In other words, active evaluation of the impact of change on positions and identifying additional potential savings through consolidation and reorganization.

A recent Peeriosity PeercastTM in the Shared Services Leadership research area featured a company that evolved its SAP and Shared Services project training team into a full-service Knowledge Management team over the past decade.

Prior to the discussion, attendees were polled to determine what approach was used to communicate and train users affected by process and technology changes:

approach used to communicate and train users on technology and process Knowledge Management and Shared Services ipolling

Evolution of the Knowledge Management Team

The  PeercastTM feature company started the discussion by describing its evolution from a project training team to a Knowledge Management team:

  • SAP and Shared Services Implementation Training Team (1996)
  • Integrated into Human Resources Training Team (1999)
  • Sub-set became part of the ongoing Acquisition Integration Team (2003)
  • Knowledge Management Team (2010)

Knowledge Management Team Skill Sets

The team has a variety of skills and pointed out three skills in particular that are critical:

  • Learning Technology – Ability to develop and manage a curriculum of training courses and material, creating systems documentation, and deliver using flexible methodologies.
  • Business Process Management – Working understanding of Business Process Management methodologies with hands-on experience in key operational and functional areas.
  • Change Management – Ability to effectively communicate at all levels of the organization and explain the “why” behind the “what”.

Knowledge Management Products and Services

Business Process Updates (“BPU”) – Targeted communication to users impacted by a process or technology change. BPUs include:

  • Summary of the Change
  • Benefits of the Change
  • Who is Impacted by the Change
  • Effective Date
  • Details of Changes (Link)
  • Process Flow Diagram of Change (Link)
  • Online Training Link (recorded webcast training)
  • Webcast Registration Link (to attend instruction with live instructor)
  • On-Site Training (depending on magnitude of change, may be provided)

(Note – Peeriosity members can access a BPU template within the Documents section of the Shared Services Leadership research area)

Project TrainingTraining (self-directed, facilitated webcast, onsite) provided in support of major project initiatives.

  • Knowledge Management team are integrated into project team
  • Document all changes
  • Create training material
  • Identify impacted users
  • Communicate change
  • Administer training
  • Measure and Survey Results

Monthly Web Session Training

  • Between 15-20 trainer facilitated Webex sessions each month
  • Calendar and registration online
  • Targeted (e.g. Inventory transfers in SAP) and general sessions (e.g. Intermediate Powerpoint)

Online Collaborative User Communities – The Knowledge Management team creates and serves as facilitators of online user communities.

    • Identify and create best practice communities of people with similar roles who work at disparate locations
    • Invite appropriate employees to join
    • Schedule online forums
    • Initiate blogs
    • Tag shared content
    • Create feeds from appropriate outside sources

Systems Documentation and Curriculum Development

  • Document online “How-to’s” linked to SAP transactions (using uPerform)
  • Process flows
  • Menu paths with screen shots
  • SAP custom help
  • Links to broader training on related topic

The PeercastTM  had excellent discussion contributions by a number of Peeriosity members. One of the key takeaways from the discussion was the value of having a focused Knowledge Management team responsible for the dissemination of changes that are taking place at a rapid pace in most organizations. In many cases, the technology and process change processes are well organized, but the implementation of those changes at the user level are not.

Knowledge Management can be the accountable link between the rapid changes taking place in technology and process and users who are expected to quickly absorb and execute those changes so the projected benefits are, in fact, realized.

How are you ensuring that the changes being made in your technology and business process are properly communicated and executed by your user community?

Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?

1 “PeercastsTM” are private, professionally facilitated webcasts that feature leading member company experiences on specific topics as a catalyst for broader discussion.  Access is available exclusively to Peeriosity member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from attending or accessing discussion content.  Members can see who is registered to attend in advance, with discussion recordings, supporting polls, and presentation materials online and available whenever convenient for the member.  Using Peeriosity’s integrated email system, Peer MailTM, attendees can easily communicate at any time with other attending peers by selecting them from the list of registered attendees.

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