Knowledge Domain

More than ever before, employees are tired of change, reorganization and innovation initiatives. Coupled with a reputation as the “Department of No” and “Division of Slow”, IT Departments are fighting an uphill battle with Cloud Projects/Teams when it comes to the Digital Transformation.
Another challenge is the speed of cloud services being updated and features added. Product Portfolios for the large Cloud Suppliers keep growing steadily. However keeping up with the stream of information around these updates and added services is quite overwhelming and we run the risk of missing the full advantage of our cloud services.

How do we turn this around?

The aim is to stimulate interaction and interplay between IT and the business.

Communication as key success factor.
Through lots of communication and doing it differently than we are used to. The purpose is to stimulate interaction and interplay between IT and the business. In the Strategy and Planning phases we strive to a dialogue around business requirements, IT spend and the possibilities of the cloud. The goal of the Build and Run phases is to communicate about changes, new possibilities, new responsibilities and sometimes manage expectations.
And how should you keep up with the avalanche of information? Unfortunately, there is not a single point solution for that. The best way is to be aware of it, subscribing to the appropriate news sources and embedding it in an appropriate process, preferably an existing process.

The importance and workings of communication as a process to govern Digital Transformation projects, and thus as an important tool to keep the organization aligned with our strategic goals, is explained here

A number of proven communication forms that might not directly come to mind are organizing;
-Knowledge Exchange Fair,
-Walk-in Hours or Consultation Hours,
-Architecture Workshops.

Knowledge Exchange Fair is centered around the idea that agile teams build up specialized knowledge. Sharing this specialized knowledge could benefit the other teams. The CCoE is one such team. A Knowledge Exchange Fair looks like an actual fair with each team manning a stand in a large meeting room or auditorium. Everyone presents their specific topic and are available for questions throughout the event. Do this regularly, especially if you have 5 or more teams.

Walk-In or Consultation Hours can be a good way to introduce a new cloud service to its users. Setup a makeshift doctor’s office with a team of doctors and nurses made up of IT staff in the lobby of the building. Make appointments with users beforehand to explain to them the impact of the new service and how to make proper use of it. This will increase adoption rates, productivity and not in the least part, visibility for the new service, the cloud project and for IT. Being a highly visible and regular event in a high-vis location it will also generate interest from passersby and create information spreading spinoff. Plus, it’s fun to do! Who does not like to dress-up?

Architecture Workshops are used to knock the dust off the architecture departments’ image and make architects and their knowledge and expertise accessible. Architect need to find their audience to explain reference architectures and landing zones. Invite agile teams, product owners and other stakeholders. This is also a great forum to discuss upcoming sprints and their technical needs or maybe even discover architecture change requests in advance. A great pro-active way to spot a dispensation request. Remember those monthly architecture boards that sometimes took 7 weeks to come up with an answer to your request. Yeah, those won’t do in a modern organization. The consequence is that architecture will forever be behind on the actual IT landscape and that is indeed a huge risk. 

Organize a Knowledge Exchange Fair regularly.

Process or Activity

The aim is to gather and propagate knowledge and stimulate its exchange.  

Demarcation of Responsibilities

  • CIO is responsible for embedding knowledge sharing.

  • CCoE is responsible for “evangelizing” new developments, e.g. through presentations during KEF.

  • DevOps teams are responsible for the mutual exchange of new relevant knowledge. 

To Do List

  • Set up KEF events planning.

  • Subscribe to blogs (eg via RSS feeds).

  • Create news item page on Intranet.

  • Set up guilds for intra-team knowledge sharing.

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