The process-oriented KM strategy subsequently designed, focused on processes, people, and technology. The first emphasized the development of a front-end process for the facilitation of idea to development process. It subsequently development a paradigm comprised of “(1) idea qualification; (2) concept development; (3) concept rating and (3) concept assessment” (274). It further focused on the identification of the types of knowledge which employees require in order to execute this stage and the optimal strategy for knowledge sharing, acquisition and communication. The second, people, identified the optimal means by which employee knowledge may be constructively utilized.
Three types of groups were identified: (1) idea generators, or the engineers which submitted ideas for new products; (2) decision makers, as in those who evaluated the submitted ideas and decided on those which withstand development and (3) process owners, or those which management the development stage of the product. The third, technology, instigated by the belief that technological applications aided in the organization, codification and dissemination of knowledge, focused on the development of that technology. The outcome was an Electronic Performance Support system whose primary function was the storage and codification of knowledge in order to allow relevant groups access to the required knowledge when needed.
Nortel further developed a customized KM tool, Virtual Mentor, which, apart from extending employees learning opportunities, catalogued all pertinent information on submitted innovative ideas for copyright purposes and, ultimately allowed idea generators to operate in an iterative, as opposed to sequential manner. In brief, apart from substantially cutting down on the administrative costs associate with the overseeing of such types of operations, Virtual Mentor provided all of knowledge-based support, decision-based support and productivity based support to all of the three mentioned people groups. The outcome was that by 2000, Nortel had established as one of the undisputed leaders in the telecommunications industry and had, successfully made the transition from a technology focused operation to a people and opportunity focused one.
The successful reengineering of its business processes was further reflected on its profit sheets. The successful design and implementation of Nortel’s KM strategy, primarily evidenced in its outcomes, was consequent to a number of factors.
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