LEARNING OBJECTIVES FOR ASSIGNMENT 3
1. Apply coherent and advanced understanding of the concepts of knowledge and knowledge management, as well as their roles and applications in a contemporary organisational context.
2. Analyse the role of big data and analytics in organisational knowledge management in relationship to decision making.
3. Apply problem solving, design and decision-making methodologies to identify and provide innovative solutions to problems associated with organisational learning.
4. Communicate effectively as a professional, function as an effective leader/member of a diverse team.
ASSIGNMENT DETAILS EARNING
This assignment is based around a model of problem-based learning. The aim of the assignment is to provide you with the opportunity to develop your skills and understanding associated with developing a knowledge management brief and proposing a pathway for the development of new KM services for the case study firm: Australasian Audit Services as you read through the assignment activities you will realise that you will need to do some additional research into the various knowledge management concepts, methods and techniques we have discussed during our classes. Discovery is part of the learning process: a key part of problem-based learning is identifying the skills and knowledge you need to complete a task. This is typical of the skills required of an IT Systems Analyst “in the wild” as they seek to make sense of the projects, they are working on in order to identify the most appropriate tools for completing a task.
CASE STUDY: AUSTRALASIAN AUDIT SERVICES (AUS)
AUS – pronounced OZ – is a small to medium sized consultancy with 120 specialists in IT audit advisory services working across the Australian and New Zealand seaboard. The company provides advisory services in, information systems audit and the mapping of information assets held by organisations in order to support their IT governance and security management. AUS assists organisations in managing their legal compliance obligations and risk management activities associated with the management of corporate information. AUS services are designed to support their client’s strategic readiness through the effective and productive use of information. AUS has been in operation for 15 years. It has grown slowly and concentrated on building up a constant client base. In recent years it has extended beyond its initial market in Australia and New Zealand and now has small offices in Singapore (12 Consultants and support staff) and Djakarta (14 Consultants and support staff). Counting all support staff, the company has just over 200 personnel including 120 Consultants. In addition to Singapore and Indonesia, it has offices in all Australian capital cities and in Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand. Head Office is in Melbourne.
AUS Consultants are highly trained, result-oriented information management (IT & business) professionals brought together to build the unique market position AUS holds. The company relies on its team being self-motivated knowledge workers who will go that ‘extra mile’ in developing their expertise. They are typically young urban professions, the average consultant’s age is currently 34, the youngest is 25, the senior partner is 58. There are more men than women in the company, but the ratio is almost 50:50, of 120 Consultants 62 are men and 58 women.
The management of information resources within AUS organisation is valued highly but unfortunately this consultancy is a classic example of – the cobbler’s children having no shoes! knowledge sharing has remained mostly uncoordinated and informal as this outfit has grown; staff share internal directories for all forms and documents that they need access to and keep most of the material they need to work with on their own desktop computers and laptops. There is an internal email listserv where emails can be posted on different subjects. Staff can also distribute email directly, and a weekly Executive briefing newsletter is also distributed by email. Most knowledge exchange around the organisation happens in person, sometimes facilitated by training seminars, virtual meetings are held in MS Teams with the M365 suite fitting most of AUS’s technological needs. The focus of information and knowledge sharing within AUS has until now been managed primarily by the AUS Research unit (AUS-R pronounced “OZR”)” based in Melbourne. The Senior Research Manager of AUS-R, Anne Marie
Schwagger, and her two full time assistant information officers, Doris Russell and Kurt
Day, run a tight ship in managing AUS-R. Kurt has a computer science Degree and is a Web and social media enthusiast who, for the last 5 years, has managed the distribution of AUS digital knowledge assets around the organisation. Kurt maintains the corporate wiki and, with assistance from IT services, manages the staff portal underlying the wiki: a space where he can present news items and links to standards, worksheets, training documents and similar assets that Consultants need for their tasks. Use of the staff portal and wiki has never been very high, although Consultants are encouraged to add resources directly, Kurt has found that they only occasionally visit the portal to look for resources or update information in it. There are no incentives in place, so not much happens other than this occasional use. As the company has grown Consultants in regional offices seem happiest just to work with their own information resources and by contacting Anne Marie Schwagger directly when they have specific needs. However, the knowledge required by AUS Consultants changes rapidly and the way things are could be improved. While AUS has been refreshing its product offerings as it grows, innovation in product and service offerings hasn’t happened in years. Furthermore, as AUS has grown so too has staff turnover increased. The company is now eager to facilitate a better pathway to knowledge sharing throughout its regions and has been planning to implement a new and revised, state-of-the-art, approach to KM that staff will use.
Following a recent executive planning day, AUS has decided to green light funding for a new approach to KM that will be underpinned by a new consultancy offering that AUS is developing for its clients: with data breaches rampant in this day and age, and with concerns about privacy on the Internet and inside most of their client companies is growing, AUS have decided to commence offering new Privacy Audit services, alongside its other information audit offerings, to support their clients with better approaches to achieving sound privacy management. However, this means that AUS needs to develop a shared knowledge framework for the new offering. Doris Russell is leading AUS- R’s development of a new KM solution that the Consultants will use internally to develop, build and share what they know and learn about undertaking privacy audits with each other – on their way to becoming recognised market leaders; but Doris is a little concerned because the Consultant’s don’t see her as a point of contact in the organisation, they tend to go straight to Anne Marie as the organisations most trusted node. Even so, the plan for the new KM solution is to provide access to information about key concepts in privacy audit, news items, market trends current awareness pieces, information about competitor offerings, and other relevant resources (like privacy audit tools and standards) for the Consultants to learn from. The company is hopeful that the right KM solution will become a platform for creating, storing, sharing and using knowledge, not only about privacy and Privacy Audit, but that it will – in general – invigorate the consultancy teams’ approach to KM and the offering of new and innovative AUS services in the field. At this stage everything is on the table, AUS is interested in the inclusion of options for personalisation and the transfer of tacit knowledge: including a better understanding of the role that an internal expert directory might play, options for a community of practice for consultants interested in this area, and the role that automated social solutions including enterprise collaboration and crowdsourcing might serve for AUS. They are also interested in how codification and new leading approaches to explicit knowledge transfer might work to provide a searchable Knowledge base, e.g., what role might new and emerging KM applications and tools play in supporting better business data analytics and insight at AUS.
Doris recently commissioned a range of reports on state-of-the-art KM and is now interested in taking this forward. She has invited you to work with the AUS-R team and has charged you with preparing a full briefing paper and pathway for AUS, offering a combination of both new tacit and explicit knowledge management solutions for the improvement of a knowledge management at AUS. You will present your report at forthcoming meeting of the Board of Directors and Executive team. They have asked that your solution be realistic, achievable, and presented in the context of AUS’s new product service offering of Privacy Audit consultancy. To achieve its business objective AUS’s knowledge in the Privacy management space must be second to none.
o Conduct an in-depth case analysis of AUS to identify current (as is state) strategies and processes for managing knowledge at AUS and the technology and processes they have in place to support these processes,
o In so doing, report on the range of knowledge management challenges and issues confronting AUS, o Evaluate the potential for organisational innovation and development (the strategic imperatives and vision) that could result from the effective deployment of a new KM and Analytics solution for AUS,
o Identify and describe a KM and Analytics solution for AUS that incorporates a small mix
(i.e., no more than 1 or 2 of each) of both tacit and explicit approaches to KM, o Your analysis and solution must include a 2 rich picture diagrams of the KM challenge at AUS as you define it: KM-as-is and KM-target-destination, o Your analysis and solution must include a roadmap describing how a KM and Analytics solution could be realised for AUS, that includes at least one, “stretch” or “next-gen” idea for KM into the future for AUS
The report’s audience is the AUS Executive and Board of Directors. It should be written and presented in professional manner appropriate to the target audience. This means alldiagrams, design decisions and similar, should be accompanied by short discussion sections that provide a clear justification for your proposal and recommendations.
SCOPE OF WORK AND DELIVERABLES
Produce a KM Service Brief outlining a knowledge service for AUS that comprises the following (as a guide):
Part1: KM SERVICE BRIEF (700 Words)
1 What is the current state of KM at AUS?
a. What are the KM challenges and issues confronting AUS?
2 What is the main purpose of the KM and Analytics service solution you are proposing? a. What are the strategic imperatives, drivers, and vision for the new solution?
b. What activities/functions does the service support?
c. Who are the main users (customers and stakeholders) and what will they use the service for (knowledge transformation)?
Note: Don’t have to do “Introduction & Conclusion”.
Part2: PRESENTATION (Drawing 2 Rich Picture Diagrams)
Drawing from the material you are preparing for your briefing paper, develop 2x rich picture diagrams and prepare a short preliminary group presentation using only these 2 diagrams: KM-as-is and KM- target-destination. Your presentation must use only the 2 diagrams – no additional slides (i.e., all the of the context, problem and solution must be represented in your rich pictures). Remember you are preparing your presentation for the AUS Executive.
Keep in mind this is a preliminary brief for a new KM and Analytics solution at AUS, it is not an activity that requires a detailed IT solution, a project plan or the development of a fully developed business plan. Nor does this assignment require you to search for and describe available software product solutions to AUS. You should focus on the knowledge management objectives you identify. And from there, focus your research and preparation efforts towards what you need to know about KM and Analytics for the brief and communicate this to your audience simply and directly (supporting it with your 2 rich picture diagrams).
It is likely that you will have to make some assumptions about AUS, its aims, products, and services. You should document these assumptions and include them in your final report. You will need to make choices in the presentation of your report. It may not be possible to present all the work you have done behind the scenes as you prepare for the brief, or to include all the detail you would like to include in the limited space that is available. Your definition of the root problem will guide your solution. Make your determinations about what should and should not be included judiciously: aim to prepare your narrative with the audience in mind by utilising all aspects of the assignment structure to this end, including the use of headings, tables, bullet points, diagrams, and appendices. It is not expected that you undertake to resolve every problem or opportunity the development of a new KMS service for AUS presents.
The KM brief MUST NOT be plagiarised or incorporate output from generative AI tools like chaptGPT and others.
While all appendices, tables and diagrams used in the report will contribute to your assessment, they do not be count towards the word limit for the assignment. If you include an Executive Summary, it will not contribute to your word limit. However, all diagrams and tables in the report and any appendix added to the report must be relevant, significant and well supported (through written description) to count favourably towards your assessment. Appendices, diagrams, or tables that have been used simply to extend the allowable length of the assignment will not be assessed
CASE STUDY: AUSTRALASIAN AUDIT SERVICES (AUS) AUS – pronounced OZ – is a small to medium sized consultancy with 120 specialists in IT audit advisory services working across the Australian and New Zealand seaboard.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES FOR ASSIGNMENT 3