Saturday, May 30, 2015

APQC -- How smart leaders leverage their experts





  • N = 750+
  • Increasing employee competency is important



  • Three goals: turning mid-career to experts; getting novices to work independently; increasing speed of knowledge creation
  • "expert/nex'pert gap" -- Lockheed Martin
  • "Lumpiness" to talent pool due to hiring/lay-off cycles
  • Management can be induced to delay retirement, thus delaying the crisis






  • Strategies shaped by: nature of the knowledge, nature of the work, nature of the teams
  • "it has become a truism to say that the amount of content is exploding. Deere, MITRE, Nalco, Baker Hughes, and many others cited the challenge of dealing with an overwhelming amount of data and information, housed in multiple locations, and not tagged the same way."
  • Four kinds of Knowledge:



  • Technical teams present unique challenges:
    • Low tolerance for what is perceived as administrative
    • Rookies hesitate to bother senior experts with what may be trivial questions or nuisances
    • Work force expectations are changing

  • "Most organizations do not have enough expert trainers and mentors to bring nex'perts up to speed, nor do they have the years to wait for training and mentoring programs to achieve their full effect."






  • Lockheed Martin uses "Fellows" -- the top 1% of technical expert. Any program can request a Fellow for short-term consultation, technical/risk review, evaluate program direction, assist with problem solving. Employees can also directly tap Fellows.
  • Fellows collaborate via conferences and forums.
  • Standardization of processes with checklists, etc. is also valuable
  • NASA communities are led by a "technical fellow. Oversight responsibility includes:
    • Serving as technical experts
    • Chartering and leading teams
    • Serving as independent resources
    • Levying standards and specs
    • Conducting workshops and conferences to promote discipline awareness
    • Serving as stewards
    • Foster consistency is creation and maintenance of agency-level standards and specs
    • Leading working groups
    • Ensuring that lessons learned are identified and incorporated
    • Fostering participation in external initiatives
  • Expertise location is important
  • Best approach is profile-based experience combined with CoP, discussion forums, and collab sites. Import as much data as possible from HR and other systems
  • Knowledge Capture can be formal and top-down or it could be user-driven. Wipro, for example, lets users self-identify and then validates expertise based on responses.
  • There's some discussion of Kraft's MASK approach
  • "A rich collection of well-structured, easily accessible content helps less experienced people get up to speed and reduces the burden on experts to answer common questions."
  • Lockheed Martin encourages sharing of content "in the least restrictive environment possible"
  • Schlumberger makes extensive use of its special library
  • Using knowledge is a particular challenge. You need to get experts together to work on it.



  • LM Fellows attend a conference every 12-18 months and they can bring "rising technical talent" as their guests
  • Schlumberger brings HR and IT together:
    • Defined competencies for each position with assessment for identifying gaps
    • Knowledge case management system with live support
    • "Eureka" CoPs with bulletin boards, webinars, and F2F workshops
    • "Career Network Profiles" -- resumes to facilitate expertise location
    • "Tellus" program -- special library program with journals, librarians, etc.


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