About Accenture Accenture is a global management consulting, technology consulting and technology outsourcing company. Accenture originated as the business and technology consulting division of accounting firm Arthur Andersen.
Company Background Won 2006 MAKE Award Large no of employees all over the world Present in more than47 countries In 2004 ROI was ranked first on the S&P 100 Accenture’s clients include top Global companies
Case Introduction Accenture had a long history of focusing on Knowledge Management (KM) Decreased employee count and budget cutting There was increasing demand for KM Preparing the launch of the Knowledge Exchange T. Barfield needed to provide recommendations for future direction
Economic Conditions In 2002, the economy was in a downturn Resulted in significant budget pressure on KM group Many senior managers left; 30% of all KM managers left or were laid off Pressure to offshore to reduce costs (India and Philippines) Focus on short term as opposed to long term
Knowledge Management @ Accenture Strong focus on Knowledge Management Formal KM strategy adopted in 1990 By mid 90’s, thousands of knowledge repositories had been built using Lotus Notes KM system becoming inefficient
Strategy Session A strategy session was held in 2004 Goal was to determine the future of KM at Accenture Knowledge Management Strategy: “Drive value from knowledge to enhance revenue, reduce cost, and foster innovation” Knowledge Management Vision: “To create a world class knowledge-sharing culture and environment that contributes to Accenture’s success”
SWOT – Strengths Successful company with a global presence Present KM initiative: Knowledge Exchange, myLearning, Accenture methodology Corporate support for KM from CEO to upper and mid level management Success of KM at Accenture
Knowledge Exchange: centralized system that would simplify access, improve search and streamline content management with a consistent user interface. Assets that are managed in the Knowledge Exchange include client credentials, proposals, project estimates and best practices.
myLearning: personalized learning management system. New search capability that integrated results across Accenture’s key content areas.
SWOT - Weaknesses Unorganized tools and technologies in the KM infrastructure Difficult to share and access information Lack of ownership in KM area Failing to capture knowledge as employees leave the company
SWOT - Opportunities Increase employee retention and job satisfaction Decreased knowledge drain Great tool for new employees Further industry leadership position on KM Turn knowledge into Intellectual Capital Business Opportunities
SWOT - Threats Tough economic environment Ineffectively applied capital in KM
IBM Lotus Notes Implemented Lotus Notes across the organization Every Business unit has their own database(portals) Accenture Portal – contained links to decentralized portal Each unit was responsible for managing and updating their content
Issues with Lotus Notes – Current KM Issues with userfriendliness Lack of awareness of system capabilities and content Lack of consistency in document templates Difficult to determine exactly who should be responsible for managing the content . Duplication of data
Issues with Lotus Notes – Current KM Unit based knowledge sharing tools were inefficient, inconsistent and costly Every business unit created their own portals, and by the end of 2003, several disparate systems / databases were created These organizations had significant autonomy to do the right thing for the part of their organization
New KM Technology It will provide consistency across organization and will save time and money for managing the system. Elimination of content duplication New Architecture will eliminate the decentralized Lotus notes environment. The new architecture is based on MS – Sharepoint technology.
Exhibit 1: High level view of new architecture Will Address specific business goals Single point of entry - A Web Portal Simple End-User experience Improve Search and Browse Features Centralize development and operations of the Accenture Knowledge and Simplify content management
Benefits of the new KE system Major enhancements Enhanced search results Elimination of content duplication (caused by decentralized applications) Increased usability (because of a consistent user experience)
Challenges in implementing this system Resistance from employees How to transfer existing knowledge in new system
Issues Document obsolescence Ways in which to increase the usefulness of the documents in the system Focus on immediate Return on Invenstment (ROI) or Focus on developing internal capabilities
Alternatives Continue with improved Lotus Notes Adopt the new Knowledge Exchange Do Nothing