Managing Knowledge:
The Infosys Experience

Dr. V P Kochikar
Principal Knowledge Manager Infosys Technologies Ltd.

• The imperatives driving organizations to implement KM • The Infosys KM effort – genesis, current status, benefits • Issues and challenges faced in building the knowledge infrastructure • Vision and plans for the future • Some possible lessons from the Infosys KM effort


Knowledge Management Defined
People, process and technology directed towards the harvest and reuse of organizational knowledge.

“How can the organization update and use its knowledge more effectively?”

Why all the Buzz Now?
• Enabling technologies in place • Physical resource saturation * • Increasing knowledge content of products and services • Pace of change
– Shorter response times – Constant learning

• • • •

Globalization Virtual work Rising stakeholder expectations Growth

Infosys Today
• Partners in building Information Infrastructure for the New Economy • Among highest market capitalization among IT services companies on the NASDAQ • Forbes’ list of “20 for 2000” • SEI-CMM level 5 and ISO-9001 • Global presence • Over 8000 people strong, and growing • 220+ clients including 32 new clients in Q1 FY 2001

KM: The Infosys Perspective
• All organizational learning is leveraged in delivering business advantage to the customer • Every Infoscion must have the full backing of the organization’s learning behind him/her
– customer fronting – planning and decision-making – internal customer service

“Learn Once, Use Anywhere”

The KM Vision
To be an organization.. where every action is fully enabled by the power of knowledge; which truly believes in leveraging knowledge for innovation; where every employee is empowered by the knowledge of every other employee; which is a globally respected knowledge leader.

KM Drivers
• Better Quality • Better Revenue Productivity (reuse, cycle time reduction, virtual teamwork) • Reduced Risk (diversify into new technologies, domains, geographical areas, services, resource interchangeability) • Greater Market Awareness • Higher Revenue Growth • Increased Customer Satisfaction


KM: Challenges in Infosys
• Promote a sharing culture
– Evangelize the movement

• Build and sustain momentum • Deploy IT infrastructure • Ensure quality and currency of content
KM is a change process


Evolution of KM at Infosys
1992: Body of Knowledge 1993-1994 1995: Technical bulletin, online learning 1996: Companywide Intranet (Sparsh) 1997: Marketing system, process assets, ... 1998: Project leaders’ toolkit 1999: People Knowledge Map, orgwide KM initiative 2000: Integrated Kshop portal

Evolution of KM at Infosys
• Seminars and best practice sessions • Marketing systems • Process Assets & Capability Baselines • Body of Knowledge • On-line learning mechanisms • Odyssey • Project Leader’s tool-kit • Sparsh: the companywide intranet • Personal pages • Technical Bulletin Board • People-Knowledge Map


Evolution of KM at Infosys
• Body of Knowledge
– Repository of experiential knowledge • > 400 entries; 10-12 additions / month, 300-400 accesses / month • Review process to ensure Quality / Usability, IPR issues etc. • Promotion – Incentives – Publicity – “Best BoK” award

Evolution of KM at Infosys
• The People-Knowledge Map
– Expert locator - an organizational “Yellow pages” – 367 registrants – 411 mapped topics – 200 - 300 accesses / month


Evolution of KM at Infosys
• Marketing systems
– Market intelligence, collateral, proposals, presentations, industry information, news clippings
q q

Intranet-based 400 accesses / month

• Odyssey
– a system that enables location-transparent access to web pages maintained by individual projects – user can search across entire repository


An Integrated KM Strategy
• Staged conceptual framework for implementing KM defined
– The KMM Model

• An org-wide initiative • Steering committee to give direction • The KM deployment architecture defined


KM Deployment Architecture
Content Architecture
• Internal, External • Knowledge-node hierarchy

Technology Architecture
• Knowledge Shop - the Knowledge Portal

People Architecture
• Facilitated Decentralized Approach • Knowledge Currency Units(KCUs)

Process Architecture
• Facilitation process • Content Management Process


The KM Deployment Architecture :
The Content Architecture Each knowledge asset is characterized by: – a content type
• internal and external content types, 15 in all

– one or more knowledge areas (nodes)
• over 1100 knowledge nodes organized into a 4-level knowledge hierarchy

– target audience
• e.g., Business Managers or Project Leaders

– access level (security)
• by department, grade, role, or individuals.

KM Deployment Architecture:
Content Types

Internal K-Assets
• Industry specific Knowledge Assets • Body of Knowledge (BoK) • Project Snapshot Documents • Internal White Papers & Reports • Reusable Artifacts • Discussion Groups, Chat Sessions • Internal FAQs • etc...

External K- Assets
• Glossary of business and Technical Terms • Technology Summaries • Online Journals & books • External White Papers and Reports • Technology and Business News • External FAQs • etc


The KM Deployment Architecture :
The Content Architecture The Content Management Process
Maintenance Internal Knowledge Content
Author KMG

External Knowledge Content

Editing, Review


KM Database

External Knowledge Content



The KM Deployment Architecture
- The Technology Architecture
Intranet Users

Satellite Repository

Intranet Users
Technical User

Intranet Users

Central KM Repository

KM Portal
Sales User

Satellite Repository

• Chat Forums • News Group Subscriptions • personal sites • Dept Sites • Expert finder • on-line learning and references • BI • ...

Firewall Security


Customers Users






The KM Deployment Architecture
- The People Architecture
Roles KM Roles Strategy



Central KM Group


Knowledge @ Infosys

Roles KM Strategy


Practice Champions

Reviewers and Gurus

Roles KM Strategy
Content Knowledge@Infosys

Mechanisms for Promotion
• KCU (Knowledge Currency Unit) Scheme
• Branding • Knowledge summits • Publicity video • Mementos (Mugs, T-shirts) • Create a Customer Pull • Process and template redesign • Weekly Activity Report (WAR) code • Performance Indicators • Status updates at various fora • ‘Sabbaticals’


The KM Deployment Architecture:
The Process Architecture • Processes to facilitate knowledge sharing and reuse
– process redesign

• Process to ensure content quality and currency
– reviewers and gurus – the composite KCU rating

• Process for KM effectiveness measures
– KM PIs – KM surveys

• Process for KM benefits measurement

Making it Happen: A Sharing Culture
• Business Advantage
• Metrics, models and methodology to measure benefits of KM

• Personal Advantage
• Mechanisms that satisfy physical and psychological needs •KCU scheme, awards, visibility, recognition.

• System Demand • Process pull
• Performance Indicators

Critical Success Factors A Few Lessons We Have Learnt
• Separate the hype from the reality quickly • Get commitment and support from top management resource, moral • Strike the right balance between people oriented and repository oriented approaches
– How much context can we capture? – How amenable are we to technology-based approaches? – What investment are we looking at?

Critical Success Factors A Few Lessons We Have Learnt
• Strike the right balance between centralization and decentralization
– Can we justify dedicated resources? – What guarantees are expected? – Accommodate all positions!

• Get buy-in across, but focus on high-payoff areas • Get and celebrate small victories • “Walk the Talk” soon - Pilot • Be hard-nosed about “KM” products and services

Critical Success Factors A Few Lessons We Have Learnt
• The implementation life cycle
– – – – – – Infrastructure Basic content Awareness Usage Growth “Take-off”

• Manage expectations well
– “KM agglomeration”

• Understand and manage KM as a change process

Thank You

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