The Ontario Ministry of Education (EDU) is divided into divisions, branches and different units. Due to the nature of these operating procedures the employees were experiencing constant changes in tasks, job positions and reporting relationships. There is a need for the employees to feel as one and function as a ministry with modest limitations. EDU has to take the tacit knowledge and turn it into explicit knowledge. As Kathryn Everest, I would recommend the EDU implement a document management system. In doing so, it will help the employees to work mutually as a company rather then a department. Having the employees to feel they are all part of a company rather than a department will help build trust amongst all employees. Less time will be spent locating documents; this alone will drastically reduce cost. Once the implementation is complete, I anticipate that employees will be able to locate quality information more quickly, therefore increasing efficiency and resulting in better customer satisfaction. Implementing a document management control system will also improve security by providing better, more flexible control over sensitive documents. The system will provide an audit trail of persons viewing / editing documents and the time of the occurrences.
Since the EDU has decided to sole-source from IBM, I am making the assumption that my recommendation will be accepted. Statement of Issues
The main issue in this case is the erroneous storage of the electronic data that’s available resulting in a lack of knowledge being shared amongst employees and a difficulty for one to amass internal knowledge. The case states that the same document is stored on multiple computer hard drives and there were often up to 20 different versions of that document. There are an estimated 3 million different documents on the EDU’s hard drives and in certain cases there are up to 20 different versions. This could potentially reveal that there are up to one million original documents available. The case also states that the staff in core businesses at EDU relied on 38 different web sites for knowledge, information gathering, and sharing. This causes a great deal of inefficiency and presents a security issue. Analysis
Effective document management is not an easy task to undertake because of the numerous systems to be integrated, and wide range of business needs to be met, and complex organizational and cultural issues that must be addressed. Document management is much more that just harnessing technology, it is about the business processes and practices that determine the creation and use of knowledge. An effective document management system will encompass people, processes, technology, and quality content. During the implementation phase, the EDU’s employees may experience some culture change but this can have present advantages to the EDU. An organizations culture can make or break a company. Organizations with an adaptive culture aligned to their business goals regularly outperform its competitors. As the environment (the laws, regulations, business climate, etc.) in which the organization operates changes the organizations culture will also change respectfully. The case states that much of the ministries knowledge was tacit and documented knowledge (explicit knowledge) was difficult to locate and share. There were also significant cultural issues that inhibited knowledge sharing; confidentiality issues which can inhibit and restrict collaboration and the sharing of knowledge. One of the most difficult challenges to overcome in knowledge management is to derive a process that converts tacit knowledge to sharable explicit knowledge. The prominent characteristic of the tacit knowledge approach is the basic belief that knowledge is essentially personal in nature and is therefore difficult to extract from the heads of individuals. To make wider use of the tacit knowledge of...
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