Target organization, product or service, location, section, and position Sprint Wireless is a mobile cell phone company that provides wireless solutions to consumers, businesses, and government agencies. They are headquartered out of Overland Park, Kansas and provide service to the United States, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands. Sprint operates over 10,000 corporate retail locations through out these regions to assist customers with device and accessory purchases, device repair, and account maintenance. As a manager of one of these Sprint retail locations it is my job to oversee the entire operation of the store and ensure that monthly quotas are obtained. Moreover, customer satisfaction is a high priority and is monitored daily through data metrics. My role as a knowledge synthesizer and knowledge manager is to acquire customer data and record it into organizational memory to be stored and analyzed. (Dalkir, K. 2011, p.410). Ultimately, I will be conducting a knowledge management audit (KM) on how this and all sprint retail locations target and retain their customers through customer relationship management (CRM) and social network analysis (SNA). Overview
What is a knowledge audit and why it is useful?
A knowledge audit is the first step in the knowledge management process. It examines what knowledge currently exists and what is missing within an organization (Liebowitz, J. 2000). This information generates a knowledge inventory or knowledge map of what knowledge is known. It can be used to “identify gaps, duplications, flows” and identifies “owners, users, uses, and key attributes of knowledge assets (Dalkir, K. 2011, p.318).” Once the audit distinguishes what knowledge exists and is missing the KM audit will develop recommendations to management on targeted areas that need to be adjusted or changed. Moreover, a critical component of a KM audit is to collaborate with the knowledge people who will be utilizing these new systems. They should be involved in the process and never “marginalized.” All in all, a KM audit is useful because it reveals the strengths and weaknesses of an organizations knowledge structure. It classifies what knowledge is effectively being utilized and if adjustments are needed. Additionally, it creates an inventory of knowledge assets that can assist an organization with streamlining data, building customer relationships, and overall performance.
How does a knowledge audit relate to KM strategy?
The knowledge audit maintains similar principles to a KM strategy because it involves acquiring and analyzing knowledge data for future analysis. The KM strategy uses what is working and what is missing to “leverage its knowledge resources.” Then this information can be instituted using technology and base lining options. (Dalkir, K. 2011, pg. 316). Once all the information is collected a KM strategy is created based on priority and value to the organization. Additionally, alternatives are taken into account if resources are limited. Lastly, a KM strategy must be aligned with what the business is trying to accomplish with its business strategy (Smith, H. A., McKeen, J. D., & Singh, S. 2010). This ensures that the KM strategy supports the business objectives and overall organizational mission statement. What proceeds and follows a knowledge audit?
After the knowledge audit is completed a gap analysis is created which incorporates all knowledge assets, KM objectives, and recommendations provided through the KM audit. This critical component ensures that there are no “gaps in knowledge” within the organization. The gap analysis identifies the following details (Zack 1999; Skyrme, 2001): * Major differences between current and desired KM states of organization * Barriers for KM implementation
* KM leverage points or enablers
* Collaboration business opportunities
* Risk analysis
* Redundancies within organization