Wednesday, August 26, 2009

When do you stop?

Summer in D.C. is usually a slow period...people on vacation, oppressive summer heat and humidity, Congress out of session. But we've never been busier and as a result, we've neglected the blog a bit. Apologies.

I spoke at the SALT learning conference in Arlington, VA the other day and was asked the question by a knowledge manager in the audience, “when do you stop gathering process or business knowledge and implement your solution.” In other words, how do you know you have what you need to deploy?

I answered it this way. When you implement a training solution, you create a class or an instance of that training which is very modular in nature. You might review it annually or on some other schedule, but regardless, the content is not dynamic in nature. When you implement a BPM solution…you go to great lengths to define requirements, create workflows and integrate/code systems. But try to change it? Workflow is very brittle.

But business is ever evolving. Rules and regulations change. Content and templates change. Employees leave, new ones join. But most importantly, someone is always figuring out a better way to perform the job they’ve been told to do. And in Contextware’s world, we made the conscious decision to create a technology that allows for those improvements to be captured and conveyed quickly and efficiently. It is one of the biggest differentiators in the way we approach process improvement, knowledge and performance support.