KM journey underway at North Queensland Bulk Ports

A KM journey is underway at North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) is a leading port authority responsible for world-class facilities at the working ports of Hay Point, Mackay, Abbot Point and Weipa. It has 180 full time employees at its Brisbane and Mackay corporate offices. 

Bryan Williams joined NQBP two years ago as the corporation’s first ever Knowledge Manager. He quickly identified a number of disparate core knowledge assets or siloes across the organisation, including TRIM, Outlook 2010, SharePoint 2013 and network drives.

“My vision when I came on board from a Tier One firm in a global role and consulting background was to scrap it all and thrust a new collaboration portal (SharePoint 2013) upon end users, but that change methodology was too much too soon and too aggressive for the majority. So instead I decided to go down the path of system unification, so it doesn’t matter what system each end user likes to use, they will be mapped and bridged to one another. For example, a knowledge piece in a network drive will be mirrored in TRIM and SharePoint as well.

“This method is best fit as it doesn’t matter which system end users like to work from it all looks the same. Going forward we will use metrics and tracking to gather analytics on which systems are more widely used and eventually reach a best informed decision to have a cut-off date to migrate all end users over to a single platform.

“As we upgrade to RM8 from TRIM, it has the potential to become an information governance tool, because it will become our single source of truth for all documentation and records across the Corporation. However this has yet to be determined as RM8 still functions as an eDRMS. We’re looking forward to a smoother integration with our other knowledge assets as a result of RM8. This new upgrade promises to deliver the best of both worlds for all end users during the transition phase of moving them to collaborative portal.”

Part of this major transformation phase involves moving from manual paper-based processes to electronic and digital based assets. Nintex workflows are being deployed to provide automation and sustainable improvement across business processes and moves the Corporation from paper based manual form processes to a true online, streamlined and dynamic one.  

“By improving our business processes will make it easier and more effective for the entire workforce to come together as a collective and be more productive than ever before. Moving down this path carries very little end user education and training considering the banking and financial sectors having using online forms for quite some time now.

“When people ask me what I am do as a knowledge manager I tell them my first stage is to unify knowledge assets to provide a better user experience with a single user interface which underpins more efficient access, scalability and flexibility to address an increase in market pressure and enable the Corporation to out-perform competitors. 

“When information is combined with personal experience it provides the perfect KM proviso. It creates something they have never had before and prevents re-inventing the wheel whilst providing the framework for collective wisdom to increase performance and business improvement.

“We use SharePoint My Sites as a staff profile tool so staff can continuously showcase their expertise and contribute to other areas of the Corporation where their expertise can add value.  Even though we are only 180 staff, it’s one of the most effective tools that we have deployed and the majority of the traffic across our intranet is for this purpose.

“To address the tacit knowledge capture from the global phenomenon from an aging population bubble, I conduct comprehensive interviews with subject matter experts, outgoing and long serving staff. I leverage these results by producing cognitive maps and decision making trees that capture how they think and how they go about making decisions which is then transferred and shared across the Corporation where relevant and to successors. 

“I use the SBI model (Situation, Behaviour, Impact), which has been leveraged from the Learning & Development industry, to create a fresh approach to narratives rather than the who, what, why methodologies traditionally used.  I use a marriage of taxonomy and folksonomy, to ensure political correctness of user defined terminology to enable a more precise search. SharePoint’s FAST search will be the primary search engine that will trawl across all our Corporate Information."

The next stage in the KM journey for NQBP will see the introduction of enterprise social networking and possibly a move to Office365.