Knowledge is Power
‘Sscientia potentia est’ which is Latin for ‘Knowledge is Power’, is a widely used phrase is attributed to the British-Irish Philosopher and Statesman, Sir Francis Bacon from around the 16th Century. However, most businesses in the professional service sector, such as architects, engineers, management consultants, lawyers and alike find it challenging to harness knowledge. But these businesses earn their profit almost entirely by selling the knowledge and experience of their people. Not collecting and managing this knowledge in a good way can be a significant impediment to winning work, organic growth and operational efficiency.
The knowledge gap in professional services
If like me, you were a project or case manager in a mid-sized professional services company which didn’t manage the knowledge of its people… you know how challenging this really is! It’s difficult enough just to find the right person, with the best skills and experience to win a new piece of work (which can be like finding a proverbial ‘needle in a haystack’). But often can be near impossible to find other similar projects/cases, which could give you 10, 20 or maybe 30% plus of what you need to reduce the time and effort to efficiently deliver the new project/case.
A knowledge hierarchy
The ‘Waste Hierarchy’ can be easily repurposed to highlight how knowledge can be best used within an organisation to optimise efficiency. While each project/case is unique, is obvious that the most efficient starting point is to reuse the experience and knowledge of directly comparable projects/cases. The next step is to recycle key aspects of experience and knowledge around the organisation of similar projects, using those parts which reduce the effort required to deliver the project/case. Enabling the recovery or collection of knowledge and experience to enable its potential for reuse or recycling is next. Finally, disposing of knowledge where an organisation doesn’t even collect its peoples knowledge and experience is hugely inefficient. Best performing professional service companies will always try to maximise reuse and aim to eliminate disposal.
There are many voices in the professional services industry who are championing the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to support professionals in their work. However, most organisations don’t even understand the knowledge and experience they have. Surely following an AI strategy is ‘putting the cart before the horse’? With such tight margins in professional service companies, managing knowledge of people and projects/cases efficiently to reuse and recycle existing knowledge is likely to enhance efficiency and profitability more quickly and significantly than AI, at least in the short to medium term.
How can CV Partner help with the knowledge gap?
CV Partner is a cloud based proposal automation solution that helps manage CVs, Case Studies and references to save time, win more bids and get better results. It also enables professionals to search for people’s knowledge and experience and therefore provides a simple and cost-effective knowledge management solution. CV Partner enables professionals to more easily reuse and recycle important knowledge and experience to be most efficient and improve profitability. To get an estimate of how much you could save, please contact us via cvpartner.com