Implementing KCS is like eating an elephant. Small bites are much easier to digest!

Getting started with a KCS implementation doesn’t have to feel like you are getting ready to eat an elephant.  To help get you off on the right foot, here are some helpful hints to review as you start on this incredible journey.

The 8 practices of KCS

The 8 practices of KCS.

Hint #1: Identify KCS impacts

Take a moment to sit back and reflect on why your business needs KCS and why it needs it right now. KCS implementers gain tremendous confidence when they truly understand how KCS practices impact the critical business operations. You might find it helpful to:

– Review your operational measures to see precisely where there are opportunities and help others connect the KCS implementation to these improvements.

– Survey the target audience to baseline their experiences with knowledge today so you can see impacts of the KCS implementation for them.

Hint #2: Focus on the priorities

Carefully reflect on the KCS practices and let them lead you and your team to a personalized implementation roadmap for KCS. Keeping in mind that KCS is a journey, select the highest priorities to focus on first. These initial focus areas will appear within the short-term component of the roadmap.

– The short-term component of your roadmap will be very detailed and help your team visualize the deliverables with precision. It will also have a very specific timeline illustrating when key deliverables are expected.

– Keep the initial phases of the implementation small and short. It is probable that your initial drafts of the roadmap will be too aggressive. Don’t try to eat the whole elephant. Instead, sanity-check the deliverables and timelines in your roadmap to confirm with certainty that you will be able to deliver on it. Don’t hesitate to scale back initial deliverables to avoid being too aggressive and missing deadlines.

– Engage the help of a small group of supportive stakeholders and team members when crafting the roadmap. Allow enough time to get input from them before communicating it outside the planning team. Rushing through the roadmap preparations means you risk missing opportunities or communicating aggressive timelines that cannot be met.

– Fail fast! As soon as possible, identify a couple representative teams willing to test (pilot) your KCS implementation. Specifically, they should help you test the communication messages, training sessions and KCS processes before rolling it out to a larger audience. Take some time to identify these special team(s) looking for those who can cope with ambiguity the best and are representative of your target audience.

Hint #3: Personalize your communication plan

It has been said a thousand different ways; don’t underestimate the importance of communication to a successful KSC implementation.

– Take extra care to develop comprehensive communication and training plans personalized to your organization.

– One size does not fit all when talking about communication messages. As often as necessary, develop personalized stories for each of your target audiences.

– Look forward to serving as the full-time (or more) communication lead during the KCS implementation. This function needs someone dedicated to it and the implementation lead is the one everyone will look to for this. The more preparation you do in advance, the more smoothly it will go.

– Expect bumps in the road. Be vigilant and proactively address issues as they emerge to avoid impacts to the project plan. Use the eyes and ears of your team to help you identify concerns very early so you can communicate proactively.

These three bites of the KCS implementation elephant will help get you off to the right start.  Begin with the knowledge of why KCS is right for your organization. Then build a comprehensive roadmap that allows for future requirements but is something you can complete on time. Finally, prepare to communicate with personalized messages to all your stakeholders. It will be an amazing journey and we wish you the best of luck!!