Pedagogies of Knowledge Management @ Infosys


By

Dr. Ashish Manohar Urkude
Professor
Alliance Business School
Bangalore-560 068
E-mail: ashish.urkude@gmail.com / dr_ashish_urkude@yahoo.com / dr.ashish.urkude@gmail.com
 


Key words: Knowledge Management (KM), Knowledge Management Maturity Model, Learning Organisation, Learn once use anywhere, and Wise Infoscions.

Abstract:

Today almost every organisation in the world is trying to become a learning organisation. There are few organisations which have started upgrading and evolving since their inceptions. Take example of GE, it has become a melting pot of many countries, civilisations, languages, contrast and cultures, through continuous learning. Also, lot of organisations have implemented CMM, PCMM, ISO 9000, ISO 14000, TL 9000, AS 9100, ISO 20000, ISO 27000, OHSAS, TS, IEEE, Six Sigma, TQM, Kaizen, HR Score Card, Balance Score Card, Intangible Assets Monitor Framework, and such different benchmark to keep themselves up dated and on the performing peaks at all the times. Infosys, India is one among them. Infoscions have understood the 'Perform or perish' approach in the multi-polar, and multi-dimensional global competitions. This continuous up gradation, human resource development, technology acquisition and technology up-gradation 24 X 7 X 365/366, at all the levels has lead to multidimensional development of Knowledge Management Maturity Model.

Thus, Indian ICT giant Infosys has become such an organisation which is trying to implement all these best practises around the globe to fetch the businesses from the best organisations around the world.

This research concentrates mainly on the pedagogies that are followed in the Infosys. Further, it suggests the obvious expectations of the young generation.

To make research to the point and crisp, everything is put/ fitted in the tabular format.

Table 1: Pedagogies of Knowledge Management @ Infosys in Tabular Crisp Form:

SN

KM Characteristics

Description with respect to KM in Infosys

1

Aim

To move towards a "Learn Once, Use Anywhere" paradigm.

2

Objectives

i. To minimise the efforts dissipated in redoing learning that has already happened elsewhere, and
ii. Ensuring that Infosys employees (Infoscions) in contact with the customer have the collective and organised knowledge of the Infosys with them. 

3

Goal

Delivering all organisational learning to benefit the customer.

4

Strategy

Knowledge Management Maturity Model.

5

Vision

To be an organisation where every action is fully enabled by the power of knowledge:
a. Which truly believes in leveraging knowledge for innovation,
b. Where every employee is empowered by knowledge of every other employee, and
c. Which is globally respected knowledge leader.

6

Mission

To ensure that all the organisational learning is leveraged in delivering business advantage to the customer.

7

Challenge

a. External Customer benefited through KM, and
b. Empowerment through knowledge.

8.

Overall remark

Achieving supremacy through knowledge of Infosys personnel and associates.

9

Paradigm shift

Learn Once- Use Anywhere.

10

Body of Knowledge (BoK)

a. It enshrines, preserves, and protects essential learning gained through previous projects.
b. Prizes are given to meritorious contributors.

11

Process Assets

a. In the busy job profile very few contribute to KM.
b. There are very few can write their experience in few words.
c. Very few can contribute/ capture the project deliverables and distil it in the form organisation requirements.
d. Process Asset is system. It captures intranet based system.
e. It is a focused search system.
f. Project Leader fills in a brief description of the project, the target audience and others details while uploading into system.

12

Practise Unit

Several Process and Practise unit exists

13

Knowledge Capital

a. Infosys essentially is in knowledge intensive business.
b. In the environment where every software and hardware observes obsolescence; up gradation of knowledge and history of evolution of further versions has its own importance.
c. Global market place has diversities dissimilar in every function, place and systems. Key determinants of Success are ability to leverage know how, innovation and reputation of the organisation as well as the employees. E.g. Infosys has become crucible of melting pot of boundaries of various countries, civilisations and cultures; hence it is important to balance acts to achieve productivity and profitability.
d. Traditional Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss Account, Income Statement, have no values left in this world. Instead, 'Balance Score Card' kinds of approaches have gained importance. Thus, Human value in the organisation, Market valuation, Quality, Customer delight, have gained significant importance. Infosys has started using "Dr. Karl-Erik Sveiby's Intangible Assets Monitor Framework in 1998", which was developed in 1997. In this KM initiation process there are:
i. External structure initiatives from customers, competitors, suppliers,
ii. Internal structure initiatives: Depends on the leadership qualities of CKO and KM Mentor,
iii. Competence initiatives: Individual Tacit knowledge must be stimulated and tapped.
Company believes that such a presentation of its knowledge assets would provide a tool to its investors/ customers for evaluating the market-worthiness of the company.

14

People Knowledge Map (PKM)

a. It is a Knowledge Directory, providing a pointer to expertise available within the organisation has been developed and deployed.
b. PKM provides intranet based interface via which people can register or locate expertise.

15

PKM System

System is designed to be driven off a proprietary knowledge hierarchy consists of multi-level taxonomy of topics represent knowledge in the Infosys context.

16

PKM  Hierarchy

At the Top of PKM Hierarchy is Technology consisting 800 nodes. Levels are:
a.Technology,
b. Process,
c. Project Management,
d. Application domain, and
e. Culture
Further deeper levels representing a finer grain of topics.

17

Sparsh- The Intranet (CIP) The Central Information Portal

i. Sparsh is the companywide intranet.
ii. It forms the central information portal.
iii. It consists of 5000 nodes:
    a. Spread across India-Based Development Centres/DCs
    b. USA based marketing office.
iv. Home page:
a. Official policies, and documentation,
b. Press Releases and Articles,
c. Web Based In house information system.
v. It also has knowledge shop that provides access to several  intranet-based knowledge systems.
vi. It has links with:
a. Projects,
b. Practise Units (PU)
c. Departmental and Personal Web Pages,
d. Access is governed by (Indian Patent Regulation-IPR) guidelines.
vii. Security is provided through firewalls, to avoid external intrusion.
viii. Email:
a. Every Infoscions has access to, support bulletin, boards for official announcements as well as technical and personal queries.
b. An email protocol has been defined and is adhered to.
ix. Virtual Classroom:
a. It is developed and deployed on the intranet.
b. It has access to various courses whose contents have also been developed by the Infoscions.
c. Discussion Forum: For Questions and Answers related to various courses.
d. Several tutorials are there online, purchased legally.
x. Systems for Supporting Training Management which are developed internally by Infoscions are also available for:
a. Course Announcement,
b. Nomination,
c. Reporting, and
d. Participant evaluations.

18

Best Practises

Practises that have worked well around the world are also propagated through regular seminars and best-practice sessions, held both within units and organisation wide.

19

Odyssey

A system that provides an umbrella for websites maintained by Individual projects, Marketing intranet, which provides information and reusable artefacts useful at the sales and project initiation stage.

20

An integrated KM strategy

i. KM related activities have in past proceeded in an un-orchestrated fashion, being carried out in various organisation pockets like:

a. Quality Department,
b. Information System (IS) Group,
c. Marketing Group,
d. Various Practise Units (PU),
e. Education and Research (E & R), etc.
ii. In 1999, a move towards KM strategy was initiated.
iii. A coherent KM effort is being developed continuously.
iv. Ownership: Ownership of KM strategy vests with E & R, whose motto is "We help Infoscions make learning a way of life". 
v. Key constituents of KM Strategy:
a. People,
b. Process, and
c. Technology.
It aims to address the challenges recounted in every aspect of KM, through multitude of initiatives, conceptually underpinned by Infosys' proprietary KMM Model. 

21

Knowledge Management Maturity Model (KMM)

i. KMM- Knowledge Management Maturity Model is based on the realisation that path to achieve KM success involves significant changes:
a. In the working culture,
b. In the Processes of the organisation, and
c. System in the organisation.
ii. Instead of taking one giant leap a staged frame work is done under progressive development.  The most well established model available today to/ for managing changes in phased manner is Software Engineering Institute's (SEI Carnegie Mellon Institute) Capability Maturity Model (CMM).
iii. Further the purpose of KMM Model is two fold:
a. To provide framework, this can be used to assess current level of KM maturity,
b. To act as a mechanism to focus, and help prioritize, efforts to raise the level of KM maturity.

22

CMM and KMM Analogy

In analogy with CMM, the KMM model:
A. Consists of 5 maturity levels:
i. Initial: It is the juvenile level where everyone contributes and tries to develop the organisation.
ii. Repeatable: At this level, the systems and processes are well learned and adopted by all,
iii. Defined: At this level of maturity, 5Wand 1H are well defined and thus all the actions have reasons and structured patterns,
iv. Managed: People learn how to manage the work according to set up procedures and standards.
v. Optimised: The best practices around the world get absorbed in the everyday work and life of individuals and almost all the stake holders, thus benefiting individual employee, teams, groups, and the whole organisation and all other stake holders.
B. CMM and KMM follow the similar methodologies at all these levels but CMM is applicable to ICT while KMM has much wider perspective and depth in almost all the aspects of the business.
C. Set of Key Result Areas (KRA) defined at each level,
a. Each KRA defines a particular capability in terms of People, Process, or Technology and effectively serves as unit of KM capability.
b. Each maturity level can be characterised by certain observable capabilities again in terms of people, process or technology, with successive levels exhibiting higher capabilities.
c. There are 15 KRA in all, each being specific to one of people, process or technology.

23

Infosys Advantage And Results

i. Infosys has achieved Capability Maturity Model (CMM) level 5 and Knowledge Management Maturity Model (KMM) level 5.
ii. Adjudged the best recruiter in 2005 in India, in terms of employee satisfaction. It could happen only due to the contribution in/ from/ to / for the KM and their implementations.
iii. Infoscions have developed their own way of working, upgrading their knowledge base, keeping themselves fit at multiple levels, and have established their campuses in many major cities in India. In fact it is the most sought after job destination in the private sector in India.
iv. Infoscions are able to reduce the attrition rate, the biggest problem faced by the Information Technology industry in the world market.
v. Infosys have become the most sought out Indian Brand name in the Information and Computer Technology (ICT) world market. Hence, almost all the Fortune 500 companies have their business link with Infosys.
vi. Infoscions have established their base in almost all parts of globe being the most trusted, versatile and value adding organisation.
vii. Infoscions have put idols and icons before the world. Its CEO, Mr. Narayana Murthy has ideally retired from his post and is not active in daily business, that too, at the age of exactly 60 years. However, being the chief founder of Infosys Mr. Narayana Murthy is still chief patron of Infosys and trying to devote most of life for higher causes like social services. Most important contribution by him to Infosys is; he treated himself at par with any Infoscions when he was at the job. He used to take lunch with his all other employees/ colleagues in the common boarding hall. He used to stand in queue with other Infoscions like any common employee. Thus, he improved the organisation belongingness and interpersonal excellence among all the Infoscions. It could happen through Knowledge Management as he followed the path/ the legacy of Honourable Mr. J.R.D. Tata of the Tata Empire, India, who used to take lunch with his common employees during everyday lunch break. Henry Ford of Ford Motors, USA also used to work on shop floor with his employees.
viii. Today Infosys is attracting global talent pool without much bigger advertisement. Most of the marketing as well as business advertisements occur through word of mouth. Infosys started 'Finding a buddy' method in which employee can locate the best candidate and suggest to management. It built trust among all. 
ix. With KM Infosys has became the most alert organisation in India which really understands, works synergistically and bring desired results in the five basic factors of Knowledge Management:
a. Limitations of Existing Initiatives,
b. Value of Knowledge,
c. Minimising Effort Duplication,
d. Sharing Best Practises, and
e. Enhanced Innovations.
x. In India it has become dream organisation for many youngsters. Almost 1,302,363 applied in 2006-07 out of which only 14,000 people were selected to become Infoscions. Thus, improved work force to 50,831 in 2007 from 44,658 in 2006.
xi. World over all Fortune 500 organisations has some business with Infosys. Even Olympics and other sports software are developed by Infosys thus making it one of the most sought after organisation world over in the field of ICT.

24

Financial Growth

Founded 1981: Starting Asset Rs. 10,000/=
Latest figures 2007: Net Market Capital- Rs. 1,153,070,000,000/=(Rupees One Lakh Fifteen Thousand Three Hundred and seventy Crore or Indian Rupees One Trillion @ 1 USD = 40 INR) i.e. almost USD ($) 25 Billion.

25

Employee Contribution

Infosys is built on ideas and contribution of its each and every employee. Right from Honourable Mr. Narayan Murthy, Honourable Ms. Sudha Murthy, Honourable Nandan Nilekani, to the latest Infosys employee. It recognises the contribution of each employee and thus believing in the human values.

26

Increase in Share values

Over the years, Infosys has improved its stock market-share value. In the Indian National Stock Exchange, on July 15, 2007, its INR 10 share is valued almost at INR 2000. It's ADR in USA, has improved to almost USD 52, as on July 15, 2007.

27

Tangible Benefits

i. Profit improvement and making money through information.
ii. Increase in share value in India and abroad/ ADR.
iii. Business Development through organic growth and also through inorganic growth,
iv. Asset and infrastructure enhancement,
v. Wiser Infoscions through continuous Human Resource Development,
vi. Lean Production through enrichment in system, process and technological standardisation,
vii. Achievement of CMM, KMM, ISO, PCMM, IIIE technology and human resources benchmarks.

28

Intangible Benefits

i. Standardised knowledge acquisition procedure,
ii. Standardised knowledge development process,
iii. Infosys has knowledge encyclopaedia on all the relevant subjects,
iv. High amount of knowledge sharing,
v. Knowledgeable and Wise Infoscions are long term asset for Infosys, Wise Infoscions is the term used for the individual and common wisdom of Infosys employees and employers,
vi. Improved Infosys brand name, as it provides end-to-end solutions to its clients,
vii. Employee involvement and organisation belongingness among them,
viii. Better interpersonal excellence among all Infoscions/ Infosys stakeholders.
ix. Talent retentions through employee job satisfaction.
x. Continuous improvement in the customer satisfaction.
xi. Infosys is able to beat the competitors with riding high on the KM instead of business intelligence.
xii. In the field of Consultancy Infosys is giving their customers operational advantages over competitors through this KM sharing, and have entered into Aerospace and Defence, Banking and Capital Markets, Communication Service Providers, High Tech and Discrete Manufacturing
Insurance, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Media and Entertainment, Resources, Energy and Utilities
Retail, Distribution and Consumer Packaged Goods
Transportation Services.
xiii. Increase in customer loyalty through knowledge sharing.
xiv. Faster Innovation is made possible.
xv. Infosys has fuelled growth in their clients.
xvi. KM has provided seamless information flow among all the stake holders increasing the productivity.
xvii. Infosys has set up collaborations with many institutes to upgrade their employees in different domains. It also has set up many in house programs too. KM allows positive discussions among employees and thus further takes. Many centres of excellence have come up benefiting almost every Infoscions.
xviii. Infosys corporate governance with global presence in eighty countries on the globe, has improved through 24 X 7 X 365 up gradation and use of KM.
xix. Infosys has developed alliances at global level to enhance supply chain management and risk management solutions with its clients.
xx. Infosys Foundation has set up 5500 libraries in villages with Indian and Provincial Government collaborations as a part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

29

MAKE 2003 Awards to Infosys for KM

Won the prestigious Global Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises (MAKE) Award, for the year 2003. Acknowledging the award, Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Managing Director, Infosys Technologies said, "We are delighted to be ranked among the world's Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises in the 2003 Global MAKE study. At Infosys, Knowledge Management has helped us connect people, bring together geographically dispersed work-groups, and create an enduring culture of sharing and caring. It has also provided us a platform for creative and collaborative problem solving, and the means for creating a symbiotic relationship between the individual and organizational objectives for development." Reacting to the award, Dr. J.K. Suresh, Principal Knowledge Manager, Infosys Technologies said, "It is with pleasure that we acknowledge the singular honor of being ranked as one of the world's Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises in the 2003 Global MAKE study, and bracketed with the best of breed knowledge organizations in the world. Infosys' effort to provide genuine customer value is based on our commitment to innovation and excellence in execution centered on Knowledge Management in its many flavors. Given that our customer provides the basic direction to these attributes, the primary benefits of leveraging Knowledge Management have been in ensuring that our customer's business does better in smaller time frames and with a lower cost of ownership."

30

KM Human Relationship Management

For this purpose KM in Infosys operates at three process levels:
i. Project level,
ii. Account level and
iii. Organisational level.

31

What stalwarts say about Advantage of Infosys from KM

i. Dr. Rory Chase, Managing Director of Teleos, said: "Organizations like Infosys have been recognized as global leaders in effectively transforming enterprise knowledge into wealth-creating ideas, products and solutions. They are building portfolios of intellectual capital and intangible assets which will enable them to out-perform their competitors in the future."
ii. The Committee
Key Findings of the Global MAKE Study for the year 2003 were as follows:
a. The 2003 Global MAKE Winners and Finalists trading on the NYSE/NASDAQ showed a Total Return to Investors (TRS) for the period 1992-2002 of 19.6% - a staggering 2.2 times the Fortune 500 company median.
b. 2003 Global MAKE Winners and Finalists showed an average Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) of 30.4.
c. Profits as a percentage of assets for the publicly traded 2003 Global MAKE Winners and Finalists was 5.4 - over five times that of the Global Fortune 500 company median. Investors believe that the 2003 Global MAKE Winners and Finalists offer long-term potential due to their capability for intellectual capital-driven wealth creation.
d. Twenty Global MAKE Winners and Finalists (57% of the for-profit companies in this year's list) rank in the world's top 100 companies by market capitalization.
Thus showing achievement of Infosys through KM. Infosys is the first Indian organization to achieve this feat.


Table 2: Future Challenges/ Needs, Expectations and Suggestions:

1

Future Needs/ Challenges

Knowledge Preservation in the fast technology obsolescence era has become a major challenge. The reason may be the technology over which knowledge is stored may or may not remain compatible to future technologies hence constant up gradation of knowledge as well as its storage devices and technologies has to be up dated from time to time. It is need of the day and a challenge as well. This is the future need of the whole human civilisation, for sustenance and survival.

2

Future Expectations

Knowledge Utilisation for humanity at large through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in fact Infosys may be even able to go beyond CSR through its own social foundations.

3

Major Suggestions

i. Infosys may start consultancy with top class human resources and supporting Knowledge Management Repository in multiple fields, to benefit Micro, Small, Medium, and Large Scale Industry, Public sectors, Non Governmental Organizations (NGO), Self Help Groups (SHG), and other organisations without boundary and barriers.

ii. Infosys has the top talent pool next only to UNO, WB, NASA and Fortune 500 organisations like Microsoft, GE, and Oracle.  Hence it is anticipation of many that it can develop its own operating system/ medium like Windows and Linux, which could be ubiquitous, user friendly, easy to install, interactive, multi-dimensionally perfect and viable, and can benefit a common man having cheaper prices than other operating systems/ mediums. It could revolutionise and trigger the computing world, could trigger the faster growth in technological world, and could activate growth in science and technologies and could generate growth in the business world and could set off growth in development of human capabilities through total paradigm shift. Thus, human civilisation would be benefited and could grow beyond our Earth's moon, planet Mars and beyond. Thus, that which is science fiction today would be made reality if Infosys could bring this revolution of own multiple-advantage operating system/s as soon as possible.

4

Other suggestions

Infosys can help other organisations of any kind in the form of:
i. Knowledge Creation
ii. Innovation,
iii. Curriculum development, distance learning, custom-tailored courses from Infoscions University or helping other Universities,
iv. Knowledge Dissemination and Skill development,
v. Knowledge Adaptation,
vi. Knowledge Usage, and
vii. Knowledge Value Chaining.


Conclusion:

In the knowledge explosion era, Infosys has achieved excellence in its ICT and allied fields only through continuous learning and knowledge management. Hence, the next expected step from Infosys could be to evolve its aim, objective, mission, goal, strategy, and vision. Thus, it could put a real challenge before the competitors. In fact, it must think and beyond competition/s. Also, it can accept the multiple challenges in the world through wise and knowledgeable Infoscions. Infoscions thus could bring a complete paradigm shift in the world through Knowledge Management motto of Infosys 'learn once and use anywhere'. There by the world will have only one way to go-Futuristic and Forward.

References:

1. "Mobility of Universally best-fit engineers in the interstellar era", Dr. Ashish Manohar Urkude, in the UNESCO's 5th UICEE-Global Congress on Engineering Education, held in Polytechnic University, USA, July 17-21, 2006, particular page numbers 229 to 235.

2. "Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Project Management", chapter 11, pp 386 to 403, Computer and I.T. Competency Made Easy, Ashish Uchchakule (Urkude), Himalaya Publication, 2004, Nagpur, India.

3. www.infosys.com,

4. Annual Report of Infosys 2006. 

5. Recruiting Advertisements, of Infosys, Bengalooru in various Dailies in India.

6. Post-Doctorate/ D. Litt. Thesis of Dr. Ashish Manohar Urkude, Introduction, pp 1 to 122.

7. "Indian Agricultural Plans: Require 24 / 7/ 365 approach of implementations", Dr. Ashish Manohar Urkude, et. al., published in the conference proceedings of the Institution of Engineers (India), International Conference COGEN-2008.

8. "Management of indigenously built small car market in India: With special reference to customer behaviour," Ph.D. Thesis of Ashish Manohar Urkude, submitted to Nagpur University in 2002, Chapter, Introduction, pp 1 to 82 and particular section in it, Upgrading Industry and Upgrading Engineering and Management Education system in India.

9. " Achieving S.C.M. Wisdom through S.O.A. Realization and Talent Management", Dr. Ashish Manohar Urkude, et. al., published in the International Conference proceedings of IT-BHU, Varanasi, ICSCM-2008.

10. Annual Report of Infosys 2003.

Suggestions: Are Welcome.
 


Dr. Ashish Manohar Urkude
Professor
Alliance Business School
Bangalore-560 068
E-mail: ashish.urkude@gmail.com / dr_ashish_urkude@yahoo.com / dr.ashish.urkude@gmail.com
 

Source: E-mail January 25, 2008

          

Articles No. 1-99 / Articles No. 100-199 / Articles No. 200-299 / Articles No. 300-399 /
Articles No. 400-499 / Articles No. 500-599 / Articles No. 600-699 / Back to Articles 700 Onward
Faculty Column Main Page