For a consultancy firm, people and knowledge are undoable the most important and valuable assets. A key point to continue to succeed in their business is a well knowledge management strategic and platform. If a consultancy company fails to keep knowledge in the company when their consultants leave, it will prepare to fail in the highly competitive market.

Therefore, during my first week in the company, it was really excited and important for me to explore their extensive knowledge database by myself. The company used to share their all documents such as technical references, training materials, meeting minutes, sales brochures, and consultant’s portfolios by structured shared folders. This way was good for a small scale knowledge pool, but may not suitable for an extensive, fast growing, power search required, and remote accessing environment after the company expanded to a next step for more business.
I joined the company just at a right time point, because they implement a Microsoft solution “Sharepoint” for their knowledge management. All old documents are transferring from the shared folders into the new platform. By using the Sharepoint, every consultant can not only share documents, but also search the documents by a build-in full text search engine, discuss problems and solutions in forums, assess emails, calendar from Outlook exchange server and all documents from home and client’s sites, and create different group sites and personal sites. I can see that the company did pay a lot of effort to improve their knowledge management platform and has prepared for next growing stage.

However, the most important thing for the knowledge management is not the platform, but cultures in the company. Are the consultants in the company willing to share their valuable experience and business know-how with each others? Do the company’s executives and senior managers support and encourage the culture of sharing knowledge and information? Fortunately, I can see both in the company. I found numerous documents including the company’s quarterly meeting minutes, historical monthly and yearly budget and actual revenues and profits, and satisfaction surveys from the staff and clients on the “Sharepoints”. It is very interesting especially for a starter to look at the history of the company’s strong growing as well as many negative feedbacks from the surveys.

From the open and extensive knowledge database, I have learned a lot by myself about the history, values, versions, and financial status of the company and the professional knowledge in consulting and applications for the past week. I am happy to explore the knowledge database to learn by myself and look forward to learning more, involving projects, and contributing my experience into the database in the future.

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