Expertise Management

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One of the biggest challenges corporates face is locating experts within their company. It is estimated that companies waste 1000’s of man hours just hunting for the right people. Deals have fallen through, mistake made all because the right people couldnt be located in time.

In this day and age where almost all the information we work on is digitized and since most of us are accessible via e-mail, messenger service or through video one would think locating a person ( in your own company ) shouldnt be that much of a problem. Unfortunately the issue is more with locating the right person than just anyone, and Expertise Management Systems seem to be the best way to manage this.

Expertise Management addresses one of the biggest concerns of Knowledge Management, harnessing tacit knowledge. An average organization converts about 5-10% of their employees tacit knowledge into explicit information. Attempting to do so with the rest is a foolhardy proposition, the best way to maximize the use of tacit knowledge is to open up as many channels for that knowledge to flow through your organization. An Expertise Management system does just that. It helps users get in touch with the right people at the right time.

Now we’ve figured out that we need an expertise management system, next comes the question of how to implement a solution like this. Creating a template is the first step, this helps you list out all the information you’d expect to capture from an experts profile in order to help other people locate him/her.

A basic Expertise Management system has the following processes :

  • Identify the experts
  • Describe the expertise of the expert
  • Provide an expert matching mechanism
  • Enable users to communicate with the experts
  • Provide a feedback mechanism
  • Manage the process

Tackling each of the above steps in a systematic manner and creating a framework around it will give you the first glimpse of your expert management system.

Creating a “living” expertise managment system involves a little more work as the system need to “mine” information areas associated with the expert ( email , articles ) and update their profile constantly. The Microsoft Knowledge Network discussed here looks very promising. Will keep you updated with more information on this technology.


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