Monday, August 3, 2009

An Information Economy Scenario

My visual mapping consultant colleagues come across many unique situations that require a customized approach to a clients information management needs. The experienced and capable consultant quickly creates a “big picture” view of an organizational information economy. There are, however, common elements that are continuously experienced while consulting to a client. The following is a scenario compiled from actual client situations.

I was contacted by the upper management representative of an OEM organization. “You were recommended to us by one of you current clients, and we would like to meet to discuss how you can help us”. This has been the most common form of contact from prospective clients; recommendations and referrals from current and past clients serve the effective consultant well.

First contact meetings give a consultant the opportunity to gauge the needs of a prospective client. This client didn’t beat about the bush, She introduced herself as ****** (for the sake of confidentiality Jane).
As a Visual mapping consultant “first contact” is an observation and information gathering process. Many questions were asked about our services and, in turn, I asked many questions regarding the information and knowledge needs of Jane, her colleagues and organization. She informed me that her workload was overwhelming, her daily activities to the point of potential personal burnout, her organizational business system was in good shape but, she expressed a need to be in control of her information management processes that enabled organizational efficiency throughout her location. Jane wanted to have a “big picture” view of her entire business system and I said I could enable her to gain more control over her “Information Economy”

What do you mean by the term “Information Economy” Jane asked? I defined this economy explaining the need to re-frame her understanding and perceptions of Information and knowledge, creating, managing and exchanging her information management system to herself and others throughout her organization. I further explained the benefits of the tools and methods of Visual mapping and how this could enable her to experience an exponential increase to her information management skills.

Here’s what I did for Jane - working with her over a short period of time. I creating a Visual map that graphically expressed her organizational business processes. When this map was created, I scheduled a meeting with Jane and select colleagues. The purpose of this meeting was to perform a defragmenting process using the T.A.P process. While using this process, I always witness the WOW and AHA moments from my clients. For the first time in a while, Jane and her colleagues saw the true “big picture” of their business system and all of the processes that made up their organizational way of working. The defragmenting process is analogous with the defragmenting of a computer hard drive which, in turn, is analogous with a knowledge data bank and information economy activities. The T.A.P process enables you to tap into, arrange and present all of your relevant personal, academic and business information and knowledge.

The T.A.P process enabled me to work with Jane and her colleagues to create a graphical framework (also commonly called a “dashboard”) that expressed every process within her system.
I then re-framed Jane’s understanding and terminologies associated with business systems and then trained and coached the group to come to terms with the reality of the “information economy”.
When Jane and her colleagues finally got the bigger picture, the impact of the potential of their business processes and system efficacy was realized. Suffice it to say, the tools and techniques of Visual mapping used to re-frame and defragment the information management overload just has to be seen to realize the power of control it truly has.

“Knowledge governance” is understood and realized when Visual mapping is used to create a central knowledge data bank that houses and supports the activities of an organizational information economy. Within my consultancy, I recommend premium software products for the forward thinking information manager.

I spent some time with Jane and her select colleagues, training and coaching them to use visual mapping software to take control of their growing business structure. They did indeed understand the importance of the information economy, and used their reframed view of knowledge and information to enhance and continually improve upon their business functions and monetary bottom line.

I followed-up with Jane two months later, finding that many of her key colleagues and associates had adopted and adapted their unique understanding of the information economy through the use of Visual mapping.

This scenario you’ve just read through is a generic experience I generally have as I consult to corporate business. I have come to realize there is a great need within business management to create, manage and continuously improve processes and systems. Clarity; a key component of Visual mapping is enabled naturally and with ease.

While this is a scenario created to help you understand my approach to the information economy and Visual mapping, I encourage you to connect with me and ask questions regarding my consultancy services.

Below is a client’s draft Visual map (used with permission) expressing process in relation to system with the questions asked, while introducing the genesis of an organizational information economy.

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