Expertise and Knowledge Management

Critical knowledge at the heart of your future positioning

Knowledge management involves companies developing their skills to ensure technologically innovative quality development and design, which differentiates them from the competition.

Context and challenges

Expertise and skills are critical for companies to differentiate themselves from the competition, innovate, and ensure their long-term sustainability.

All the more so in the current climate, which is influenced by two new factors:

  • The development of the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China), which has led to the development of local skills and the capacity to copy and innovate very rapidly. Each year, 50% of engineers to graduate in engineering worldwide are Chinese
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  • The arrival of generation Y at the age of assuming responsibilities, yet with behavior and an approach to knowledge that do not correspond to those of previous generations. "Traditional" knowledge management no longer works.

Each industry has its specificities. Expanding industrial sectors with a long-term vision, such as Aerospace and Defense, are facing an hourglass-shaped or inverted age pyramid. This means a potential surge in retirements, without the ability to cope with new products being developed once every 20 years.

The development of critical knowledge and collective intelligence is a major factor affecting companies’ competitive performance. The efficiency of short-term R&D, organizations where Programming/Marketing is the best route and using experts at the end of the development phase are still prevalent. But how can companies decide to invest in improving collective intelligence when the financial outcome is hard to measure?

The success of these initiatives depends on four fundamental points:

  • Reviewing "knowledge" to ensure that it contributes to overcoming technological challenges: revisiting conformist knowledge management (end-of-program feedback after five years), by reviewing recent successes in online Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG), as well as visits to Compagnons du Devoir to demonstrate the role of knowledge in overcoming a company's challenges
  • R&D knowledge tends to be tacit: encouraging regular, fragmented sharing ensures rapid transmission and reuse of knowledge in pull mode, which is simply documented, with experts available to provide further information
  • A complementary approach: linking up expert and knowledge improvement approaches to structural approaches such as Lean Management or GPEEC (Gestion Prévisionnelle des Emplois et des Compétences - Employment and Expertise Management), to ensure their sustainability and consistency
  • Ensuring immediate and visible gains: by identifying the role played by critical skills and improving their availability and impact. This analysis of current developments must then be extended to future needs.

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How can Argon Consulting help you?

  • Creating and implementing the "expert” role, his/her network and career path, in connection with an analysis of present and future critical professions as well as coordinating the network of experts
  • Improving the availability and contribution of experts to the development and design of new products and services
  • Implementing knowledge communities within an entity or group
  • Implementing the management system, developing and transmitting knowledge in accessible formats for new generations.

Case Studies

Deployment of a standard design-to-cost approach in an international group
Management and acceleration of an innovation program
Comprehensive restructuring of R&D processes – skills transfer