Infosys Technologies: Improving Organizational Knowledge Flows

Case Solution

Nikhil Mehta, Sharon Oswald, Anju Mehta
Journal of Information Technology ()

Knowledge is discussed as one of the most important organizational resources. However, these resources are in specialized pockets throughout the company and dedicated knowledge management (WM) programs are required to improve their flow. However, the high failure rates of such programs raise serious doubts about their ability to improve the flow of knowledge. This case follows the KM program of Infosys Technologies, Ltd, one of the most admired knowledge companies in the world. The case describes how senior management at Infosys discovered a serious lack of organizational knowledge flows in 1999 while implementing a program to continually improve core business processes. Further investigation revealed that the lack of knowledge flows stifled the effectiveness of its organizational structure and business model. Alarmed by these critical results, Infosys launched its KM program. A five-stage Knowledge Maturity Model (KMM) was designed to support the KM implementation. With People, Processes and Technology as the three pillars of the Infosys KM program, KMM identified specific skills that Infosys needed to develop at each of the five levels. Things worked well until 2004, when Infosys began moving to KMM level 4, which required the development of clear metrics to measure KM effectiveness, that is, improvements in knowledge flow. In the absence of such metrics, the Infosys board of directors began to question the company’s financial investments in the CG program. The CEO championing the KM program knew he faced two key challenges in convincing the board of future revenue prospects for the KM program and identifying metrics to assess improvements in the organization’s knowledge flow.

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