Shell & knowledge management

Royal Dutch Shell plc, the world-wide group of petrochemical companies, was created in 1907. Shell has operations in over 90 countries which include America, United Kingdom, Australia, and Ireland and so on. Also, it is the largest energy company in the world. Shell group not only operate oil and gas product sale but also conduct petrochemical industry such as exploration, refining, distribution, power generation and trading and so forth. Moreover, Shell Oil Company has developed its ability in renewable energy activities.

One of its largest businesses is the subsidiary in America. People may curious about that how Shell can be so successful. Shell’s success is not fortuitous; it has the mark to follow. Actually, shell was the first company which used an electronic computer to help its management system in the Netherlands.

Thus it can be seen Shell always knows how important innovation and reformation are. In the competitive global economy age, Shell still makes a good use of KM strategies to keep its advantage in the competitive market. Specifically, Shell relies on its global network, communities of practice. The first KM step in Shell focused on linking existing initiatives. They called Shell EP Global Network which collects the large technical and businesses communities of practice using Sitescape software. Current the Global Network contains over 15,000 members and the value to shell’s business is close to $300m per annum. Current thinking at Shell

KM is a main factor which helps company to reach business goal, build competencies and extend employees’ professionalism with their work. Shell also believes that use the knowledge which has already existed in the organization, instead of the knowledge which gets from outside organization is more efficient and economical. KM has play a significant role in Shell’s global business and it be implemented in expatriations, internal conferences and worship, and formal training programmers. New Ways of Working is a new concept which created by Shell in order to materialize the idea of knowledge management to really business operation.

The core initiative of New Ways of Working is to think globally, act locally. New Ways of Working embrace four main ideas: global network, global consultant, distributed teams and centers of excellence. In the other words, Shell now focuses on knowledge sharing which means groups of people who share information, insight and advice about a common interest or practice and team working which means groups of people with a common goal, interdependent work, and joint accountability of result.

When we say New Ways of Working is a concept for materializing KM in real Shell business, Global Network is a tool for executing the idea in Shell’s business. Moreover, Shell believes that behavior and mindsets can support learning in both formal and informal way. In order to realize the idea, Shell builds a toolbox which enables employees to work together, share knowledge and learn from each other. The toolboxes are Global networks, Metis and The Shell wiki. Global networks are made up of 13 0nline communities of practice and there are three main communities that based on wells engineering group, surface, and subsurface.

These three main communities have more than 3,000 members share knowledge. There are also other communities such as IT, HR, commercial, project deliverer, SHE, procurement and the knowledge sharing global networks. Global networks can really assist employees to contribute to the productive discussion and generate innovative solution in their difficulty. Also, global KM networks have helped Shell to create many success stories so Shell strongly believes in this system.

We can see Metis as linkipedia tools which make employees get to explicit knowledge and enable to use the knowledge to discuss. Metis comes from Greek goddess of wisdom and knowledge. This tool contains links to relevant information and other KM tool but it does not contain documents and reports.

Metis also requires a subject expert to be the owner of each of the associated information pages and a quality check is therefore performed on any new links provide by Shell personnel. Users have access to all the relevant information and knowledge associated with their field of expertise including a list of experts because often, knowledge who, is as important as knowing now.

The Shell wiki was created in 2006. Current The Shell wiki is keeping growing with 50 and even more new wikis per day. The Shell wiki cyclopedia offers plentiful operational business knowledge which like the general knowledge on the Shell Company. An important concept is that “from everybody, for everybody”.

The Shell wiki cyclopedia gain knowledge, information and materials from inside organization and use the knowledge to Shell Open University student body. Every individual and expert is the result for knowledge creation. Furthermore, the cyclopedia concept helps integrate with discipline and practice in Shell organization. Recently, Shell has another innovation to establish a “single sign-on” process resulted in a surge at the beginning of the year. The aim is to link people to people by the content they contribute. Future of Shell

Shell will continue to create a useful tool like global networks for sharing and transferring knowledge and to hind a new way for encouraging people express their idea to each other in organization. Therefore, Shell can keep expand their knowledge bank. KM is the most important part of Shell’s learning activities and Shell can create more advantage by Km system. I think that Shell encourage and promote their employees to share knowledge which already existed in place and the knowledge can really help them to perform their daily work more effectively.

Global networks also provide much advantage for Shell. However, even though Shell has many functional KM systems to help it be more stable, there are still have some problems that Shell need to faced like keeping the right balance between behaviors and IT solution, justifying the effort spent on KM system via tie down the moving target of measured value, and handling the enhancing of number of disparate, home-grown KM solution happen all over the organization.

These problems are not easy to deal with and solve but when Shell can overcome the barriers they can gain much profit from their KM system and the KM system they create can bring most efficiency to Shell. I think that people create different kind of system in order to strengthen our competitive ability so we need to be smarter than the system we create and manage the system. Do not let human-made system control our operation.;col1