A Health and Human Services Company 

Touching Lives Through Knowledge Delivery Systems®



Knowledge Management Capabilities Summary

Basic Services Overview

 Thank you for your interest in St. Andrew Development’s Knowledge Services capabilities.

This document will clearly define the services St. Andrew is capable of providing in a knowledge management engagement. Our services will help you achieve – and measure – a higher return on your investment in Knowledge Management tools, by showing you when and how to use them more effectively.

St. Andrew’s direct experience in the area of KM provide a perspective of realism that most KM specialists lack.

Our initial engagement phase is a Knowledge Scoping Session. At the beginning of your KM initiative, St. Andrew assists in evaluating your knowledge requirements in your organization’s critical core knowledge domains. We view these domains much like a knowledge warehouse. 

Together, we’ll formally assess the content you have at the outset, and what technology you have chosen to contain and deliver that content. We’ll design an effective knowledge schema in cooperation with your domain experts and knowledge administrators. Then, within an agreed-upon scope and timeframe, we’ll build the core knowledge base from which your staff will grow your production knowledge warehouse. Finally, we’ll document the knowledge base design and train your knowledge authors to use the resource. The culmination of this accumulation of knowledge is users having a clear understanding and ability to convert knowledge to understanding and understanding to action.

We also provide a basic service integral to KM initiatives. Virtually every production knowledge base eventually requires tuning, and many organizations, midway through a KM project decide the knowledge base needs a wholesale redesign. St. Andrew’s project team will constantly be assessing the stability of your knowledge base and will be monitoring the KM initiative.

We identify the issues preventing the knowledge base from providing the answers your users need. Then we’ll restructure the knowledge base to improve its reliability and performance. Each of these is typically a several-week commitment. An engagement with St. Andrew generally has at least two phases: Planning and Execution.

Planning Phase

 We stage the Planning Phase services to arrive at a series of strategic questions:

How do we prioritize KM now?

We’ll start with a Knowledge Audit – an onsite consultation where we evaluate the scale and scope of the overall project. It’s designed to provide critical feedback on how you're administering KM, the tools you've chosen, the processes you've developed, the training you provide and the documentation you use – or on your readiness as an organization to do these things. We’ll facilitate a daylong series of meetings and interviews. The agenda is tight, questions are by necessity crisp, and some advance preparation is required. Once we're finished on site, you'll receive a detailed report of our findings and recommendations. You'll have a better picture of the strengths and weaknesses of your present KM program and better prepared to build your case for bigger and better management support for it.

KM Workshops – In some instances, our services begin before complete consensus and buy-in have been achieved for KM. We can participate in management forums organized by you, or develop and conduct seminars at your site for management, supervisor and end user audiences, to explore the potential benefits of the KM initiative, drawing on the experiences of other companies that have implemented KM, and facilitating discussion of your organization’s specific situation. These sessions can be anywhere from two hours to two days, depending on your needs. These services enable you to make a small investment in consulting guidance, so that you can make the most rational go/no go decision on the KM initiative.

 If you elect to proceed, the next decision would be:

 What will we use, what benefit do we expect and how will we measure it?

 Strategy Development – Based on our initial findings, we will ask you to define a strategy and build a brief charter for your KM initiative. We will assist as needed, but fundamentally, this is something in which our client takes the lead.

ROI Analysis – We will work with you to define the potential leverage points where KM will provide cost savings, increase customer satisfaction, or generate revenues. Together, we’ll develop benchmarks (“before KM”), set reasonable goals and determine how we will measure success.

Tool Selection – Most clients have engaged St. Andrew after tools have been selected. Where tools are not yet selected, based on our knowledge, contacts and experience in the knowledge management software field, we would help you:

  • Interpret the RFQ responses from both vendors in the most informed manner possible;

  • Set up the live evaluation process, including company staffing, expectations for both your team and each vendor, timing, practical limitations of the evaluation, etc., so that you get the most out of them;

  • Determine how well each evaluation corresponds to what the vendor claims in the RFQ response and other submissions; and

  • Evaluate the software and the workflow implications for your staff and for other systems.

 Ultimately, we would provide a set of findings for you to use in your selection of a vendor. That would be the principal deliverable.

 How is this effort organized? 

A typical engagement includes time devoted to a KM Organization Review, in which decisions are made on issues such as: 

  • Staffing (either addition of staff exclusively dedicated to KM or assignment of KM roles to current staff) Task descriptions (in the case of new positions, drafting of formal job descriptions)

  • Recruitment

  • Incentive programs

Generally, additional time is devoted to KM Workflow Development, the design of processes for: 

  • Authoring of knowledge – what content consists of, when it will be generated and by whom, and in what context

  • Submission/Administration – how authors will deliver content, how quality will be controlled and traffic will be managed

  • Review and Approval – what sign-offs are needed before content goes into production

  • Publishing – procedures for adding the content to the knowledge base (e.g., will the system have to come down while it is updated?)

  • Review and Revision – identification of aging content for review and revision

  • Service Level Management – development of a service level agreement (SLA) on expectations regarding expected accuracy, timeliness and usability of the knowledge, so that authors, administrators and customers all know what to expect

What constitutes success?

Knowledge Metrics Development – Based on all of the foregoing, and your resources and those provided by the tool vendor, we will design specific reports to measure success and compliance of your knowledge base with your SLA. Core Domain Selection – St. Andrew’s basic strategy is to help you achieve a series of small-scale “wins” leading to continuing enthusiasm, buy-in and management support.

We begin by identifying three to five core domains in which to build pilot knowledge bases during the Execution Phase. Domains are carefully selected areas of knowledge that can be modeled within a reasonable timeframe by a team of subject matter experts and analysts. We attempt to choose a set of domains that, once built, will enable resolution of enough issues to demonstrate real value for your organization.

Implementation and Execution Phase

The actual execution of the KM initiative begins with a re-examination of the tools we will use, recruitment of knowledge authoring teams and training of team members. In this phase, we will guide you through the authoring and publishing of the pilot knowledge bases, using the processes and practices defined during the Planning Phase. As we shake out and sharpen these new processes, we will jointly document them, developing training materials you can use to bring the rest of your team into the final KM program. The execution steps include the following:

  • Tailor the Selected Tool to Process – Once the tool is installed (pilot or production), we will make whatever modifications are needed to accomplish the objectives set during the planning phase. The operating principle is that the tool should conform to the process, NOT vice versa. (Note: This step requires significant involvement on the part of your technical team members responsible for supporting the tools you have adopted.)

  • Develop Workflow-Specific Training – We will jointly develop training materials for the people who will participate in the Execution Phase.

  • Design Knowledge Objects – The selected tool is likely to have specific requirements for formatting and tagging documents or database records as knowledge content. In addition, tools such as search engines can more easily locate content if terminology and style guidelines are adhered to. We will optimize authoring practices in this step. Assemble SME Teams – For each domain, we will recruit a team of authors around one or more subject matter experts.

  • Hold SME Team Working Sessions – With each SME team, we will build the actual content through intensive meetings in which we flowchart the overall logic of the domain. St. Andrew will facilitate these sessions and participants are asked to collect any existing content that could be used in or hyper-linked from the knowledge base. We will divide up authoring responsibilities among team members and schedule completion dates

  • Publish Knowledge – We will move finished and approved knowledge content into the knowledge base tool and test it for accurate retrieval.

  • Beta Test Knowledge Bases – First the team members themselves, then the rest of the staff, will attempt to use the knowledge bases to diagnose and resolve actual customer problems. Where necessary, we will revise or restructure the knowledge bases for more effective use.

  • Document KM Processes and Tools – You will receive Knowledge Management Guidelines, a manual based on everything we have jointly designed and learned through experience, as well as end-user training materials for your knowledge base

  • Train Users  – We participate in the training of your end users for production use of the knowledge tools and the knowledge base. The ultimate objective of the Execution Phase is to enable you to confidently proceed with all aspects of your KM program after the completion of the St. Andrew engagement.


St. Andrew’s adaptable knowledge methodology is unique in many ways. Perhaps it greatest strength is a proven ability to identify key knowledge elements that are required to make a project a success.

By applying proven implementation strategies and a clear understanding of contemporary knowledge management tools St. Andrew Development’s involvement in your knowledge needs assessment and fulfillment design assures a successful project. 

To learn how we can assist you in your knowledge endeavors contact us today at 717-848-5818.

 St. Andrew Development – Touching lives through knowledge delivery systems.