Knowledge Management And Indian Power Sector Organizations

Posted in Operations & IT Articles, Total Reads: 2805 , Published on 29 February 2012
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“The only irreplaceable capital an organization possesses is the knowledge and ability of its people. The productivity of that capital depends on how effectively people share their competence with those who can use it”

These words of  Andrew Carnegie, the American steel magnate succinctly highlights the importance of knowledge management in an organization. Knowledge management (KM) refers to the systematic process within an organization to utilize its  information and expertise to improve its responsiveness, innovativeness, productivity and competence. It includes organizational processes like developing  IT infrastructure or information processing systems, and developing a knowledge culture in organization.

Power Sector Organizations

The organizations have understood the importance of knowledge management and have included it as part of their policies. The companies which have been using knowledge management processes have experienced lesser costs, saved time and better results than others which lack in knowledge management.  A company's value is now not determined just by what it has done but by what its potential  is. As a result many companies now show their Knowledge Capital, a measure of their KM infrastructure and employees' expertise, in their financial reports. With growing competition, it has become imperative for all companies to survive and grow, to have an effective KM strategy and Indian power sector companies are not  exception.

Indian power sector which has fifth largest generation capacity of nearly 1.82 GW has grown with an average rate of nearly 3.6% over past 30 years. Presently the sector  is seeing huge investment. By 2014, INR 7.4 lakh crore would be invested in developing infrastructure for generation and transmission of power. But this would not be easy as the sector will have to overcome the challenges of mismanagement, which it has faced in past years. The sector in past has faced challenges like not meeting targets on time and improper inventory management.

To address these issues power sector companies, mainly PSU's,  have formulated KM policies for themselves. The KM initiatives taken by the companies include ERP systems, Intranet, CRM, practices like Kaizen , 6 sigma and TQM, leadership development programs, Communities of Practice(CoPs), incentivizing employees for knowledge sharing.

Acknowledging the importance of Knowledge management, Power Grid Corporation India Limited, a central transmission utility has formulated a Knowledge management policy. Some initiatives taken under this are forming a virtual KM cell at the corporate center, which has professionals from all the departments, and knowledge mapping of the organization. The company has employed a 100GB memory intranet portal, POWERPORTAL and a database management system has also been installed which has information about employees and their expertise, notices, reports about projects completed and undergoing, new developments in the field and, manuals and e-books. To promote the knowledge culture, CoPs are formed in various domains and mentorship programs for new entrants are being conducted. The company incentivises the employees by giving Knowledge Currency Units(KCU's) for knowledge sharing. For the best CoP of  year, a 'Rolling Shield' is awarded to it. The KM cell measures the impact of the KM policy and works to improve it.

This article has been written by Mohit Gauba from IIT Roorkee.

Image: Evgeni Dinev / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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