MIS Quarterly Executive


Over a period of eight years, 1995-2003, J.D. Edwards evolved three innovative approaches to knowledge management (KM). The evolution in each started with a grass-roots team effort and grew to become an institutionalized enterprise application. With limited resources, J.D. Edwards has built a Global Web site Community, a sophisticated intranet/extranet (called the Knowledge Garden?), and a content management application (called Content Manager) that allows people to reuse multilingual technical documents, drawing them from a "single source" location. The evolution of these three projects is analyzed using a four-phase stage model and illustrates 12 lessons for others on how to more effectively plan an enterprise KM project, anticipate change, and set appropriate expectations. In the initiation stage, organizations need to identify and encourage an evangelist or champion to gain executive support and sponsorship. In the contagion stage, organizations need to establish content ownership and useful standards, and devise innovative ways of aligning the KM project with revenue generation. In the control stage, organizations need to anticipate the ongoing needs of updating the technologies and improving the governance processes. Finally, in the integration stage, organizations need to find a unifying vision and use techniques that will institutionalize knowledge management. The impact of these enterprise content management initiatives at J.D. Edwards has been considerable. Early ROI studies on the Knowledge Garden indicated an 1811% return, totaling $5 million annually in saved time and reduced paper costs. Content Manager, with a 270% ROI the first year, has been a consistent revenue driver, delivering over $7 million to the bottom line by early 2003¨C-and an additional $7.5 million from the Web-based training tool and courseware. By February 2002, jdedwards.com was driving over $10 million worth of pipeline leads.