Friday, October 21, 2005

November meeting: CoP's at NSLS

Community of Practices at the North Suburban Library System

As always, the meeting will be from 5-7 pm on the 2nd Tuesday (Nov 8th)
The speakers will be at the Allstate location in Northbrook, and we will have our normal webcast to FActiva in the Loop.

Abstract: The North Suburban Library System (NSLS) is a multi-type consortium serving more than 650 member libraries in the northwest suburbs of Illinois. NSLS needed a way for its members to enhance their face-to-face networking meetings and communicate more effectively in an electronic environment. This presentation will give an overview of NSLS’s KM initiative with an in-depth look at the implementation of Community of Practices (CoPs) among our membership. We'll explore how we went about creating the CoPs in-house, gathering feedback, and making enhancements. We'll discuss internal and external marketing of the CoPs as well as the lessons learned throughout. Finally, we'll talk about our success with the CoPs and our KM initiative and what's planned for the future.

Christina Stoll is the Knowledge Manager and Special Library Liaison for the North Suburban Library System, spear heading their Knowledge Management Initiative. Her work in libraries began in 1995 and she has been working for NSLS for the past four years, have recently taken over as Member Liaison to the Special Libraries. Christina’s expertise is with project management of the KM Initiative, taxonomies, organizational development and staff training. She earned her Masters in Library and Information Science degree from Dominican University in 2001. Christina has presented on NSLS’s KM Initiative several times, most recently at APQC’s annual conference in May 2005, and will be speaking at the 8th Annual Braintrust International 2006 in February.

Debbie Baaske is the Special Projects Coordinator and Academic Library Liaison for the North Suburban Library System. She has over six years experience training and presenting on library related issues. Recently she presented at Infotoday, LITA (Libraries in Technology) and APQC on Knowledge Management and will present at the 8th Annual Braintrust International 2006 in February. Debbie's expertise is with CoPs as the leader of the team that has created over 19 CoPs for NSLS' member libraries. Debbie earned her Masters in Library Science from Long Island University and her Bachelors in Business Administration from St. Joseph's College. Prior to working as a consultant at NSLS, Debbie worked as a trainer/customer support specialist for a software company.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

December Meeting Information

Tuesday, December 13
5PM - 6PM
Factiva, One S. Wacker Drive, 22nd floor
Please note: at this location only since we are having a videoconference and wine tasting

Using Text mining and Visualization to Make Sense of Content Chaos

What are text mining and visualization and how can these new technologies impact your business? Text mining is the use of advanced technology to analyze content and discover emerging trends via reports or on screen visualizations. Learn how several technologies can be used to extract value from large amounts of content, allowing the user to monitor existing issues and spot new opportunities or threats, thereby serving as an early warning system for organizations.
Speaker: Glenn Fannick, Factiva Product Development Manager

6PM - 7PM
Holiday wine tasting conducted by Randy Russell, Wine Expressions
Cost: $10 per person

Thursday, October 06, 2005

CNA Location and Dial-In for Oct 11 meeting

If you are joining us a CNA in the Loop, please print this and bring it along. Many thanks to CNA for hosting this month. (To clarify, we will also be hosting the virtual meeting at the regular Allstate location.)

Location - CNA Plaza:
333 S Wabash - the red high rise.
Enter on Wabash side
Proceed to sign-in table on the south end of the plaza.
We'll take the elevator to the second floor and follow the signs to conference room 210.

Dial-in / Webinar:
  1. Dial into 877-262-3500 (US Toll-free). Or, in Home Office, just dial ext. 3500
  2. Press 1 to attend the meeting
  3. Follow the prompts to enter the Meeting ID 195971 and join the meeting

  1. Go to
  2. Sign in as Guest or with your CNA MeetingPlace account. Press Enter or Click Attend Meeting (Accept any security warnings you receive and wait for the MeetingPlace to initialize)
  3. Click on the Phone Icon to have the system call you or simply follow the Voice Conference instructions above
For more information about this particular MeetingPlace Conference, please contact the meeting organizer: Robert Guardi, 312-822-4189.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

CNA’s Performance Support Tool - Oct 11th

The October 11th meeting of KM Chicago will be at CNA Insurance in the Loop, rather than at Factiva. Directions and webinar information available shortly.

Abstract: The concept of CNA’s Performance Support Tool (PST) originated with business requirements to satisfy an ever-challenging business issue – “to deliver expert information to users at the right time and in the right place”. The concept of performance support is important as it indicates CNA's commitment to using Knowledge Management (KM) best practices to achieve measurable results. The relationship between knowledge management and performance support is straightforward: KM tools, techniques, strategies, and processes serve as the enablers of performance support. In this view, performance support answers the question of why CNA is engaging in KM-related initiatives. Similarly, KM initiatives provide the answer of how CNA will be executing and supporting performance support initiatives.

CNA’s Knowledge and Learning Group centrally manages the collection, clustering, sharing and presentation of knowledge, manuals, guidelines, procedures, and management of content. The PST aids this business process by providing an electronic easy-to-navigate user interface that provides anytime, anywhere access to knowledge.

The tool is built on collaboration software that has been customized to allow pre-selected business subject matter experts to manage their own content without knowing any specific programming language. The tool integrates common communication software (i.e. email, corporate portal, instant messenger) and a “Google-like” search to allow for both push and pull of expert information. Content is loaded into a business process-based taxonomy that is pre-developed by a core group of subject matter experts. The PST requires that the content owner add meta-tags to all information. Some examples of required meta-tags are: effective dates (go-live date), expiration date (date that the content will be deleted unless refreshed by the content owner), key words (acronyms or common misspellings), and a content owner (an active CNA employee).

Users are able to search within their own function or across multiple functions for key information needs. Additionally a user can provide direct feedback to the content owner’s through the tool. This feature has created a heightened awareness of the content’s accuracy, clarity and quality.

In sum, CNA’s Performance Support Tool enhances CNA's business operations through the careful growth and development of critical information, knowledge tools and resources.

Jay Kostrzewa, PMP, is the Assistant Vice President in the Knowledge and Learning Group for CNA Financial. Mr. Kostrzewa is responsible for CNA's Knowledge Management program, IT Learning and Development curriculum, and Learning Systems and Metrics. He has been responsible for CNA's Knowledge Management for the past 4 years. Prior to CNA, Jay led Whirlpool Europe's (Milan, Italy) Knowledge Management practices within their Finance department.

He holds a MBA in International Marketing and Finance from DePaul University.

Brooke Lord is the Operations Consultant for CNA's collaboration tools. Brooke joined CNA in 1994 and has held a myriad of roles. She started on the business side of the house in Risk Control and eventually made her way to CNA's Knowledge & Learning Group in 2002 focusing on Performance Management. In 2004, she moved to KM within KLG. Her prior experience includes Risk Control work for three other insurance carriers over a span of 21 years.

On a personal note, Brooke is walking a bit gingerly of late as she ran her second Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 2.

Bob Guardi is a Project Manager in the Knowledge & Learning Group (KLG). He has managed or advised on various KM type projects at CNA for the past 4 years including Executive Dashboards, Expert Locator, Online Reference Centers, Taxonomy Development, Application User Interface (Usability), and Portals. Bob is the hands-on administrator for many of the KLG applications and adviser for most KLG technology initiatives. His prior experience includes 4 years in CNA IT leading a development team as well as programming client/server applications. Before coming to CNA he was a programmer and network administrator for a Market Research company based in Chicago.

Brian Richardson, PMP, is the president of Richardson Consulting Group (RCG), a management consulting firm with expertise in knowledge management, talent management, process improvement, and technology deployment. Mr. Richardson specializes in the financial services industries and his recent engagements include work at CNA, Wells Fargo, HomeBanc Mortgage and First American Tax Services. Prior to RCG, Mr. Richardson was a project manager at Allstate and a Senior Manager in the Financial Services practice at Accenture.