Implementing a European KM Approach in a Brazilian Innovation Institute on a Remote Basis


  • Markus Will Fraunhofer IPK
  • Felix Budde Fraunhofer IPK
  • Ronald Orth Fraunhofer IPK
  • Fernanda Neumann SENAI Innovation Institute for Biosynthetics and Fibers (SENAI CETIQT)
  • Victoria Santos SENAI Innovation Institute for Biosynthetics and Fibers (SENAI CETIQT)



Business Process-Oriented KM, Brazil, KM Fitness Check, Business Strategy, Change Management


This case study paper outlines the approach and experiences gained in a KM project conducted between two continents on a completely remote basis – due to the pandemic in 2021. The project scope comprises the systematic initiation, design and implementation of a comprehensive knowledge management system at an innovation institute in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The practical business process-oriented KM (BPO-KM) methodology of the Berlin-based Competence Center Knowledge Management at Fraunhofer IPK, was used to define KM goals, to analyze strengths and gaps in knowledge handling and to set up customized KM action programs.

Starting with the examination of the institute’s business strategy, the overall KM goals were derived together with the institute’s top management and KM core team. According to the holistic KM approach on the levels “People, Organization, Technology”, an online survey (“KM Fitness Check”) was conducted with over 100 respondents. The survey results were discussed in an online kick-off workshop in order to prioritize the main strategic and operational KM challenges.

In online breakout sessions with different working groups, using collaborative online tools, the knowledge flows inside the institute’s value adding core processes were analyzed in depth (“KM Process Profiles”). In parallel, the KM core team was supported to develop a map of the institute’s crucial knowledge to serve as a common taxonomy for the research groups and administrative functions involved in the KM project, such as HR, IT and project management office.

After this initial analysis phase, suitable solutions for the main KM challenges were designed and transformed into three main action programs to start the actual implementation of the institute’s KM system. In a preliminary evaluation, a systemic controlling logic was defined to keep track on results, benefits and impacts of the KM actions regarding the institute’s business strategy.

Major learnings, discussed in this paper, include the following findings: a) accompanying change management and communication from the beginning is key to keep motivation high, b) connecting KM to other organizational functions is crucial to anchor KM in the organization, c) remote and online project collaboration bears advantages and drawbacks.