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Evolving OGKM into IKL

Olympic Flag IOC
19 Dec 2019
OGKM is becoming Information, Knowledge and Games Learning, short IKL. Following several discussions early in 2019, it became clear that the vision and direction for information services needed a refresh. At the same time, an increased focus had been placed in the preceding few years (within OGKM) on the development of learning products and services in support of our OCOG friends, and these needed to keep evolving. There are three aspects of IKL that it is important to highlight in this newsletter: the aims, the drivers for change, and how IKL will work.

What are the aims for IKL?

In the initial phase, there are two priority aims:

First, IKL will create a bridge between the Games Department and the Technology and Information Department (DTI) to consolidate information assets, create new assets, and seek out innovations in the way that IOC handles knowledge. This will ensure that the evolving learning needs of Games delivery are fully supported. To put it another way, IKL will be working hard to shorten information acquisition time, and we will be doing this hand in glove with the evolution of the Games learning services.

Second, IKL will capitalise on the Games data capture project. We are beginning to collect a significant amount of structured information going back to the London Games. We will create a business intelligence capability that allows this information to be interrogated. The resulting analysis will support several Olympic Agenda 2020/New Norm initiatives that can be effective only with reliable data and accurate analytics.

What are the drivers for change?

The following elements explain the core rationale for IKL. These aspects have been at the heart of the reflective process as to why the evolution was necessary.

CONTEXT: It is no longer enough to simply transfer static documents from one OCOG to the next – we need to provide the right context for each OCOG and a meaningful learning layer that clearly articulates desired outcomes, to fully support change.

RELEVANCE: As the Games evolve, we must retire blocks of knowledge which are no longer relevant and place an emphasis on creating new, original content with faster production cycles.

PEOPLE: Planning processes for the human resource evolution of the OCOGs, focusing much more on organisation design, capabilities and required skills, is essential – the learning must, after all, be embedded in the people who deliver the Games to be effective.

SYSTEMS: Increasing integration with DTI is essential to promote the use of information systems that meet the expectations of new users. These systems must deliver structured and unstructured information on multiple screen sizes, must provide high-quality search, and must be able to group core content by activity – just-in-time, point-in-time consumption of information.

EXPERIENCE: To experience the Games these days you need much more than just an accreditation and access to transport. There has been a progressive adoption of experiential learning to ensure that plans can be tested in a real environment. These hands-on learning opportunities are in ever increasing demand, for the OCOGs but also for the IOC. IKL allows us to develop and grow experiential learning opportunities.

DATA: If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it! Technology is often perceived as knowing everything about systems, but it is often hard to gain a good understanding of what the data in those systems means and what decisions can be made from that data. Business users, in contrast, often know what the data means but don’t know how to structure, organise or describe their data. IKL allows us to develop self-service options that keep up with the demand for analytic capability.

How will IKL work?

Essentially, we will put in place a portfolio management approach, governed by a steering committee that includes key people from Games and DTI. The two portfolios will group the main projects into “Games Learning” and “Information and Knowledge”. All of the projects in the portfolios are currently being re-initiated so we are clear where each fits in and what each will achieve. We will of course communicate more on the details of each project as we progress, but the main aspects can be summarised as follows:

The Games Learning Portfolio will be delivered to the GDO (as the gateway to the OCOGs). It will focus on three main areas:

  • Games Experience: enhancing experiential learning opportunities for key identified stakeholders in support of Games Delivery priorities.
  • Organisation Design: developing clear priorities for the OCOG that support its effective evolution. New advisory services in this area are envisaged.
  • Learning and Development: following the organisation design, clarifying what products and services are relevant to support the work of the GDO with the OCOG.



The Information and Knowledge Portfolio will be delivered to the IOC and key stakeholders. Support for this portfolio will be secured from specialist consultants to ensure we are taking advantage of the right opportunities with the right focus. The DTI business relationship managers will have an important role to play in delivering many of these projects. Currently, the focus is on the following priority areas:

  • Enterprise Information Management: re-invigorating information governance and associated architecture, plus the end-to-end lifecycle management of key information assets. We will also refresh the various information standards and definitions we use daily to ensure common understanding, consistency and accuracy (so called “Master Data Management”).
  • Knowledge development: implementing various information harvesting processes that allow us to convert the significant amount of tacit knowledge in the organisation into business value. We will use predominantly audio-visual techniques that we have trialled in the Games environment to achieve this.
  • Self-service analytics: these are B2B-focused activities, inside the IOC, to ensure we have a better understanding of Games operations data in support of a variety of optimisation projects being run under the umbrella of Olympic Agenda 2020/the New Norm. Perhaps the best way to think about this is as developing a capability to connect managers in the IOC with timely, meaningful insights that are organised and packaged visually, so that they are understandable when making decisions about Games delivery. The data we will use is derived from multiple Games operations data sources, some we harvest and aggregate, and some we physically collect though the data capture project, which is being expanded for Tokyo 2020.

Below is a simple chart that illustrates the high-level business architecture for IKL.



It is fair to say that we are at the “end of the beginning” regarding IKL. There is a long way to go, but the new direction is strategically important, and everyone involved looks forward to developing the many projects over the coming period. We will communicate more on the plans and progress in a variety of ways going into 2020. Watch this space!

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