Most people think of Knowledge Management (KM) as the saving and reuse of documents. Though a great start it’s not be complete view of KM.
KM is essentially the process of leveraging Enterprise assets to:
  • Better service clients
  • Reduce time to market for products and services
  • Create stronger lasting relationships with clients
  • Create staff performance efficiences
  • Reduce project delivery costs
  • Create IP

Often, most companies implement tools but don’t address the cultural implications. For example, at a leading hardware manufacturer employees contributing to KM activities were negatively impacted during their performance review due to KM time tracking codes not contributing to the bottom line. As a result, contributions from the communities were not as strong as they could be. The manufacturer corrected this problem by establishing time tracking codes, incorporating KM into the employee performance appraisel process, offering incentives based on contributions and by establishing a steering committee with regional representatives.

Tools must integrate into the workers daily routine to facilitate user adoption. A best practice is to invest in tools that integrate with common productivity tools such as MS Office products. By doing so users have access and visibility to the tools and are therefore more likely to use them.

Successful KM strategies typically consist of the following key areas of focus:

  • Get all employees to actively participate in knowledge sharing and reuse.
  • Capture key information on all work performed so that everyone will know what others have done and whom to contact for further details.
  • Reuse intellectual capital on each new project.
  • Make it easy for employees to find the information they need to do their jobs.
  • Measure and reward knowledge sharing and reuse.

From an execution perspective, the realization of benefits and the initial deployment of a KM plan varies depending upon the maturity and size of the organization. For self study, please refer to Amazon.