Originally published Feb 17, 2020
Q1: Why is identifying objectives is so important in setting a knowledge management strategy?
A1: Knowledge management initiatives often start out by rolling out a tool such as Microsoft SharePoint, implementing KM processes recommended by consultants, following the prescriptions of KM maturity models, copying what other organizations have done, or doing the bidding of a single leader. These approaches may have some limited success, but are unlikely to endure if they do not address the most important needs of the organization.
Identifying the top objectives includes finding the intersection of what top leaders want, what the front-line workers need, and what the top business goals of the organization are. Those priorities that fall into all three categories are the ones to which the KM strategy should be aligned. Doing so will satisfy both the top leaders and the rest of the organization and motivate people to participate in the KM program and its activities. If it helps the organization to achieve its business goals, it is likely to be funded, supported, and continued.
- Identifying the Top 3 Objectives for a KM Program
- Tips for Starting a KM Program
- What are the steps for building knowledge management in an organization?
- 10 Types of Knowledge Management Strategies
- Knowledge Management Sins, Pitfalls, Mistakes, and Causes of Failure
Q2: What are the best techniques to encourage collaboration?
A2: Communities of practice, web conferences, and face-to-face meetings are all important enablers of collaboration. Communities are the killer app of knowledge management. If you can only implement one of the 50 KM components, this is the one to choose. Community conference calls and webinars are powerful knowledge-sharing events that go well beyond online discussions; they deepen shared understanding. If communities are able to meet in person, the result is a collaborative learning space where people can establish trusting relationships that endure well beyond the end of the meeting.
- Communities of Practice
- Communities Manifesto: 10 Principles for Successful Communities
- 10 Tips for Leading Communities
- Virtual Meeting Rooms, Web/Video/Audio Conferencing, Telepresence
- 10 Tips for Successful Face-to-Face Meetings
Q3: How can organizational information be consolidated to make it easier to access?
Conduct a resource survey to find out what repositories and systems already exist. Then work to integrate and consolidate as many as possible, retire those that are no longer needed, and improve the user experience of navigating, searching, and retrieving content.
The first step is to review and update the overall information architecture. An experienced information architect should be hired or contracted to do this work. The resulting recommendations should be implemented for improving the infrastructure, user interface, and enterprise search.
- KM Resource Survey
- Are you content with your content?
- Improving enterprise search results: Why don’t you just tell me what you need?
- Search Engines and Enterprise Search
- User Interface, User Experience & Usability for Knowledge Management
Q4: What kind of culture should an organization have for knowledge management to be most effective?
A4: A positive culture is needed for knowledge management and knowledge sharing to thrive. Attributes of a positive culture include: caring, collaborative, cooperative, networked, decisive, egalitarian, supportive, open, sharing, trusting, transparent, fair, inclusive, willing to try new ways, giving credit, adopting good ideas, volunteering, communicative, bold, respectful, honest, responsive, thorough, nurturing, generous, helpful, altruistic, appreciative, pleasant, accepting responsibility, and optimistic.