Originally published June 23, 2019

Q: I’m currently in internal communications at my company (a large health care company with about 90,000 employees). Our team has been driving KM efforts for several years and we are finally in a position where we can ask for a dedicated team for managing knowledge and our digital workplace.

Do you have any existing resources you could share or specific advice for the kinds of roles that make a KM program successful outside of the knowledge managers/specialists themselves? (User experience, data analyst, business analyst, people who specialize in training content owners, etc.)

A: Roles include having responsibility for one or more of the 50 KM components or the 100 KM specialties I have defined. Here are some specific examples:

  1. Knowledge Managers and KM Leaders
  2. Knowledge Brokers, KM User Assistants, and Knowledge Help Desk Agents
  3. Community Managers
  4. Content Creators, Curators, and Content Managers
  5. Intranet Site Editors and Web Developers
  6. Taxonomists
  7. Information Architects
  8. User Experience Designers
  9. KM Project Managers
  10. KM Technology Specialists, e.g., Microsoft SharePoint, Atlassian Confluence

KM programs can use these types of expertise:

  1. Change management
  2. Collaboration and communities of practice
  3. Learning and training
  4. Gamification and digital badging
  5. Social Network Analysis
  6. Expertise location
  7. Communications
  8. Knowledge transfer
  9. Knowledge-Centered Service
  10. Content management and document management
  11. Analytics and visualization
  12. Project management
  13. Agile development
  14. Knowledge audit and knowledge mapping
  15. Appreciative inquiry and positive deviance
  16. Storytelling and narrative
  17. Information architecture
  18. Design thinking
  19. Usability, user interface, and user experience
  20. Enterprise search and findability
  21. Taxonomy and ontology
  22. Portals and intranets
  23. Big data and business intelligence
  24. Digital workplace and digital experience
  25. Cognitive computing and artificial intelligence

There are many different roles that participants in a KM program need to play. Some will be providers and some will be consumers of knowledge. Most people will be expected to perform multiple roles. Following is a list of roles.

  1. leader: defines and communicates the core values of the organization, sets and communicates direction and goals, and inspects and ensures performance
  2. knowledge manager or assistant: leads and supports the KM program as full-time or part-time jobs
  3. survey taker, administrator, or creator: provides user input by participating in taking and administering surveys
  4. networker, connector, or collaborator: connects with other people as part of a social network or community and helps them out as needed
  5. community member or manager: participates in or leads communities of practice
  6. student, teacher, or training developer: takes, teaches, or develops training courses
  7. reader or author: reads or writes user documentation
  8. methodology user or developer: uses or designs standard methodologies
  9. inventor or innovator: creates new knowledge
  10. contributor, content owner, curator, or content user: shares, provides, curates, or reuses knowledge
  11. reporting consumer or provider: uses or creates metrics reports
  12. change agent: enables process or culture change to occur
  13. process user or provider: uses or creates work processes
  14. inquirer or searcher: asks questions or searches for content
  15. storyteller: uses narrative to motivate others to take action, build trust, transmit values, get others working together, share knowledge, tame the grapevine, and create and share a vision of the future
  16. tool user or provider: uses or creates tools and systems
  17. threaded discussion participant or moderator: participates in or leads threaded discussions
  18. expertise locator or provider: locates expertise or serves as an expert for others
  19. taxonomy governor: defines and maintains a standard classification system used for metadata, navigation, and searching
  20. tagger: applies metadata tags to content so that searches and aggregators will find it
  21. archiver: archives content so that it is preserved
  22. blogger: publishes blog entries, links to other blogs, and responds to comments
  23. wiki author: edits wiki entries or creates wikis to allow cooperative editing
  24. podcaster or vlogger: records and distributes audio or video broadcasts
  25. subscriber, syndicator, or publisher: subscribes to news, blogs, wikis, podcasts; syndicates or aggregates any of these; or publishes any of these

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Stan Garfield

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager https://sites.google.com/site/stangarfield/