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Developing a Knowledge Management (KM) Initiative or Plan

Some of the key sections of the plan are the Interface Component, Reward or Recognition Program, Process for Processes, and the Taxonomy.

Interface Component

Where do people go to share their information?

NASA developed the Knowledge Map for their organization.

Figure 1:

In the Knowledge Map, the users can easily locate Categories, Centers/Organizations, and Points of Contact or the types of information, such as Case Studies, Publications, Experts, Tools, Communities of Interest, Lessons Learned or Search. Something similar could be created as a landing page or added to an existing landing page. Before the Landing Page can be created, each section and process must be developed.

Case Studies or Publications

Compiling links to existing case studies or publications is a chore initially. Other than hiring researchers or giving “other duties as assigned” to current team members, there are other ways to make this more successful. Ideas that other organizations have used to develop this initially – Create a Contest with an award or Highlight those people who have submitted the most through Newsletters or in a Team Meeting.

Knowledge Services

This section provides a list of the upcoming forums, workshops, Lunch & Learns, Videos, or Points of Contacts from each area. By having one place to go to for all of the organization for these types of activities, it encourages more people to participate and enables those that are interested, but not aware to know whom to contact. The organization should name one person for each type of knowledge area. This will be the person who helps to make sure to that the events for their area are posted.

Online Tools

All the links for all of the Portals, repositories, collaboration tools, sharing sites, and video libraries in one place. No one can complain that they don’t know where to find things. By also providing a list of POCs for each of the types of links and or Help Desks, this provides help to those people who need help accessing.

Knowledge Networks

Where can people find an expert in a field? Where are the community of practices for each of the knowledge areas? How can knowledge exchanges or workspaces occur? By also placing a list of contact information for some of the experts in those areas, it enables others to be able to reach out and get answers to quick turn questions.

Lessons Learned / Process Library

By placing the lessons learned and processes for knowledge sharing, the community can better locate and follow the processes. This is also a good place to put Knowledge Sharing Recognition Programs and Metrics.

Search / Tags and Taxonomy Development

Dedicated search tools or tag and taxonomy that are linked to the content associated all in one place, it enables users to find the information they need and have quick access.

Developing the Reward and Recognition Program

Determine how you are going to reward or recognize people for their use. Will it be verbal with no real cost? Will it be team rewards or individual rewards? Evaluate the metrics that will be needed to be collected to implement. Once the plan and the metrics are in place, the implementation of the plan is the next step. Some of the metrics and rewards that should be considered are:

- Most Processes developed and Most Processes Reviewed

- Leader of the Community of Practice with the most activity

- Creating the most links in the Helpful Links

- Anyone who Hosted Lunch and Learns

What is the Process Developing Processes?

Leadership will need to get involved on this. One of the first steps is to develop the templates and the location for the templates. Once these are in place, tasking for the development. Processes that are not tracked, reviewed, or followed; do not help the organization. Maturity in process improvement is not an overnight process. Depending on your organization’s current maturity, it will depend on if you organization is at the beginning of the process development or focusing more on the process improvement. Some of the process improvement initiatives are CMMI, Lean Six Sigma (LSS), Value Stream Mapping, and Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN).

Developing Taxonomy

Name a Records Manager for the organization. This person will be responsible for developing the taxonomy through collaboration and categorization. It is then up to Senior Leadership to communicate the necessity to work with this taxonomy. This is a major subject and there is no quick fix for this. In order for it to really be used, the records manager must make sure that the whole community has had a chance to provide input into the taxonomy. This will build buy in to the taxonomy and encourage use.

Some good websites for more details are:




If these sections are addressed, the Knowledge Management Initiative will have a solid start to success.

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