What are the organizations Goals for Knowledge Management (KM)? This will help with the scope of the effort. Example below.
Knowledge Management is the enabler to achieve the organizations
strategic objectives better and faster, by making the
right knowledge available to the right people at the right time.
This can only be accomplished through developing an integrated set of processes, roles, systems, and behavioral interventions aimed at achieving the organizations strategic goals.
Make sure you have the Leadership and Governance Structure in place
1. Identify organizational priorities and align KM efforts around them
2. Define performance measures for KM
3. Identify and put the right people in the different KM roles
4. Create a structure and pace for regular review of progress and results
5. Provide visibility and recognition for knowledge sharing and results
Knowledge management cannot occur in a small group. Creating a culture of knowledge management, which encourages sharing of information, is key to success. There are some key roles that are needed for success – Knowledge Champion, Knowledge Manager, Chief Knowledge Officer and Researcher/Moderators.
Knowledge Champion (KC)
There should be a knowledge champion, who is a senior person from each area, who is an lead in that domain area. That person should take overall ownership of their minimum amounts of targets for published content or results. This person should also encourage employees to participate, approve/filter content, help define a community of experts for their domain, and help to define success criteria. This is a few hours here and there and should be rotated around to other participants – to help gain buy in.
Knowledge Manager (KM)
There should be a knowledge manager, who is a manager familiar with the domain. This person will facilitate process development for sharing and replication of materials. They must be able to identify best practices and work with the knowledge Champion on the development of best practices. They will encourage use of the site and lead the development of reward/recognition programs for their area. They would track that others are posting relevant material, links, and transactions. There is typically one KM for each domain.
Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO)
The CKO is management level and must have (or acquire) a reasonable understanding of how each of the domains of the organization work together with knowledge. This person works closely with the managers and champions across the organization. They lead the charge in the development of processes, which try to encourage cross organizational methods. They set minimum targets for use and create overarching benefits or reward programs for use, through recognition and support.
These are the people that are working in each of the domains. They monitor and research for the development of the best practices, led by the managers and champions. They help to moderate by pooling the organization for responses and discussions. They can act ask the Knowledge Manager for the domain.
Once you know why you are building a Knowledge Management Plan; you know how you will do it, through roles and processes; you need to begin the milestones and planning to get there.
The KM Processes that the group are building are a key piece to the puzzle. Having them in an area where they will be readily available is only one piece to this. Also need to ensure that they are reviewed, tested, and have been developed in a way that ensured the inclusion of the appropriate stakeholders.
Developing the Plan
The leadership is onboard, there are a group of people who have tasks that will help to ensure that the steps are in place and the targets of success are defined – Now what?
Organizationally make sure to recognize and reward success. This has come up before – Why? Because it is so important. Without a benefit for why it should be done, some people will be reluctant to change the old way. They have been doing it that way for so long.
Realign the KPIs for the organization and the Performance appraisal system so that it will also include rewarding knowledge sharing. Constant communication from leadership on why it is important is key, as it will help to ensure that the expectations of culture and behavior are communicated. Senior Leadership must use the system. They can’t keep information to themselves. They need to share – or risk others thinking that leadership is all talk on the matter.
How well did you do? Have things been improving? How have the increased knowledge improved the strategic goals? What are some of the examples of the metrics? Number of shared knowledge resources under each of the business areas and the number of completed transactions. Another might be the number of best practices developed and the number of times the best practices were referred to or utilized.
Technology to Support
Technology should not be the driver in your KM Plan, it should only be one piece in the plan. Technology can be a very integral part of the overall success. Some of the ways it can be used are:
A Portal or Collaboration space for knowledge sharing and communication
A method of virtual conferences or instant communication
A Wiki or repository for Best Practices
A set taxonomy (think glossary of common terms), which helps the organization to organize content and enables quick searches for retrieval. When everyone understands the structure and can quickly find items, they are more likely to use the knowledge.
Virtual communities of Domain knowledge. This will enable the development of experts and enable those that are not experts to learn and understand that domain better.
Processes in place, which include onboarding, and training techniques will ensure that new people understand and ingrain the processes into the culture of the organization.
When all of these pieces are in place, Knowledge Management (KM) will make an impact on the Strategic Goals of the organization. Knowledge is power and the more people in the organization that have power, the stronger the organization will be as a whole.