If you are planning to buy a KM system, or want to migrate/upgrade, you need to think about your organization’s needs both strategically and tactically in order to select the right platform. Here are 10 questions to ask yourself that will help.
While there are lots of synergies between an ILS and a KM system, there are strategic and tactical questions/issues that are particularly relevant to each.
- Want to leverage the wisdom of your end user crowd?
- If so, you might need social sharing capabilities
- How many data silos, uh, repositories do you have?
- A single venue for access to all of them would be powerful
- Would you like to help users spend time finding, not just searching?
- Discovery tools move you beyond search and retrieval
- Need help securing organizational support for KM initiatives with metrics and user data?
- Embedded reporting and analytics via a dashboard are key
- Do you need to be more aligned and integrated with existing IT initiatives?
- Perhaps SharePoint connectivity and robust import/export capabilities are a priority
- Are you trying to offer both structured access and discovery?
- Classic information management techniques still have an important place
- How about a searchable request tracking database… sound good?
- Get away from reinventing the wheel and be more efficient
- You know it’s somewhere… but can you find it?
- Federated search and discovery breaks down the walls
- What’s the name of that practice expert and what office is she in?
- Nontraditional uses for KM tools connect people with people
- Have thirty minutes to get from zero to KM?
- Implementation doesn’t have to take months—and it shouldn’t
There’s a lot to think about when you are managing an organization’s information and knowledge management needs. If you’re considering a KM platform and any of the above questions are relevant to your situation, ask potential vendors if they can help you answer them. We’re betting that will get you down to a short list—let us know!
P.S. Please look for our next blog post on 10 Questions Your ILS Should Help Answer
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Knowledge managers should be active in communities and at conferences, learn from others, gain perspective and apply good ideas to their own programs.
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