10 Tips for Starting a KM Program

Stan Garfield

Stan Garfield

August 16, 2018

During my career as a KM practitioner, I have both observed and developed proven practices for leading successful knowledge management programs, and in doing so, have compiled many “Tips Lists” to serve as thought-starters. They’re included in my latest book on promoting knowledge management initiatives within the corporate world; the below list is from Chapter 12: Use the Keys to Success.

  1. Identify the top 3 objectives for your program and focus on meeting the biggest needs of your organization.
  2. Determine who will participate in the program, which basic processes will be required, and how tools should support the people and processes.
  3. Articulate the end-state vision: what does it look like when it is working? Establish a vision for your organizational knowledge ecosystem and relentlessly work towards making that vision a reality.
  4. Start working on getting to the vision right now, in small steps, and with measurable progress. As you achieve results, celebrate your successes, and then raise the bar with steeper goals for the future.
  5. Define compelling use cases. Don’t talk about adoption or rollout of a tool. Talk about the advantages of using it over existing alternatives. Don’t start by rolling out a KM system.
  6. Understand why people don’t share their knowledge. Help them to see why they should share their knowledge.
  7. Set three KM goals for employees. Establish performance and/or promotion requirements for employees that include knowledge sharing. Recognize and reward people for desired knowledge sharing behaviors.
  8. Collect content and connect people. Both collection and connection are valuable, and neither one should be emphasized over the other. Without context, content is not very useful.
  9. Lead by example. Practice what you preach. Model desired behaviors to show others how it’s done.
  10. Implement, improve, and iterate key KM processes and tools. Continue to do so as long as possible.
Stan Garfield

Stan Garfield

Lucidea Press has published my latest book, Proven Practices for Promoting a Knowledge Management Program, which offers advice and insights drawn from my career as a KM practitioner. I hope you find this list of thought-starters relevant and helpful.

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