In my upcoming book on promoting knowledge management initiatives within the corporate world, I share a number of useful KM components that can be mixed and matched to suit an organization’s specific needs. Please read on for a sneak preview.
While there is no one-size-fits-all knowledge management strategy, there are specific components from which to select, based on organizational requirements and resources. Below are a baker’s dozen of the 50 KM Components you’ll learn about in my new book, Proven Practices for Promoting a Knowledge Management Program.
- User surveys and employee satisfaction surveys: periodic surveys to determine user preferences, needs and challenges, and to determine how employees view a KM program and its components
- Social networks: collections of people who are acquainted or connected as friends, business contacts or colleagues, and communicate, collaborate, or help one another as needed
- Communities: groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and deepen their understanding and knowledge of this area by interacting on an ongoing basis
- Goals and measurements: employee goals included in performance plans, and measurements to track performance against those goals and other operational indicators
- Incentives and rewards: programs designed to encourage compliance with goals, improve performance against metrics, and increase participation in KM initiatives—include tangible rewards, recognition, and competitive rankings
- Capture: collecting documents, presentations, spreadsheets, records, processes, software source code, images, audio, video, and other files that can be used for innovation, reuse, and learning
- Reuse: putting to practical use the captured knowledge, community suggestions, and collaborative assistance provided through knowledge sharing
- Lessons learned: explaining what an individual or team has learned as a result of their experience—using documents, presentations, discussions, and recordings. These include what they tried, what worked, what didn’t work, what to do, what to avoid, problems faced, how problems were solved, what they would do differently, and key insights and nuggets
- Proven practices: selecting, documenting, and replicating processes that have proven to improve business results so that others in similar environments or with similar needs can benefit from the proven successes
- Classification: creating and maintaining a taxonomy that can be used to organize information so it can be readily found through navigation, search, and links between related content
- Workflow: embedding knowledge creation, capture, and reuse in business processes so that these steps happen routinely as part of normal work
- Portals: websites that provide personalized capabilities to users through the use of customization, building blocks, and integration of multiple sources
- Expertise locators and “ask the expert”: systems for finding experts on particular subjects, allowing individuals to enter details about what they know and can do, and others to search for all people having desired skills, experience, or knowledge; systems for asking questions of experts and getting the answers
The user interface is the knowledge management system point of entry providing navigation, search, communications, an index, a knowledge map, and links.
Best KM search engines enable searching for sites, documents, files, lists, content, and answers to questions, plus ability to search on text or metadata
Knowledge managers use taxonomy, folksonomy, metadata and tags to classify content so it’s easily discoverable through navigation, search and links.
KM leaders should base strategy on user input to determine needs to address. Conduct surveys to capture challenges, opportunities, and suggestions.