Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ten KM Tips

A number of people have commented directly or indirectly (Sathya Pandalai, Stephen Collins, Stan Garfield, Matt Moore, David Carlisle) on a post I made to the actKM Forum discussion list last week.

This has motivated me to dig up my old blog, dust it off and make a commitment to update it at least weekly (don't hold me to that).

So here is the original post of the Top Ten KM Tips I provided to a friend. These are things I have picked up over time. I am not claiming them all as my own, they are what I talk to fellow KM people about when we get together. I am sure I will come up with more. Feel free to add comments.

Today a friend of mine (non-KM person) ask me the following question through facebook:

"If you had to give your top ten tips on the best strategies for knowledge management in an organisation, what would they be??"

After thinking a bit, here was my rushed response.

Depends on what the organisations strategic intent is. Depends on what your organisations strengths are and the corporate culture.

Apart from that, here are a few tips. (Most of these relate to change management and could be considered for other initiatives/programs).

  1. Manage the Change. Undertake any of these activities from a change management perspective, even IT related ones. Don't just manage the change around the initiatives
  2. People before Technology. Spend money on travel and socialising before technology.
  3. Behavioural Change. People have to be open to supporting new/different practices. They need to adapt to change. They need to see the value to them/others.
  4. Organisational Culture. Depending on what the corporate and people culture is like will depend on whether KM efforts will survive. Examples could be that reward structures are personally focused and support a competitive environment so people may not be inclined to share.
  5. Strategic Alignment. Activities need to support the direction and priorities of the organisation. This also assists in getting things approved/endorsed.
  6. KM in the wild. Find out where knowledge creation and sharing is already happening in the organisation and study it. Learn why it has been successful (don't just copy it) to help design other activities.
  7. Technology is an enabler. Design the process/system and then look for technologies that enable this. E.g. Don't install a wiki and then look for what you can use it for. Work out what you want to do and then see what tools are suitable to support it.
  8. Adopt KM Principles. Don't introduce separate KM processes. Modify your business processes to adopt KM principles.
  9. Don't stop at the first solution. Consider different options, methods, frameworks and see what works. Experiment.
  10. Motivation. It's not necessarily about reward and recognition. You need to find out how to motivate people to play the game.

What would your tips be?



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