Jan 312017

AJ Rhem Logo with Tag LineKnowledge is recognized as a valuable asset in organizations across many industries. How knowledge is shared, leveraged, obtained and managed will be the difference in how successful and sustainable an organization will become. The use of knowledge management principles, practices and procedures has expanded enormously in recent years. This expansion has also brought about the proliferation of knowledge management systems in its many forms, Contact Center Knowledge Repositories, Expertise Locators, Content Management, Document Management, Knowledge Repositories/Libraries, Social Media Applications, Decision Support Systems, to name a few. The inclusion of KM from a strategic point of view to streamline revenue, increase revenue, improve performance, attract/retain customers and manage human capital have enabled organizations to maintain and/or improve their competitive edge. Knowledge Management in Practice is a resource which presents how KM is being implemented along with specific KM Methods, tips, techniques and best practices to get the most out of your KM investment.

This blog post features two videos from the presentation of my latest book: Knowledge Management in Practice. This presentation was conducted at the Knowledge Management Institute (KMI) Certified Knowledge Manager (CKM) training class held in Washington DC.

The second video features the question and answer session that followed. Feel free to ask questions regarding the book here on this blog and/or make comments on YouTube. I look forward to hearing from everyone!





Dec 092015

EducationAs knowledge management challenges once again top the agenda of many CEOs, an emphasis on getting more value from corporate knowledge assets has heightened the interest in knowledge management as a professional area of practice. Providing education in KM, which can include specialized courses, seminars, certifications, and formal undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs are leading the way in preparing future KM practitioners to meet this challenge. On the other hand it has also raised questions about the educational foundation needed to support the profession.

Despite the wealth of published and informal literature, although derived from practice, and dialog on the foundational learning needs of KM practitioners, there is no consensus on what comprises a professional education and training in knowledge management. In 2011 the Knowledge Management Education Forum (KMEF) a collaboration between Kent State University and George Washington University was formed. “The mission of KMEF in part is to provide an on-going, annual dialog to identify and grow consensus on the knowledge management body of knowledge, competencies, roles and curriculum. The goal of the KMEF is to create an environment in which a consensus can evolve. It brings together the current and past thought leaders in the field of knowledge management to discuss their work and to open the dialog where others can contribute” (KMEF – 2011).

Besides the educational options mentioned above, KM education opportunities are occurring in KM-focused departments, which are delivering subject-specific education and strategic learning programs. All of these KM educational products must operate under one cohesive and holistic set of standards and policies in order to provide the KM practitioners with consistent industry recognized education. According to the KMEF, a special effort will be needed to connect the various educational entities to the business community and vice versa, while providing “the core and elective elements of a knowledge management curriculum for the 21st century (KMEF – 2011).

Participating in the KMEF it was generally recognized that while “there is general agreement that KM, knowledge services, and knowledge strategy require, an understanding of shared concepts, a basic lexicon, and some level of mutual understanding about the elements and framework of KM, there continues to be concern that too much “standardization” might work against the success of KM in the workplace” (KMEF – 2011).

As a KM practitioner who has (and continues to) work across various and different sectors and industries of the 21st-century “knowledge economy” I recognize that every organization is different and therefore the success of KM, knowledge services, and knowledge strategy in each is going to depend on how well the elements of knowledge management align with the corporate objectives, unique management methodologies and leadership structures of the various organizations implementing KM programs.

As knowledge management education evolves for the 21st century and beyond, especially as the delivery of education and the workforce becomes more mobile there is a need to establish a philosophy of teach and learn anywhere and anytime. This will facilitate the need to incorporate standards for KM course design, need to provide students (class participants) a practical way to apply KM, deliver technology that will facilitate the ability to teach and learn anywhere and anytime, provide learning outcomes and assess them, provide an understanding of the various KM roles and their responsibilities.

Roles and Responsibilities of Knowledge Professionals

The roles of knowledge professionals cover areas from strategic, tactical, program related to executing specific projects and system development. The KM roles and responsibilities vary according to the category in which the knowledge professional works. The roles and responsibilities depicted here (see Table 1: KM Roles, Responsibilities & Core Competencies) consists of but are not limited to Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO), KM Program Manager, KM Project Manager, KM Director, Operations KM Director, KM Author, KM Lead, KM Liaison, KM Specialist, KM System Administrator, Knowledge Engineer, Knowledge Architect, KM Writer, Knowledge Manager, and KM Analyst.

Core KM Competencies

In determining core KM competencies we must first understand what it takes to perform in the various KM roles and execute their responsibilities.  The KM core competencies include: connecting education and strategic learning competencies with skill and ability in knowledge strategy development and operationalization, collaboration, leadership and management skills, plus technical competencies.

Knowledge management has both soft and hard competencies. The soft competencies include ensuring that knowledge processing is aligned with the organizations business goals and objectives, and is integrated into the organization’s everyday business and work. It also includes software development, business and systems architecture and workflow management. The hard competencies include elicitation and representation of knowledge (both tacit and explicit) and it also includes structural knowledge in the form of business rules and business process.

The KM Competency Model

Knowledge Management (KM) focuses on people, process and technology that enable and support knowledge sharing, transfer, access, and identification. KM competencies represents what KM practitioners must understand to facilitate KM methods established by the organization. A KM competency model (see Figure 1: KM Competency Model) reflects the strategy, goals, and objectives of the organization. Competency alone is not sufficient; it must be accompanied by an organizational culture shift towards knowledge-sharing.

To determine the KM Competency Model, a rigorous process was initiated to provide consensus on core competency areas (see Table 2: KM Competency Model Details). This methodology will apply to any modern organization, regardless if a CKO role is established or not. It can be used by any department or individual who has the vision, leadership, and determination to infuse KM principles in the enterprise. A KM competency model serves as the foundation for functions such as training, education, development, and performance management because it specifies what essential knowledge, skills, and abilities.

KM Competency Model that will serve as the foundation for enterprise-wide KM adoption and use, and create a culture of collaboration and knowledge sharing where personalized and contextual information and knowledge is “pushed and pulled” from across the enterprise to meet corporate objectives, where good ideas are valued regardless of the source, where knowledge sharing is recognized and rewarded, and where the knowledge base is accessible without technological or structural barriers.

(This is an excerpt from my latest book Knowledge Management in Practice)

Jan 262013

KM in Review - 2012In 2012 I wrote about many topics. These topics started with a series of posts looking at Knowledge Management (KM) in Specific Industries (first looking at KM in Customer Service Centers); followed by KM in Research Institutions, Talent Management, the Legal Profession, the Military, and KM applied to Disaster Response (First Responders). All of these industries and more will be explored and analyzed in detail in my next book Knowledge Management in Practice. I also explored Aligning KM and ITIL pointing out the connections between the two and identifying the gaps ITIL has when it comes to KM. Other blog posts included examining The Case for Developing an Enterprise Information Architecture (a catalyst for focused enterprise search and findability of content and knowledge), Creating a Winning’ NSF SBIR Phase I & Phase II Proposal (a synopsis of my webinar I conducted through Principle Investigators), Power Directed (“If Knowledge is Power then Knowledge Management is Power Directed”), Anatomy of a KM Project (by Guest Blogger Bruce Fransen). I concluded the 2012 Knowledge Management Depot postings with Are you Maintaining Your Taxonomy, KM Program vs KM Project, and Components of a KM Strategic Plan (The Strategic Plan is what all organizations should start with before executing a KM initiative).
So, there you have it! I believe I presented some pertinent topics and some solutions within the Knowledge Management discipline, If you missed any of my blog posts in 2012 feel free to go back, review and make comments. I look forward to more guest bloggers in 2013 and more relevant and current topics that give insight on where KM will be heading in 2013!

Sep 292012
knowledge management power directedIf knowledge is power, then knowledge management is “Power Directed”!

The essence of Knowledge Management comes through when we share what we know. When applied in its various forms (tacit and explicit) as well as in the specific types of knowledge (procedural, and propositional/declarative) it can have a lasting effect. The power being directed when leveraging knowledge management not only comes from sharing what we know but also from being experts in our chosen field. Being an expert in your field will distinguish you as a thought leader and key knowledge holder. These experts are to be utilized whenever possible and will be the catalyst for keeping order, providing effective decision making, and enabling organizations and its people to be successful.

If the recent NFL Referee strike and subsequent settlement taught us anything, it is that expertise counts and knowledge is power. In order to settle the NFL Referee strike that power (the referees knowledge and expertise) became the catalyst to drive the NFL Owners to come to an agreement.

In this season of political change throughout the world as seen through the Occupy Movement, and now the pending US Presidential elections, sharing knowledge and acting on this knowledge will influence the world for generations to come.

Briefing soldiers through lessons learned when one group returns from a mission to be replaced by another; when a parent teaches their children those “life lessons” from their experience; in the preparedness, response, and recovery by emergency personnel when a crisis or natural disaster strikes; in understanding what knowledge is needed to drive organizational decision making and response to customers; and when researchers combine what they know in order to discover cures and/or treatment to disease and sickness (I can go on and on!) are all examples of Power Directed! These examples illustrate the power of knowing and directing knowledge has the power to shape the world in which we live.

I am interested in hearing how you have directed your knowledge to make a positive change, provided an impact to your organization, and/or enhancing the knowledge of someone else to provide direction and/or to assist that person in making decisions.

Remember, knowledge itself cannot not exhibit power until it is put to use.