When determining if or when you should incorporate Knowledge Management (KM) in your organization you must first look for opportunities where KM can be used. In addition where KM can bring about visible results that can be communicated throughout your organization. An immediate KM initiative that can be leveraged is what is called no or low budget KM. These initiatives include conducting, capturing and distributing “lessons learned” on projects and other corporate initiatives, writing a “trip report” and conducting a presentation to your team when you go to a conference and/or attend an important corporate function (this promotes knowledge sharing), and conducting “brow bags” presenting a topic of interest. These activities all address one of the central themes of KM, Knowledge Sharing and Transfer. Keep in mind that when I say no or low budget there may be no cost to the organization or very little cost. An important factor in these challenging economic times.
I also mentioned distributing this knowledge throughout your organization. One simple way to do this is to make the trip reports and presentations, lessons learned and brown bag presentations available on the corporate intranet and send out the appropriate communication to let everyone know that this information is available along with the principle person(s) contact information. You should encourage people who leverage this knowledge to send the principle person(s) an email letting them know how it has made a difference for them. All of the emails should be documented and presented to management to show how KM can bring about visible results and that an official KM initiative (with budget) should be examined and launched.
This is one effective way in looking for opportunities for Knowledge Management. I look forward to your comments and contributions on this subject.
I did some of that low budget KM with my development team. It is especially a problem with a smaller team like mine that people specialize and Knowledge Transfer is important but secondary to the core functions of the team. My team lead and I realized that each person had specialized in specific layers of my tool, so we decided to do informal knowledge share meetings on Thursday evenings to correct it. That was good, but more than the act of holding the share meetings, the mindset of “know more than what grows in your own garden” has helped my team a lot.