I have been working with several groups and organizations over the past few weeks looking to launch Knowledge Management (KM) programs. During my conversations one aspect of a KM program continues to come up… the KM plan v.s. the KM Strategy. Do we need both, what is the difference and what are they used for?
To start, a knowledge management plan involves a survey of corporate goals and a close examination of the process, and tools both traditional and technical, that are required for addressing the knowledge needs of the organization. The challenge is to establish what knowledge and knowledge management mean to your organization, understand what types of knowledge exist, what knowledge assets are going to be leveraged to improve performance and increase organizational innovation. In addition a KM Plan assists in the determination of software that fits the context of the overall plan and encourage people to share knowledge, information and data.
A KM strategy on the other hand entails a collective visioning as to how sharing knowledge can enhance organizational performance, and the reaching of a consensus among the senior management of the organization that the course of action involved in sharing knowledge will in fact be pursued. Implicit in such a process is a set of decisions about the particular variety of knowledge management that the organization intends to pursue. How the knowledge assets of the organization will be leveraged and the execution of the process and tools that will enable sharing and innovation to occur.
In short think of the KM Plan as the “what” and the KM Strategy as the “How” knowledge is leveraged.
I welcome your thoughts on this subject and to lively conversation…
I am not surprised that this comes up. This speaks to the lack of knowledge, misconceptions, understandings, and need for initial education of the client. Without addressing these items, the effort will lack the necessary key buy in and customer expectations.
I would argue that for any KM effort to be effective, successful, and achieve the desired ROI, both the KM Plan and KM Strategy are critical. To me for a company to set off on a KM initiative without both, would be like building a house without having the proper architectural drawings. You might eventually get to the end goal, but the cost will be higher and the exception of what is delivered will not be met and functionality will be dismal at best.