The following blog post is by my guest blogger – David Schneider – I look forward to your comments:
Why do Knowledge Management (KM) Initiatives Fail?
The fact is that few knowledge management initiatives are successful. But, why is this result? What is the cause and effect? Is it because under qualified professional? Or is their more to it than that? What about a magic “silver bullet”? Is a cultural issue?
I believe the reason why knowledge management initiatives fail are varied as there are stars in the sky. I believe one of the main reasons knowledge management initiatives fail is based on how the organization views knowledge management. Knowledge Management is viewed just as a function of the call center. KM is more than a function of a call center and its benefits are far reaching as any Lean process or any other initiatives a corporation take put into practice. KM is mainly viewed by most corporations that have a KM effort as a cost of doing business. This is an error in philosophy, KM is a method of reducing expenses, improve productivity, and enhancing value.
KM will improve efficiencies that will increase a corporations’ profitability, enhances the quality of work, performance, and overall value of the corporation. KM allows tacit knowledge to be leveraged, transferred to increase the quality of work performed across the corporation. This tacit knowledge allows KM to eliminate the “reinvent the wheel” syndrome. This transfer of knowledge is the essence of knowledge management.
Outside of a corporations’ philosophy error there are several reasons for KM initiatives fail. Some of those reasons are as follows:
- Expecting KM technologies to replace KM processes or create processes where none exists.
- Lack of participation from all levels of a corporation.
- Forcing inadequate processes into new technology.
- Lack of maintenance and resources after initial standup.
- Lack of education and understanding of what KM means to the individual.
- KM does not become ingrained into the corporations work culture.
- Lack of involvement in creating and evolving KM content.
- Lack of metrics to measure the impact of KM on the corporation or insufficient/incorrect metrics being captured.
- Lack of monitoring and controls in place to ensure the knowledge is relevant and is current and accurate.
KM initiatives are essential to a corporations’ growth and is more than just the cost of doing business. Successful KM initiatives once completed and funded correctly it increase a corporations’ profitability, enhance the quality of work, and overall value of the corporation.
Very nice article and a very comprehensive list. The technology aspect is particularly important in my opinion, and it is not helped by KM systems that bill themselves as solutions.