ripplesIn many of my Knowledge Management (KM) engagements, organizations look to initiate KM through a specific initiative or project. Once that project is concluded many of these organizations believe that there KM involvement is done and they move on to the next initiative. In order to have a sustainable KM presence at an organization we must move from the tactical approach of a KM project to that of a strategic approach of a KM Program. In order to accomplish this a KM Strategy has to be developed. The KM Strategy is positioned at the Program Level and this strategy will drive specific initiatives that align with the mission and objectives of the KM Program. The KM Strategy includes formal procedures to collect knowledge throughout the organization, a well-established infrastructure, networks for transferring knowledge between employees, and tools to facilitate the process.  The KM Strategy will lay the foundation to align specific tools/technology to enhances individual and organizational performance,. This is accomplished by incorporating the following three (3) components into the fabric of an organization’s environment:

  • People, those who create, organize, apply, and transfer knowledge; and the leaders who act on that knowledge
  • Processes, methods of creating, organizing, applying and transferring knowledge
  • Technology, information systems used to put knowledge products and services into organized frameworks

The KM Strategy is constructed to establish effective knowledge management operations.  The intent is to outline how organization will organize and implement KM to get relevant knowledge, to the right person, at the right time, and in the right format to enable rapid situational understanding and decision-making.

The KM Program must optimize the organization, exchange, currency, and accessibility of knowledge so employees and other stakeholders spend less time looking for what they need in order to make critical decisions and complete specific tasks and activities. Effective workers do not just need to recognize their own knowledge and skills, but they must also recognize and strategically use those of others.  The KM Program must leverage the KM Strategy to focus on developing the following practices among individuals and groups to make them an integral part of the organizational KM culture:
  • Recognition and valuing of individual knowledgeRecognition and valuing of knowledge held by othersEnthusiasm to search for new knowledge
  • Skills to search for that new knowledge
  • Enthusiasm for sharing knowledge with others, and a capacity to link personal and shared knowledge to organizational goals and performance
  • Enthusiasm for contributing to the intellectual capital of the organization

One important aspect of the KM Strategy to keep in mind is that all KM Strategies must include the initiatives required to implement the KM Program’s enterprise mission, vision and objectives. For those who are contemplating building a KM Program/Strategy and those already executing their KM Strategy on behalf of creating a sustainable KM Program I would like to hear from you!

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