Friday, October 12, 2007

Knowledge Management Tools/Applications


For a person who has been working on KM for more than 8 years, answering this question ought to be an easy and simple matter. So, forgive me for the seemingly unreasonable delay. It’s been hectic because I’ve just dived into a phase of major transition. It will continue to be this way for one more month. I am hoping that I find the time to post a few things, however silly, on my blog to keep it alive. I ought to thank you for giving me an option to post something good (read on KM) and give my readers the feeling there is at least an ounce of sanity in me (I guess my posts on most of the other topics leave no room for confusion about my original/real state of mind). OK. Now, let me get straight to the answer.

Excellent list you have here. Nothing to be removed in my perception. But here are some things that could be added to your list to make it more exhaustive. Before you run through the list, let me also tell you that I don’t believe the approach should be to stuff a KM system with all the applications and tools that could possibly be added. The approach should be to build only those applications that are required to meet the immediate business objectives and challenges to start with. This not only makes the whole thing easier to handle but also gives one the room to customize the applications that are built later so as to be integrated into the existing ones. The point to be noted is that the integration requirements of the various applications will, more often than not, be unclear in the beginning. With that caveat, here’s the rest of the stuff in my list of KM tools/applications…

- Blogs for individuals, SMEs, senior managers
- Wikis for project teams, communities
- Workspaces and meeting spaces for teams
- Tips and Tricks database; and FAQs based on the tips and tricks
- Knowledge maps to depict the ladder of knowledge based on domains/functions/technology
- Concept maps or mind maps for knowledge generation
- Reusable components repository
- Best practices and lessons learned repository
- Instant messaging for knowledge exchange
- White boards for collective thinking
- Idea management system

Further, I’d suggest that you categorize this into different themes based on the business environment you are in. Makes it easy for you to focus on something in particular – march towards a specific business benefit.
Hope this helps. And yes, if not for the genuine reasons that prevented me from blogging, I ought to be ashamed of the delay in responding to your query. :)


Evolving Ideas said...

That's a great list you have on there Nimmy. And great advice on basing the tools on business need/strategy rather than the other way round.

Nimmy said...

:) Hey...Thanks, Astha!