Monday, September 22, 2008

KM Queries

A friend from my personal KM network sent me a few queries a couple of days ago and I decided to attempt to answer them on my blog. He has various questions related to how KM can enable or drive something (viz. training, innovation etc). I have broken them up into different individual posts revolving around one query each (or similar queries) and would like to invite inputs and experiences from the readers as well.

Here’s the framework I’ve decided to use to answer his queries.

· Would KM drive this need or simply enable it? (Drive: The initiative can be owned, designed and managed by the KM ‘forces’. Enable: It is likely to be owned by someone else in the organization but KM can very well play the role of an enabler and work in coordination with the owner of the area)

· Traditionally….: This will indicate the traditional methods of handling the requirement under question. Mentioning this will hint at the benefit of adopting an approach revolving around the concepts of KM.

· So, What is KM’s Value-add: This will explicitly state the value that KM can bring into the situation

· The Idea: Very briefly, this will touch upon how KM can add value from the perspective of the typical KM elements

· The Details: Culture, Process and Technology. Wherever applicable, I will delve deeper into the Idea and provide readers with some details of each of the KM dimensions - C, P and T.

Note: Here’s a very important principle underlying this KM framework. What do I call KM?

· Purpose-led collective thinking, collective learning (past, present and future) and collective activity

· Identification and management of knowledge (business, operational, support, people, process, technology, strategic, competitive, customer, partner, market etc), its sources, its generation, its classification, its storage, its retrieval, its distribution, its usage and its enhancement

· Simplification of knowledge (through its life cycle and various forms) as it appears in business and operational procedures and practices

· Consolidation and presentation of information and knowledge in a well-organized manner. Assigning responsibilities, designing processes and tools

· Knowledge sharing – organized and on demand - and organized mentoring activities

· Proactive building a network or community of people who think alike, people from whom you can learn, people who need your help, people who can contribute to your tasks directly or indirectly

· Inculcating a discipline around, motivating, encouraging, facilitating, recognizing and rewarding the following behaviours – reflection, learning, sharing, mentoring, leadership, reusing and individual as well as team-based innovation

· Tools, utilities and applications that help in a) generation of new knowledge, b) consolidation, organization, distribution and usage of knowledge, c) collaborative activities and endeavors, d) discovery of trends and patterns associated with knowledge, e) reflection and sharing, f) reuse of knowledge, g) learning from the past, h) facilitating a collective approach to innovation g) recognition and analysis of people dynamics leading to better leveraged networks and creation of effective communities

· Personal KM elements – organizing one’s knowledge (thoughts, ideas, resources, network, articles etc), connecting with people, learning, reusing, working together with others.

· The study, measurement and assessment of the tangible and intangible benefits of KM - knowledge reuse, collective knowledge generation and collective competency development due to sharing and mentoring, management of knowledge artifacts resulting in improvement of performance, productivity, customer satisfaction, and employee satisfaction, and business growth due to innovation

I have a few more points hopping around in my mind and asking to be added to the list above but I think I’ll draw the line here, lest it gets confusing rather than add any further value. Hopefully, the list should be representative enough for us to go ahead with the queries.

PS: Answering the first query in the next post.

1 comment:

Atul said...

Hi Nirmala,

I have written a few thoughts about this over at

Thanks, Atul.