A Checklist for Unlocking Corporate Knowledge

From a report and survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by Tata Consulting Services:
1. Business needs—and the kinds of knowledge required to fulfil them—have to be identified first before tools and processes are implemented. Many initiatives have failed where technology has dictated knowledge management (KM).
2. Successful KM is about shifting culture and behaviour—technology is an important element, but is subsidiary.
3. A basic mechanism in large organisations is also one of the most effective: keeping tabs on who knows what—and how to get in touch with them.
4. Though improving, KM tools are often too complicated: they have to be delivered in a way executives and staff want to use them, and to adapt to the areas/depth of knowledge needed by the individual.
5. Markets, customers, technology and competition are continually changing; knowledge gets stale fast. Is the KM framework able to handle change?
6. Can the organisation track whether kowledge is being acted on, and what value is gained from it? Even where knowledge flows quite efficiently round an organisation, companies can often do more to ensure information is acted on.
7. Is there a means to learn from experience — good and bad — and share that learning when a similar situation occurs? A vast amount of resource is wasted in corporations just by unwittingly repeating the same mistakes, or failing to repeat useful discoveries.
8. Who leads KM? Many large organisations now have a dedicated head of KM, or at least a high-ranking sponsor, to ensure the right collaborative environment.
9. Bulletin boards and web logs have begun to prove their worth to a range of organisations: they supply an instant exchange of learning or can be used by executives to communicate and keep their ear to the ground.
10. You can only get people to volunteer knowledge—you can’t force it. However, firms that provide forums, tools and opportunities for informal networking can encourage employees actively to share knowledge.
Full report here>>

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