Knowledge Management Knowledge Management (KM) comprises a range of practices used in an organisation to identify, create, represent, distribute and enable adoption of insights and experiences.
You need to design the KM strategy, carried to the point of identifying and developing the organization?s critical and strategic knowledge. Once we have connected the dots and developed the strategy we can start to look at technology.
So if you’re looking to start your KM journey don’t get carried away and start off with technology. As someone who was there doing KM in the 90s, I know there was as much, if not more, focus on connecting people and on face to face, person to person communication of Knowledge than there is now.
If anything, the technology focus came later (version 2.0) as the vendors jumped on the bandwagon. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. This contains a selection of templates, guides and presentations covering most aspects, and can also serve as an introduction and learning aid. Simply put, knowledge management is about capturing knowledge gained by individuals and spreading it to others in the organization in order to manage it better. Although a number of management theorists have contributed to the evolution of knowledge management, such as Peter Drucker and Peter Senge; Ikujiro Nonaka makes knowledge management an official discipline when he is appointed as the first distinguished professor of knowledge at the University of California in 1997. Knowledge Management, as we know it today, is generally considered to have begun in the 1950's when Alfred Sloan divisionalized General Motors.
Explicit knowledge - It can be expressed in words and numbers and shared in the form of data, scientific formulae, product specifications, manuals, universal principles, etc. Tacit knowledge - This is highly personal and hard to formalize, thus making it difficult to communicate or share with others. Robert Sutton, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford's University School of Engineering, says companies have wasted hundreds of millions on worthless knowledge management systems (Computerworld (January 3, 2000, p. The managers of these systems know a lot about technology, but little about how people actually use knowledge on the job. Tacit knowledge is extremely difficult to capture into these systems, yet it is more critical to task performance than explicit knowledge. Knowledge is of little use unless it is turned into products, services, innovations, or process improvements. Knowledge management systems work best when the people who generate the knowledge, are the same people who store it, explain it to others, and coach them as they try to implement it.
It is common in the IT world to confuse the KEDB with the Knowledge Management database (KMDB). The database which she was referring to is the KMDB generally but ITIL has a different term for it – service knowledge management system (SKMS).
Such insights and experiences comprise knowledge, either embodied in individuals or embedded in organisational processes or practice.An established discipline since 1991, KM includes courses taught in the fields of business administration, information systems, management, and library and information sciences.
We are very happy with the efficiency and cost reduction we were able to obtain by eliminating paperwork, saving filing time and facilitating the search process.


The temptation therefore is to engage more with it and in terms of KM we are now presented with an array of tools which have taken up center stage in the development of the strategy. KM effectiveness won?t be measured for the quality of the platform; it will be measured by how much it has impacted in the organization?s results. What has changed from 1st generation Knowledge Management is that “social” technology has being integrated into the fabric of people and we didn’t have this before. Yes we live in new and exciting times, but technology is powerless unless you have a clear strategy. Within the realm of KM, technology serves its purpose best when it structures and optimizes the capture and exchange of knowledge – the knowledge flow between humans.
Your question opens up a debate with those that view 2nd Gen KM in the words you used to describe 1st Gen . These researchers and practitioners are normally involved in the construction of information management systems, AI, reengineering, etc.
These researchers and practitioners are normally involved in education, philosophy, psychology, sociology, etc. This kind of knowledge can be readily transmitted across individuals formally and systematically.
For example, master craftsmen develop a wealth of expertise at their fingertips, after years of experience. Though they cannot be articulated very easily, this dimension of tacit knowledge shapes the way we perceive the world around us. Curators badger these employees to enter what they know into the system, even though few people will ever use the information.
These systems must be managed by the people who are implementing what is known, not those who understand information technology. A KEDB is a repository that holds information about problems for which the root cause is known but a permanent solution doesn’t. In fact, during one of my ITIL Lifecycle Service Operations training sessions, when I was on the topic of KEDB, one of my students claimed that her organization maintained a KEDB. Careful consideration is now given to the social component which was missing from 1st generation KM. It?s hard to innovate, adapt, or thrive if you build on top of systems that prevent true integration or at least match how employees and customers connect and communicate outside the organization. Over-focusing on technology is not an old habit we need to break, it is an omnipresent risk. This group builds knowledge systems, while the next group changes the way we use knowledge, which ultimately changes human behavior. Although that view has somewhat changed today with human talent as being viewed as the primary competitive differentiator. Furthermore, tacit knowledge is deeply rooted in each individuals' actions and experiences, as well as in the ideals, values, and emotions that they embrace. But they often have difficulty articulating the technical or scientific principles behind what they know.


I invited her onto the podium to explain how it worked in her organization and what it contained. He advises businesses, organizations and enterprises on how to build service management framework and deliver value. Several consulting companies also exist that provide strategy and advice regarding KM to these organisations.KM efforts typically focus on organisational objectives such as improved performance, competitive advantage, innovation, the sharing of lessons learned, and continuous improvement of the organisation. Developing KM meant spending money on intranets which finally ended up being used as information repositories. This goal requires creativity, deals with complex issues and requires coordination among many functions in the organization. The subjective and intuitive nature of tacit knowledge makes it difficult to process or transmit the acquired knowledge in any systematic or logical manner. Highly subjective and personal insights, intuitions, hunches and inspirations derived from bodily experience fall into this dimension. She said – “The database contains policy documents, process documents, work instructions, technical manuals…” I clarified if this database had incident and resolution records which was not the case. KM efforts overlap with Organisational Learning, and may be distinguished from that by a greater focus on the management of knowledge as a strategic asset and a focus on encouraging the sharing of knowledge. Today that drab outfit has been replaced by social platforms which actively engage users and are looking to become authentic knowledge creation and transfer stations. For tacit knowledge to be communicated, it must be converted into words, models, or numbers that anyone can understand. Different organisations have tried various knowledge capture incentives, including making content submission mandatory and incorporating rewards into performance measurement plans. Considerable controversy exists over whether incentives work or not in this field and no consensus has emerged.One strategy to KM involves actively managing knowledge (push strategy). In such an instance, individuals strive to explicitly encode their knowledge into a shared knowledge repository, such as a database, as well as retrieving knowledge they need that other individuals have provided to the repository.Another strategy to KM involves individuals making knowledge requests of experts associated with a particular subject on an ad hoc basis (pull strategy). Combined with the early development of collaborative technologies (in particular Lotus Notes), KM technologies expanded in the mid-1990s. Subsequent KM efforts leveraged semantic technologies for search and retrieval and the development of e-learning tools for communities of practice.More recently, development of social computing tools (such as blogs and wikis) have allowed more unstructured, self-governing or ecosystem approaches to the transfer, capture and creation of knowledge, including the development of new forms of communities, networks, or matrixed organisations.
However such tools for the most part are still based on text and code, and thus represent explicit knowledge transfer. These tools face challenges in distilling meaningful re-usable knowledge and ensuring that their content is transmissible through diverse channels.



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