Getting Started

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Over the past few posts we’ve talked about a variety of subjects, Strategies to implement KM , How to run communities of practice, the effect of blogs on KM and so on. The most common question however is not how to implement KM but when. I thought i’d put together a few thought on when you should start think of looking at a Knowledge Management initiative for your organization.

So when is your company ready to start a KM initiative? If any of the following statements are true then its probably time for just that.

  • A number of people have already started exploring the benefits of implementing KM in your organization.
  • Someone has a personal stake in developing KM.
  • KM has emerged as a topic of interest in your organization.
  • The organization has a high-level vision of pursuing and implementing KM.

Right, now you’ve figured out that its time to implement KM in your organization, but how do you go about doing it?

The only way an initiative like this is going to gain traction is if people see a clear benefit to what they are already trying to accomplish. The main aim of any Knowledge Management initiative should be to make a person’s job easier, not more difficult.

The first step is to de-mistify KM, do not use complicated terms and strategies to define what it is, rather use simple definitions and examples that provide a clear, tangible picture of what its all about.

The second step involved finding people who are really interested in pursuing KM activities. Launching an initiative amongst this group of people will most definitely ensure a much higher success rate. Recruiting well respected and influential people in your company is a very smart way to promote the value of the initiative to the rest of your organization.

The third step involved looking for oppurtunties to implement KM. Use groups you feel can benefit with an KM initiative. Target low hanging fruit, market any win you have with the initiative however small , as it can be used as a platform to promote other initiatives as well.

The last step involves creating a technology framework that can support the initiative. While KM is not just about technology it does form a large part of it, without the technology infrastructure it might be difficult to sustain many initiatives.

The biggest road block to any KM initiative is culture, ignoring it is the single biggest mistage many people commit while rolling out KM initiatives. Most importantly – Do NOT sell an enterprise level KM solution without the evidences to back up your initiatives.

While these are just some of the thoughts on how you get started, you will find dozens of smaller ways to improve on it once you get started. Remember, start small and work your way up.

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