When you need more than one KM solution
The goal of Knowledge Management is to embed an effecting Knowledge Management Framework, that enables a thriving KM culture and impacts organisational outcomes. But sometimes one Framework is not enough.
I have blogged before about the different sorts of Knowledge which need to be managed, and suggested that Knowledge Management may look very different if it is Process-focused, Product-focused or Customer-focused.
A process-focused organisation will set up communities of practice who develop Best Practices, while a product-focused organisation will set up product-based communities focused on Best Designs. The solutions will be similar in outline, but different in detail.
However there are many organisations which have more than one focus, as shown in the Ternary diagram here showing results from the Knoco 2014 Knowledge Management survey. Manufacturing organisations, for example (the red square in the diagram) are equally focused on Process and Product. Info and Media companies (blue star) are equally focused on Product and Customer. Professional services (yellow circle) are concerned with all three.
These organisations may actually need to set up more than one Knowledge Management Framework.
For example, we are working right now with a manufacturing company, looking at the way it manages knowledge. We have found that they are not doing too badly in terms of product knowledge, but really need to sharpen their process knowledge. To this end, we are recommending two KM Frameworks, which we can summarise as follows:
A Product KM framework including
- Knowledge Gap Analysis
- Toyota A3 process
- A set of Subject-matter-responsible engineers
- Development of engineering checksheets
- Linkage between the issues list, the checksheets and the failure-mode analysis
- After Action reviews and Retrospects
- KM facilitators
- KM planning
- Development of best Practice
- Best Practice Wiki
- Creation of knowledge articles based on consumer contacts
- Contact centre coaches
- Knowledge base software
We often hear there is no “one size fits all” for KM, and sometimes there is no one KM solution that fits all parts of the organisation either.