Example KM role description – IAEA

Here is another example KM role description – this time for a Knowledge Managment Officer at the International Atomic Energy Authority.

This is a pretty high level governance role for KM, and it is described here as follows:

Main purpose

The Knowledge Management Officer’s main purpose is to provide expert advice on the development and implementation of the IAEA Knowledge Management System.


The Knowledge Management Officer is

  1. an expert in knowledge management, providing advice to identify, develop and implement effective knowledge management practices in the IAEA, and 
  2. coordinator and advocate of knowledge management-related practices and activities within the Secretariat. 


The Knowledge Manager Officer liaises with the Chair, the Scientific Secretary and the members of the IAEA’s Interdepartmental Steering Group for Corporate Knowledge Management (ISG/CKM), the Office of Legal Affairs (OLA), and the Management Coordinator/Advisor of the Department of Management and other IAEA Senior Managers in the development and implementation of the IAEA CKM System and promotes awareness and acceptance of CKM initiatives throughout the IAEA.

Functions / Key Results Expected

  • Develop departmental and cross-departmental systems and processes to ensure an effective and integrated approach to identifying, capturing, evaluating, retrieving and sharing IAEA information assets, as needed to enhance efficiencies and communication in support of a one-house approach and other modern management initiatives and processes, such as results-based management, risk management, quality management.
  • Provide expert advice to the Chair, the Scientific Secretary and the members of the Interdepartmental Steering Group (ISG)/Corporate Knowledge Management (CKM) on the development and implementation of the IAEA CKM System and follow up on the implementation of actions in the work plan and tasks.
  • Further the sustainability of OLA’s knowledge management processes, building KM capacity through training and transfer of knowledge and skills, integration of the IAEA CKM System in OLA and on related policy matters.
  • Develop new approaches for the Department of Management on matters related to the IAEA’s CKM System and in relation to streamlining of work processes to support the use of AIPS as a key CKM tool in the IAEA.
  • Identify, assess and recommend opportunities to further best practices in the IAEA’s CKM System.
  • Identify and recommend ways to create, share and utilize knowledge within the IAEA to contribute to a culture of knowledge sharing among cross-departmental teams to ‘institutionalize’ CKM practices.
  • Review and evaluate policies, procedures and related roles and make recommendations with the objective to support the sustainability and continuity of the IAEA’s CKM System.
  • Propose and coordinate communication and training programs designed to enhance awareness of the IAEA’s CKM System (for staff joining and leaving the IAEA).

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Project management experience and a proven track record of designing, planning and implementing KM-related initiatives, including organization-wide implementation of programs and events that involve knowledge creation and sharing.
  • In-depth knowledge of modern leadership practices and management concepts.
  • In-depth knowledge of techniques and methods for mapping/measuring/analysing business processes.
  • Experience in implementing change in an organizational environment and in CKM activities.
  • Extensive practical experience in applying information technology to the implementation of KM and knowledge sharing strategies.
  • Sound knowledge of the IAEA’s CKM System.
  • Experience in organizational/leadership development, management, coaching and training.

Education, Experience and Language Skills

  • Advanced university degree in knowledge management, business administration or related field.
  • Minimum of seven years of experience in knowledge management-related positions or other relevant experience.
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English essential. Knowledge of another official IAEA language (i.e. Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) an asset.

View Original Source Here.

A key lesson-learning role in the military setting

Lesson Learning is well embedded in the United States Army and forms a model which industry can emulate, especially when it comes to assigning knowledge management roles within the business.

www.Army.mil As explained in this excellent analysis from Nancy Dixon, lesson learning works well in the US Army.  This article describes some of the components of the learning system they apply, and mentions processes such as After Action Reviews and Learning Interviews, but also mentions  different roles with accountability for the lessons process. One of the key roles is the  Lessons Learned Integrator, or L2I.

The Lessons Learned Integrator role

The Centre for Army Lessons Learned  is deploying Lessons Learned Integrators in operational units and in other units such as training schools and doctrine centres. These L2I analysts gather lessons learned, research requests for information (RFI), and support the unit within which they are situated. They act as conduits for lessons in and out of the units. You can find various role descriptions for this post (e.g. this one), which suggest that the role primarily involves
  • Collecting, reporting, and disseminating lessons from the host unit
  • Monitoring lessons learned and other new knowledge from elsewhere, assessing it for relevance to the host unit, and “pushing” it to the correct people
  • Initiating actions that lead to change recommendations
  • Locally supporting the “Request for Information” process, where soldiers can make requests for information from the Centre for Army Lessons Learned.
In many of the support centres, the L2I analyst also has a role in developing doctrine, as described here

  • The L2I analyst can derive information from a variety of sources: unit after-action reports; tactics, techniques, and procedures used by units in and returning from theater; Soldier observations/submissions to the Engineer School; and requests for information. 
  • This information is used to conduct doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, and facilities gap analyses and to determine solutions

As ever, Industry can learn from the Military.

Too often we see “Lessons Learned systems” which seem to have no roles or accountabilities assigned to them. The assumption seems to be that “everyone is responsible for lessons learned”, which quickly becomes “someone else will do it”, then “nobody is responsible”. The Army avoid this by identifying specific pivotal roles for identification, communication and analysis of Lessons, and for identifying what needs to be done as a result.

If you want your Lessons Learned system to really work, then you may need roles similar to the L2I in your operation units.

View Original Source Here.

8 KM jobs in word-cloud format

Knowledge Management is such a fuzzy term that looking for a KM job is a minefield. One way to see what these jobs actually entail is to use a word cloud as a simple text analysis tool, and see which words leap out.

Here are 8 recent jobs posted on LinkedIn – all from the USA – where I have taken the role description section and cut and pasted the text into a word cloud generator. Lets see which words (apart from Knowledge, Management, and KM) stand out.
Job number 1 – above – strip out the “Knowledge” word (which mostly relates to the job title) and you can see that this is really a Content Management role
Job number 2 – above –  is a data management job
Job number 3 – above –  really doesnt have any stand-out give-away words. It probably is a bona fide well-rounded KM role, with aspects of collaboration, aspects of sharing, and aspects of content.
Job number 4 – above –  looks like a job for a project document manager
Job number 5 – above –  again doesn’t have any stand-out giveaways if we ignore “knowledge” and “management”. Its probably a good KM role, focused on self-service articles.
Job number 6 – above –  is a document management role
Job number 7 – above –  the biggest word (other than KM) is SharePoint, so we know what this is about!
Job number 8 – above –  again seems like a well rounded role, with no single issue taking precedence.
The word clouds are a quick way to see the main focus of the jobs, and we can see that a lot of KM jobs are focused on content management, data management, document management and records management. However there are some more varied and more comprehensive KM jobs in there as well.

View Original Source Here.

What is the KM role of the Company Experts?

In a fully developed Knowledge Management framework, the company experts have a key part to play.

talk to the experts
The experts are one of your core stakeholder groups in KM, and your change management approach needs to explicity address these people.  For many years they may have acted as sole sources of much of the knowledge, and their personal status may be tied up with their own knowledge. KM needs to offer them a new role, which can be seen as an opportunity rather than a threat.

The technical experts in many knowledge management organisations tend to have a three-fold role:

  • Acting as a source of expert opinion for others, and for the identification and development of technical practices and procedures;
  • Maintaining guidelines and best practices, and validating lessons;
  • Building effective learning communities.

In other words, they are accountable for:

  • Developing and sharing their own tacit knowledge;
  • Ownership or stewardship of the explicit knowledge in their subject matter area;
  • Creation of the network that stewards the tacit knowledge in their subject matter area.
These new roles allow the Experts to become the stewards of knowledge, rather than the sole holders. Make sure these new roles are made explicit and built into their job descriptions.

View Original Source Here.

Why does one third of Knowledge Managers have no KM skills?

There are three types of Knowledge Manager on LinkedIN, and one type seems to have no Knowledge Management skills at all.

You know, on your linked-in profile, how you can build a list of skills, which people endorse you for? (see example to the right).

We all know that these endorsements can be a bit dodgy, with people endorsing other people they barely know, for skills they don’t know whether they have. However these skills lists at least give a rough indication of what people are professionally recognised for.

Recently, while circulating invitations to the 2017 Knowledge Management survey, I looked at the skills profiles of 200 people with Knowledge in their job title – Knowledge Managers, Heads of Knowledge Management, Knowledge and information Managers and so on (similar to a review I did of CKOs in 2015)

The results will surprise you. 

The graph above shows the placement of Knowledge Management in the Linked-in list of skills for these 200 people. I think we can see three groupings on this chart.

  1. The first group is where Knowledge Management is one of their primary skills. 60 of these people (30%) had KM as their top skill, and 92 (46%) had KM in their top 3 skills. These, I suggest, are the professional Knowledge Managers.
  2. The second group – a smaller group – is where KM is one of the top 10 skills, but not in the top 3.  The small peak at 7 in the graph above was consistent as the dataset grew, and there seems to be a group of people who have developed KM skills, but as a secondary skillset. They retain their core skillset, and have added KM. For example, these are the lawyers whose top skills are Law, Employment Law, Contract Law etc, with KM as number 6 or 7. Or the oil-field KMers with top skills in Petroleum Engineering, Drilling, Oil Shales etc, with KM at number 7 or 8. These, I suspect, are the temporary knowledge managers – either tasked with managing knowledge about those with a KM job to do, but not wit a long term commitment to Knowledge management.
  3. The third group are the ones I find the most puzzling. They have a Knowledge Management job title, but the Knowledge Management skill is either way way down the list (31 people) or does not appear on their list of skills at all (37 people). These 68 people, representing over a third of the dataset (34%), seem to have a KM job but effectively no KM skills. 
How can this be?  You would not have a job as a project manager with no project management skills, or an HR manager with no HR skills, or a Finance manager with no Financial skills. 
Looking a bit deeper, I think these are the people who may not actually have different jobs, but with a Knowledge Management job title

Here are 3 examples of the skillsets they Do have, which suggest that they are maybe not playing a Knowledge manager role.

  1. Information Management, SharePoint, Content Management, Document Management (an information manager rebadged as a Knowledge Manager?)
  2. Communication, PR, Client Satisfaction, Marketing (a marketing manager rebadged as a Knowledge Manager?)
  3. HR, Talent Management, Onboarding, Recruiting, Leadership development (an HR manager rebadged as a Knowledge manager?)

Now I know there is no accepted definition of Knowledge Management, and that anyone can call themselves a Knowledge Manager if they want to, and that my interpretation of the third group may be my own prejudice, but I still think that if you have a Knowledge manager with no knowledge Management skills, then something is wrong.

Either there is an unskilled person in a KM post, or its not really a KM post at all. 

View Original Source Here.

Designing the Knowledge Management organisation

Introducing KM into an organisation is not just a case of new technology or new processes – it involves organisational redesign as well.

You can look at Knowledge Management Implementation through many lenses.  The most common are the cultural and technological lenses, which ask “What culture do we need to develop?” and “What technologies do we need?”

However one of the more powerful lenses is the People lens, that leads you to ask questions about the organisational structure you will need after KM implementation. Questions like

  • What KM roles and accountabilities need to be in place? 
  • How many of them? 
  • Where should they be located? 
  • Who should they report to? 
  • Are there any new organisational bodies that are needed?  

For many of our clients,understanding the organisational design is an important early step in understanding the KM framework.

Let us take an analogy. Imagine you were introducing Financial Management. You might decide you need
  • A certain number of Budget holders – the people accountable for money within projects and operations. Probably one per project, and a cascade of budget holders within the operational departments
  • A certain number of Accountants and Cost engineers, doing the nuts and bolts of financial transactions. Some of these would be in the projects, or you might set up an Accounts department.
  • A central Finance team – the people who shuffle money between the projects and operations, with responsibility for auditing and process
  •  CFOs and Finance Directors – the people accountable for the financial management system itself

Similarly if you are introducing Knowledge Management you might decide you  need

  • A certain number of people accountable for knowledge within projects and operations. Probably one per project, maybe one per department
  • A certain number of knowledge managers and knowledge engineers doing the nuts and bolts of knowledge transactions. Some of these would be in the projects, or you might set up a KM support department, or put people in the PMOs
  • You might need a Lessons Management function, again perhaps in the PMO
  • A set of expertise-focused roles, in the supporting functions – knowledge owners, SMEs and community facilitators  – the people who ensure the flow of knowledge between the projects and operations
  • A central KM team, with responsibility for auditing and process
  • A CKO, accountable for the knowledge management system itself
Sounds like a lot of roles, eh? But that’s what you find in any company that is successful in this area.

  • In Shell you find the network leaders, the network focal points, the SMEs, the Wiki team, the KM support units
  • In ConocoPhilips, the 120 Network leaders, the support team
  • In Wipro, the functional team of 43, the KM support team of 15-20, and the 400 “KM Primes” embedded in the business
  • In McKinsey, the 1800 Knowledge Professional roles
  • And so on
All successful KM companies have modified their organisational design to accomodate KM roles and responsibilities. Don’t neglect this issue.

If Knowledge Management is to become an embedded part of the way you work, you will need an embedded KM organisational structure of roles and accountabilities to make it happen. 

View Original Source Here.

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