The ISO KM draft standard is now available
After a couple of years of development, the ISO KM standard (ISO 30401) is now open for discussion of the first committee draft.
All comments welcome!
Knowledge management – mapping the elephant
Good quality positive dialogue helps us “map out the elephant”
|KM working team – me third from left|
You know the story of the blind people and the elephant, each intepreting the animal in different ways. The person holding a leg says “The Elephant is a sort of tree,” the one holding the ear thinks it’s a sheet, the tail holder says it is a snake.
I have worked on Knowledge Management for a long time and I thought I knew what the KM Elephant looks like, but it struck me in the detailed discussions with other experts that maybe I was looking at the Elephant out of proportion.
“Culture is everything in KM” was one view. “If you don’t have the culture in place, then nothing else can happen. It’s the most important thing”.
“Culture is an output” was the other view. “If you have the right processes and procedures in place, then the right culture will happen. Processes and procedures are the most important thing”.
How could we have such different views?
- “Knowledge Management is all about people”
- “Social media is the new knowledge management”
- “Knowledge management is all about change”
- “Web 2.0 will replace Knowledge Management”
Thank you to the ISO team members for helping me see the proportions a little better.
5 external forces that may require your organisation to do Knowledge Management
There are increasingly a number of external factors that can drive the adoption of Knowledge Management in organisations. Here are the top 5.
Good Knowledge Management is increasingly becoming an expectation on organisations; from clients, from customers, from governments and from contracts. If you cannot build enough support for Knowledge management inside your organisations, look out for these external factors.
KM in contracts.
I posted a while ago about how I was beginning to see KM appearing in tender documents for government and for major clients. Here some example clauses from real contracts;
“the contractor shall employ knowledge management systems and processes to promulgate knowledge and experience resulting from the service to the user community”
“The contractor shall provide the following … A knowledge management systenm to promulgate lessons learned, good practice and to facilitate improved maintenance and operation”
KM in supplier audits
We have also seen Knowledge Management beginning to be part of big-company suppler audits. In one example, the client fed back fed back to one supplier that
- your company is formed into silos,
- your silos are clearly not talking with each other, especially for identification and re-use of lessons learned,
- your company needs effective Knowledge Management.
KM in pre-qualifications
Given the two trends above, we have been approached by service companies that wanted to demonstrate to clients that they were competent operators, and part of that would be to demonstrate a good KM system, because “our customers will expect us to do KM”.
KM in external third party audit
In several cases, we have been approached by organisations as a direct result of audits by the big consulting companies, who have identified deficiencies in Knowledge Management, and made recommendations that these should be addressed. This is perhaps unsurprising, as the big consultancies are among the leaders in KM, and can recognise when it is not being applied.