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.

You can buy a copy of the draft standard from the ISO site for 58 swiss francs, or your own national standards body may allow you to view and comment on the standard online. The British site for review and comment is here, for example (you will need to register).
You have until January 16 to comment, after which the comments will be reviewed by the national standards bodies and passed on to the working group for ISO 30401 for review and revision.

All comments welcome!

My views on this standard can be found in the blog post below:

View Original Source ( Here.

Knowledge management – mapping the elephant

Good quality positive dialogue helps us “map out the elephant”

KM working team – me third from left
I have just spent a really interesting couple of days on the working team for the ISO KM standard, and one of the most interesting things was the diversity of emphasis among the KM practitioners. It was not a diversity of overall view – we all shared the same view of KM, its components and the principles on which it was built – but it was a diversity of emphasis on the importance of various components.

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.

This came to a head when we were discussing KM Culture.

“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”.

We had similar discussions about processes, and about technology infrastructure.

How could we have such different views?

We all saw each of the KM components as vital, but each person seemed to choose different elements as “primary”.  We were not blind to the topic – we could all see the whole  KM Elephant, we could see it had 4 legs and a tail and a trunk – but different people favoured different legs, seeing them as a “primary” leg; more important than the other legs.
It was only through long and animated discussion and dialogue – through active listening and sharing with each other –  that we began to synthesise these diverse views, and paint a balanced picture of the elephant as a whole. It was a really interesting few days and a valuable learning experience for me.
There are still strong polarised views about KM which are still in circulation. You will have heard some of them:
  • “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”
Thats a bit like saying “The Elephant is all about the tail”. “The trunk is the new Elephant”.
Knowledge Management is holistic – it is all about People AND Processes AND Technology AND Governance AND culture AND change etc etc. All of these things are important. The key is to get them in the correct proportion.

Thank you to the ISO team members for helping me see the proportions a little better.

View Original Source Here.

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.

    KM as a government expectation

    We can see this most clearly in the UAE (as described in this slideshare) where the government is pressing for the development of a Knowledge Economy, with KM playing a key supporting role. 
    A problem to date, for all of these forces, is that there is no consistent definition of what Knowledge Management actually is. Therefore companies and government departments have had to work out for themselves (often with Knoco’s support and help) what to do to comply with these external requirements. This will change once the ISO KM standard is published (hopefully in 2018), when all that these external bodies will need to do is say “you must demonstrate compliance with the ISO standard”.

    Once the KM standard is in place, expect these external forces to become stronger and more frequent.

    View Original Source Here.

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