Our organisation is looking very closely at a knowledge management/sharing strategy and, at this stage, would be interested to hear of any frameworks and/or platforms colleagues can recommend. Any quick pointers of advice would also be appreciated.
We use sharepoint which has pluses and minuses. The thing that challenges me is accessibility because we are an international organisation and connectivity is a problem. The next issue is getting people to proactively knowledge share. People will access things that they can see are useful, but getting them to interact, discuss and connect is not easy so we send out emails and alerts regularly. Creating and promoting a culture of knowledge sharing is probably a bigger issue than the platform.
i used to deploy Knowledge sharing platforms both open source and Microsoft Share point.
my top 5 tips are:
1. plan the knowledge sharing and management process in alignment to the business strategy and current processes.
2. involve subject matter experts and opinion leaders from the outstart (you will need to identify the real SME's - they are not who you think they are usually).
3. plan governance of handling knowledge, and develop your organisational KM strategy.
4. use a multiple solutions rather then committing to 1 technology source, and get your users to comment which solution is best (keep an open mind).
5. make sure you consistently have top management support and good change management process.
the technology part is the last part to worry about as its the easiest to change and fix
Adi's reply is right on the mark; to drill down a bit on governance, everyone plays one of three roles:-
* Knowledge Champion
* Knowledge Contributor
* Knowledge User
And their roles will be different across different domains.
Make sure you have only one Knowledge Champion per domain - otherwise all hell will break loose!
And use the Champion/ Challenger approach to drive content - what's there is champion until a challenger comes along; if the challenger content is better than the champion, it replaces the old content.
You could use this approach to get past a Knowledge Champion who is past their sell-by date! Slightly (but only slightly) tongue in cheek!
I am not sure if this is appropriate however I will add it any way. I have developed a four page KIM skills framework backed up by the Government Knowledge and Information Management framework. My framework is user friendly, quick and easy to use and enables KIM roles to be described in ways that non professionals can understand. The KIM framework also compliments the organisations Core Competency Framework. Please get in touch if you would want to know more,
Thanks to June, Adi and Alan for your great feedback - will give consideration to your advice as we progress development of the framework. Please keep the comments flowing !
I'd be extremely interested in your KIM skills framework and how you've aligned it to the organisation's core competency framework. We have what we call a "capability and leadership framework" which is a large and comprehensive document which outlines capabilities with associated descriptors and behavioural indicators at every level throughout government and we are also seeking to align this to a number of business processes - pd's, recruitment processes, learning needs analyses, learning programs, etc.
I am one of the lead facilitators at the Knowledge and Innovation Network (KIN) based at Warwick Business School and have lots of experience of helping organisations set up KM frameworks,procedures and practices, as well as working with KM Mature Organisations to improve their KM effectiveness, through working with Communities, Innovative Practices and Knowledge Transfer and Retention techniques.
We also use a share-point platform within KIN - but feel strongly that the biggest mistake that many organisations make is to start with the technology (if we build it- they will come!) Technology is certainly and enabler for KM practices but is not the right place to start!!
I would be delighted to speak to you directly about your approach to setting up KM (including what NOT to do...) Please feel free to contact me directly at : firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss this further. In the meantime you and other LSG members may want to look at the KIN public website to find out more about our members and what we do at KIN. http://www.ki-network.org/jm/index.php
Sharepoint has its advantages, but it can be overloaded and hard to find the 'knowledge' you want. I still think that well designed webpages (over the intranet) are the best frameworks for sharing knowledge. This is because you can design the webpage with the user in mind, use icons to guide the user through the pages and oversee the content to make sure its clear and relevent. The main downside of this though is the work required to build a suitable website. Blogs are also a good way of sharing knowledge.
One point of advice is KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid), with which you can't go wrong. I think some tools seem to choke knowledge rather than make it easily accessible.
Hi - I am about to launch on a similar quest to Dereks and looking for an environment/platform into which I can gather media of all types (docs, wmv, flash tutorials, ppt, xls), organise it, make it easily accessible world-wide and monitor usage. My previous experience with Sharepoint has not been good, so am looking at Content Management options. I am appreciative of the comments above - once I have a sample environment in place which is easy to use and 'hit' on a regular basis then surely the rest will follow if users are in search of knowledge?
Hi David - that could be a big 'if'!
I agree that ease of access and usability are important - but users also need a reason to search for the knowledge if they are to make the time to do so. For example is the knowledge you will be making available accessible elsewhere? Will they need to use it regularly in order to carry out their role? Do you also want them to interact and share ideas - and if so how will you encourage this? I'd suggest that you also think carefully about how you will communicate the benefits of the service and incentivise its use.