Saturday, August 19, 2006

In an earlier post, Stan Garfield answered the call for a "Top 10" KM do's and don'ts. Number 2 on his list is: Balance people, process, and technology, with a project leader for each category. It seems to me that Stan's thoughts here line up with my experience---to a point. That is, a comprehensive KM strategy that includes a balance between the elements is essential. All too often organizations implement an IT solution that they think will lead the way to a culture of knowledge sharing only to be disappointed in the lack of results. Paying attention to the processes required---creatintg and publishing knowledge, assuring its quality and maintaining content relevancy, and continually innovating from the shared knowledge base---can't simply be left to chance. Similarly, the change management piece---the people element---is something that must be fully strategized and deliberately implemented.

What I think are missing from Stan's list though, are content and measurement. In order to share, people have to have something worth sharing. What will bring people back to a repository but content that is meaningful to them? Like a little maintained website, lack of content will surely mean a quick death to any knowledge sharing effort. KM can, and should be measured as well. Just as any other improvement initiative, KM should be held accountable to its results. Measuring KM however, doesn't mean just measuring its activity level. Measurements that mean something to the business that are impacted by KM activity are the things that matter.