Developing a Knowledge Management Strategy: 3 Tips
The challenge in producing a knowledge management strategy is that each business is unique. One size does not fit all. Let’s take a look at three important considerations for your knowledge management strategy: culture, technology, and benchmarking.
One critical element that has a significant impact on a knowledge management strategy is your company culture. Along with procedures and processes, your culture influences staff behavior and mindset towards capturing, sharing, and managing information. For instance:
- Does the company culture foster knowledge sharing?
- Do you offer incentives for contributions to thought leadership?
- Does sharing occur across business units?
These are just a beginning, but the answers will help you create a realistic knowledge management target status. For example, if collaboration across business units is critical, but some data must be protected, then sharing and content security will be key elements to address in the strategy and roadmap.
You will need to have a thorough understanding of your existing technology ecosystem in order to create a knowledge management strategy. You can approach this effort by answering questions, such as:
- Do you have an existing architecture plan?
- What level of integration is necessary between systems, such as intranet, content management, and user account management?
- What technology stack do you prefer?
- What technology design and maintenance capabilities does your company possess?
- Do you have a dedicated IT staff, and what are their skill sets?
- Do you have an access control plan for the entire technology ecosystem? What issues may arise by not having one?
Depending on the size of your company, the technology infrastructure may be minimal or quite large and complex. In either instance, you must have a comprehensive understanding of your current systems, users, functionalities, restrictions, and points in the lifecycle.
In addition to the items above, you will need to have clear insight into how your company’s knowledge management capabilities compare to industry standards. This can be a valuable tool to encourage leadership and support for the knowledge management transformation. Performing a benchmarking analysis will help your staff visualize the organizational knowledge management potential. You can use an array of categories to pinpoint your current level of knowledge management maturity in contrast to industry standards, which will help identify areas of opportunities for growth.
Having a comprehensive understanding of your organization’s current status is a top priority in the knowledge management strategy development process. This leads to greater success in targeting where you want to be and designing the roadmap to get there.