What Is Content Mapping?

Your organization has a wealth of knowledge. However, you need to optimize that knowledge and make it accessible. You need to close knowledge gaps and give priority to the most valuable information. The most efficient method to accomplish this goal is to adopt content mapping, which is a systematic way to organize your data.

Five Key Elements to a Content Mapping Strategy

Knowledge mapping is a KM technique that enables you to inventory and prioritize your explicit and tacit knowledge that exists across your entire organization. As an element of a knowledge management solution, a map identifies what knowledge exists, who owns it, and where it is located. This allows you to determine if the available information is adequate to meet your business needs, or if you have considerable knowledge gaps.

Content Mapping in Knowledge Management

The mapping process involves five key steps:
1. Develop a broad outline for your mapping project. This means:

  • Select a knowledge map type – functional, strategic, or process-based
  • Determine the scope of the map – organization-wide, cross-departmental, or departmental
  • Pinpoint the elements of the map, such as knowledge domains, knowledge assets, and knowledge owners
  • Develop questionnaires to assist knowledge managers to locate their knowledge inventory

2. Conduct a comprehensive assessment and structuring of the map through those questionnaires and in-person meetings.
3. Analyze the current knowledge and create benchmarks to mark the minimum requirements and optimum knowledge levels.
4. Identify knowledge gaps and give them priority for closing them.
5. Determine critical knowledge management activities to continually meet your most important knowledge needs and patch gaps.

While this outline is brief, each step requires considerable commitment from your knowledge managers and team members. As a supporting plank in your knowledge management foundation, a content map provides crucial guidance in your overall efforts to unlock the power of your team. Creating a comprehensive knowledge map will reveal important knowledge assets. The time and effort are worth the investment.

No matter which type of mapping model you select, this activity will lead you directly to your most crucial knowledge needs. This gives you tremendous strategic value as you consider additional business-oriented knowledge management activities. Clearly understanding your data strengths and weaknesses enables you to determine which steps to take and when. In addition, you are in a position to align your overall business objectives to make your organization’s knowledge work towards greater efficiency.