Making knowledge management manageable

Posted on December 18, 2009. Filed under: collaboration, communities, community, intranet, KM, knowledge, organisational culture, social media | Tags: , , , , , |

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Heavy industry of KM

I’ve been thinking about knowledge management (KM) over the last few days as we have a new KM programme kicking off in BT. This is good news as KM has languished a bit over recent months.

Inevitably, the meetings have begun to happen and the latest set of KM papers are starting to circulate for comments/sign-off etc. (… good news is they are in a wiki for anyone in the company to edit/comment upon :-) ).

The problem for me is that we are also at the stage where the enormity and complexity of the task ahead becomes apparent in an organisation as large as BT. The temptation is to wheel out the old heavy industry KM powerpoint decks so the strategy becomes so complex that the whole things grinds to a halt and becomes a long series of turgid meetings discussing impenetrable diagrams and concepts.

The truth is, I don’t think we have any chance whatsoever of managing knowledge in BT – if it’s actually possible to manage knowledge anywhere. What we can do is help people to help themselves and others as simply as possible.

It got me thinking about what we can reasonably expect to achieve and which would actually make a difference to the way people share what they know.

If we could achieve three things, I think we will have made more progress in the field of KM than we’ve ever managed before. Those things are:

  • expose in the network who people are and what they are interested in/working on/thinking about …
  • provide a way to search through the above and then offer a simple mechanism to connect like-minded people together in networks
  • automatically expose the activities of individuals to those in their networks through activity streams.

That’s it … simples!

Well … possibly not as simple as it sounds … but achievable at least.

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8 Responses to “Making knowledge management manageable”

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[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Richard Dennison, James Marsh. James Marsh said: RT @RichardDennison Making knowledge management manageable: Heavy industry of KM [...] http://bit.ly/4v6KPw <– nice objectives [...]

the knowledge you need to manage is mainly being managed already (for better or worse). The key knowledge and context will always be in people’s heads. Focus on connecting the people and making the flow between them visible and you are onto a winner ! Sounds like you are on the right track. Let me know if I can help in any way… @appliedwisdom

Thanks Cheryl … glad we agree! :-)

KM is NEVER “as simple as it sounds” :-)

This is key:
“What we can do is help people to help themselves and others as simply as possible.”

I’ve written a four-part series on this called KM 3.0 if you’re interested
http://www.ppcsoft.com/blog/km-3.asp

Doh ! Just realised that this post is a bit old – Google alert showed this today, so I assumed it was new. Sorry about that !

Atle – it’s not that old! :-(

Thanks for the commenbt and link …

[...] to comment on this for a while – Richard Dennison has a post on his excellent blog about BT’s Knowledge Management programme. He quotes three things that he would like to [...]


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