Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Top Five Challenges in Effective KM Management

Knowledge Management is the First Step to Cultivate Organization's Learning Capability.

Knowledge Management refers to a multi-disciplined approach to achieving organizational objectives by making the best use of knowledge. With information only a click away, and knowledge life cycle is significantly shortened at digital era, what are the top challenges in effective Knowledge Management (KM) today. 

Transparency:  Transparency of internal communication or decision making is important but challenging, because the decision comprises knowledge in itself, especially when you take the reasons for taking the decision in this regard. Internally communicating the motivation for a decision has advantages on both sides (1) the decision maker is 'forced' to actually think about why he/she decided to do this or that...this exercise will make knowledge more explicit, even for him/herself. (2) all people influenced by the decision know on what basis the decision was made 3) Nothing can be absolutely transparent, it takes balanced approach to manage EA effectively.

Succession Planning: knowledge cannot just be effectively transferred via documents or other means of ‘storing knowledge’, if knowledge is defined as strategy, practice, method or approach as well as the expertise, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education... The successful succession planning requires, among other things, an overlap between the incoming and the outgoing person to allow for a face-to-face handover (in addition to documentation and some sort of system to capture all relevant information). One of the obvious challenges is a potential lack of incentive on the site of the departing staff member to share relevant information with their successor. Making this a mandatory step of your check-out procedure could be one way of mitigating this problem but there might be better ways. 

KM can not capture the ‘Expert Knowledge;’ effectively. Inefficient knowledge captures and reuses, multiple storage places and methods of saving, and many KM solutions do not help experts articulate the nature of their expertise. Much of what is captured, stored, and delivered is shallow information - not expert knowledge. "KM solutions" assume the expert knows what to share, and that the knowledge seekers know what to look for. These are skills that must be developed, on both sides of the equation.

The culture may not allow the knowledge workers to "do knowledge right". Everyone is run off his or her feet, silos are prevalent, and there may be few opportunities (or indeed rewards) for behaviors such as in-depth investigation of past thinking, thoughtful sharing and the like. But in practice, day to day pressures trump the good intentions, and crisis management ends up prevailing. To adapt the old IT adage about doing things right vs. doing things over, there may not be enough money or political will to invest in suitable KM mechanisms and rewards for good knowledge stewardship … but there will be enough money to perform heroics when things go wrong. The organizations should look for practical proof that in the long run, giving knowledge workers a culture in which insights and expertise can be generated and protected

Lack the alignment of leadership, process, technology and measures, etc. 1) Having no or a way too idealistic definition of KM is one of the key issues. Linked to that is the creation of false expectations in terms of what a company can achieve with KM. 2) C-level buy-in, or rather, lack of, But KM needs to be discussed as a tangible component of strategy, which starts with C-level guidance and communication. 3) A lack of political will to see a true I&KM program through. The need for instant gratification, without the willingness to understand the infrastructure needed to be successful. 4) Not engage in the latest technology trend. The introduction of social knowledge management for business is very natural progression and can be one way to address knowledge capture real time through discussion threads that are stored in a KM system. 5) Accountability - not enabling those WITH the knowledge by affording the time to adequately contribute to the knowledge bases and not building accountability (their role) into the knowledge chain

The real challenge in KM is adaptation, with the ability to ride ahead of changes curves, and design the solutions enabling organization’s digital transformation.



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