Knowledge Management: Best Practices

By eweek  |  Posted 2002-03-12 Print this article Print

Knowledge Management: Best Practices

  • KM is not software you install (though vendors think it is); its a process that doesnt begin with IT and doesnt end with it. Remember that IT is merely plumbing.

  • Get users involved from Day One. A KM system is useless if employees dont contribute.

  • Isolate who knows what in an organization by systematically interviewing knowledge workers.

  • Divide and conquer: Associate KM with a specific business practice and grow it from there. Dont go for an all-encompassing solution--these look good only on paper.

  • Tighten up security and educate users on safety issues. A KM system in the hands of the wrong person can be extremely dangerous, not only because of the threat of data theft but also because of potential data corruption.

  • Devise a system that extracts and packages knowledge from the forms in which its actually used, rather than one that requires separate creation and maintenance of a dedicated parallel knowledge base. The latter makes for a quicker pilot project, but it will rarely be maintained once the novelty wears off.

  • Consider but dont rely on, third-party benchmarking solutions, such as PIMS (

  • Continually solicit feedback to improve the system over time.

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