Why do I need a knowledge management strategy? Why can’t I just implement some technology and be done with it? Why can’t I just implement Communities of Practice or Lessons Learned and be done with it?
I hear this sometimes from managers who want a quick fix, who are under a lot of pressure from time and resources (money and people).
The answer is, you can. I have worked with many organizations that have done just that, jumped in with both feet and “just done something”. I am usually there to fix it. Fix the technology because no one understood what it really needed to do to support knowledge work within the organization; fix the process because no one understands it and it’s not aligned with the rest of the activities in the organization and it’s created extra work for already over-worked staff.
Why do you need a strategy?
Would you jump in the car and set out on a journey of 5000km/3000miles without having some idea of where you were going and how you going to get there? Making sure that you had selected the right vehicle to get you there in time and a map to help direct you along the way?
A KM strategy does just that. It helps you figure out where you’re going, and the things you need to do along the way, the processes you need to support you and that need to be supported.
That’s not to say that you won’t make adjustments along the way, just like a friend of mine who drove from Toronto to Vancouver in September 2015, who ended up “detouring” through the United States, so that she could see some different sites, but she still knew where she was going and when she had to be there by—she made it with time to spare.
Isn’t that what you want from your KM strategy? To know where you’re going and how you want to get there, to meet the goals and objectives of the organization?
Why would you put a toaster over in the car for your trip, when you really needed a camp stove?
Why would you choose one technology because “everyone else is” when another technology is cheaper and better meets the needs of the organization because it requires less customization than the more popular software?
Isn’t it time you created (or updated) your KM strategy?