If you’ve ever put together a meal, or attempted to like i have. The first thing you need to do is take a look at the recipe the knowledge audit. Once you’ve done that you need to make a list of the various ingredient ( the knowledge inventory ). Unless you do this you might end up with something completely different from what you started out trying to accomplish.

So what is a knowledge inventory? well, as the name suggests its a kind of stock taking to identify and locate knowledge assets around the organization. This includes the explicit and of course, the very difficult to locate tacit knowledge sources.

The best way to make a comprehensive list of knowledge sources is to segregate it by explicit and tacit knowledge.

Some of the questions you might want to ask when identifying explicit knowledge sources :

  • What already exists? - This would entail creating categories of documents, databases, libraries, link and such ( essentially different formats in which you store information )
  • Where is this located? - Locations across your organization(geographic ) as well as the various systems that house the information.
  • Usage - who uses this information? How often do they use it? How critical is this to them?
  • Access and Organization - How is the knowledge structured and how easy of difficult is it for people to locate this information, and do they have access to it as well.
  • Purpose - why does the information exist, what purpose does it serve? how relevant is it to the users?

Identifying tacit knowledge sources are just as important ( if not more ) than explicit information sources within an organization, however, tackling this is an entirely different proposition.

This is because, unlike explicit knowledge, tacit knowledge is much more difficult to quantify. Though there are a few questions you could ask to create a rough map of where it this knowledge exists. The main difference here is that the focus would be around individuals and not content or databases.

  • Who we have - The total number of people within the organization or project as well as a breakup of which department / function they belong to.
  • Where they are - Identifying where people are located is extremely important when building a tacit knowledge map, this will allow you to create a map of users across your organization.
  • What they do and what they know - This question will allow you to focus on what the individual's job profile is, what their expertise areas are etc.