Those of us already in the field are so caught up in meeting deadlines, creating drivers that ensure our existing KM initiatives don’t fall flat. We don’t stop to think “Why KM?”, at least that’s what I’ve found after talking to a number of people. Sure there were indicators that lead to the decision of implementing KM at the beginning; however no clear cut goals or objectives were established right at the start, and even if they were most of them were to intangible to track. In a number of cases existing information management practices were re badged. After all KM was a buzz word and everyone wanted to get on board as quickly as possible.

I see this trend continuing with companies that have started to adopt KM within their ranks. They often seem uncertain of benefits that KM can bring to the table, while they may know the answer to the “What” they don’t know the “How”.

Why am I telling you this? It’s because if you decide to implement a Knowledge Management program within your organization or project team you need to do it for the right reasons.

Knowledge Management

KM is not something new, and whether you know it or not you have been using it on a daily basis since you were young enough to count. In today’s corporate arena it takes the form of building a network of contacts, ensuring the information you have stays current, keeping an eye on SME’s ( Subject Matter Experts ) within the organization, and so on. Essentially ensuring you are well connected and “in the know”.

So back to the fundamental question, why is KM important?

In a project context, there is a lot of effort spent managing people, processes and churning out vast quantities of information. As a project manager (or a budding one) you need to start asking the question “How do I promote knowledge management within my team?” There are a multitude of benefits that you can take back from doing this, some of which I’ve listed in my previous post, and the rest we shall get into more detail in future ones.

Leveraging existing knowledge in terms of projects that have been done in the past and connecting your team with experts across the organization (and outside) automatically allows you to save time and deliver faster, better results.

In today’s world, with attrition levels being where they are there are often instances where initiatives lose direction and focus after key personnel leave the organization. For the true success of any KM initiative the agenda and focus should be independent of any single person. The vision should be at an organization level for it to have any chance of long term success, so ensure that you aren’t the only one driving this initiative within your team, rope in supporters (you will need them).

As the year draws to a close its time you plan ahead and start thinking of what you would like to accomplish. So, why do you think KM is important?