10.3.4 How to (further) develop Knowledge Management in the organisation?

In the same way as the other modules in this guide we intend to provide basic knowledge about a topic. This will help you to make sound decisions about further, more detailed dealing with the issue or not. This chapter will provide information how to determine a basic strategy for KM which is the precondition for planning KM as a process and choosing adequate tools.
At the beginning we had said that KM is a process. We can start “smart” and develop it step by step. What does mean “we” here? If you read this module from the manager’s perspective you should not try to add this as an additional task. KM needs continuous action. Management will hardly find enough time in the daily business. KM needs your continuous support and supervision.

Check (with) your team: Identify a person who is accepted in the team, who is communicative, shows commitment and is reliable. This can be your “knowledge worker”. He or she should not see this responsibility as a burden. Provide time for KM related activity and to gather expertise on the topic and tools. Recognize and appreciate activities as what they are: An important contribution to the company’s development!

Identification of possible fields for starting and first steps in KM:
Please check the situation in your organisation:

The KM Triad

When we want to introduce and further develop KM we always have to regard the KM Triad:

If we have identified from the check list before that it would be nice to have lessons learnt from finished projects stored on the data base this would mean the following:
Technique – we have created a database. Organisation – we have informed all colleagues that they should store lessons learnt in the data base.

So let’s check after 2 months: Is it still empty?!? What can be the reason? We have to check all three factors. The data base is there and works. What about human being and organisation? Have we given an introduction how to use the data base? Have we organised time for inserting data?  We have ask to fill in important individual knowledge, why should employees share it with others – so have we done something for motivating them?

In another case we have done all this – but the technical side might be too complicated or time consuming – so we have to think and check always all three factors together!

How to find criteria to select KM tools?4
There is an almost endless catalogue of KM tools. How to choose relevant tools?
We want to assist you to find the right decision for tools.

Figure 3: General KM strategies – Personalisation and Codification

In practise, there will always be a mixture of both tasks and activities in the company. But analysing and finding key business activities of individuals and teams will make decision easier to find and to introduce proper KM tools.
Due to the orientation of this guide to innovation, in the guide mainly tools related to the Personalisation strategy are presented.
You will find detailed presentation of tools primarily in module 4 - creativity techniques for generating ideas) and in module 11 – networking, exploring and sharing tacit knowledge and working together on solutions e.g. in CoPs – Communities of Practise.
Guidance for tools in the frame of the Codification concept (data bases, structured devices etc.) will be available from the internet or further education offers.
We have seen from above that it makes sense to distinguish tools
a) that are more suitable to support Codification – that means helping to store and to transfer explicit knowledge  and
b) those which support Personalisation – to make “visible” and to transfer tacit knowledge, expert knowledge which is stored in the expert brains.

Another approach to identify proper tools is to have in mind different tasks of KM:

Figure 4: General KM tasks and appropriate tools (selection)

For this chapter we have used aspects from the practical approach to KM presented in Lucko/Trauner, 2005

1 Lucko/Trauner, 2005
2 See 4, particularly 4.1 Introduction to Creativity and 4.6 management of internal innovative proposals for motivation and incentive systems
3 See chapter 4 Finding innovative solutions, for further information
4 Lucko/Trauner, 2005